Devastated Asian Business Owner Looted & Won’t Reopen

June 3, 2020

The GoFundMe page is at the bottom of this article

First-generation Korean-American Hak Tong Kim lost everything Sunday night when looters ransacked his clothing store, City Fashions on King Drive in Chicago. The store had been opened for nine years.

“I [sic] lose around $350,000,” stated Kim to NBC5 Chicago. “I’m so unlucky. I don’t have insurance. I have only liability.” Looters even made their way downstairs to the basement and smashed Kim’s new cash register, he recently purchased and was about to install.

“I was so upset. I’m so sad. I explain to them, ‘please, don’t break the window. This is a small business. I’m the owner here,’” Kim explained. He stood by the broken window for hours with a wrench in hand, begging looters to leave his store alone.

Image via NBC 5

Kim was only able to hold off the looters until 8 pm. That’s when crowds began to dangerously outnumber him and his family begged him to leave the store, which he finally did. Once Kim left, he could see dozens of people storm into the store from the parking lot and take hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

Image via NBC 5

According to Kim’s family, he’s been working seven days a week at the store since it opened nine years ago. His daughter wrote a gut-wrenching post on social media.

 “My dad helplessly watched City Fashions being overrun and looted, and my uncle was assaulted by a huge crowd ransacking. Although they were able to arrive home safely, they are completely devastated. My first generation Korean parents worked blood, sweat and tears to establish a proud business of their own. They’ve never closed during the holidays and always believed that business would prosper, even through many trying times. My dad, who’s always been an optimist, told me today that the gives up. Seeing my parents defeated and in despair breaks my heart.”

Kim does not have plans to reopen, but his community is coming together to help him, regardless. They also set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for Kim’s losses. The link for that page can be found HERE

“It is devastating to see this senseless thing happen to him. I think it’s really important at this point that we help him so he can have hope back,” stated Kim’s pastor, Major Michael Cho.

According to NBC5 Chicago, Major Cho and the Salvation Army are assessing the damage and trying to find solutions to help local business owners who were hit by the recent string of vandalism and looting.

Feature Screenshots via NBC5 Chicago

  1. As if the Asian community in the United States needed this. While the eternal war of black versus white rages, Asian Americans are so often overlooked, and then during the COVID nonsense they were victims of targeted attacks from literally eveyrone…black, brown, white, whatever…it didn’t matter.

    Enough is enough. All these riots do is harm good citizens like Mr Kim and his family.

    1. Exactly! When they attacked all Asian looking people just because of stereotype they don’t see Asian lives matter too?

      1. Covid was China’s fault. the Chinese virus. Stupid of people to equate that w Asian Americans. 1992 LA Riots.. #RooftopKoreans. Asians do NOT get stopped bc We dont do uncivilized behavior.

        1. It’s a disgrace that you as a fellow Asian would call covid-19 as the Chinese virus

    2. Asians do have it difficult, as an Asian myself, I see that. But I also see our privilege.
      I’m sorry Mr.Kim is going through this and with that we have to rebuilt.
      The Asian demographic is the least stopped by a police officer. We’ve been attacked by people racially profiling us by Covid19. Luckily, my friends of BIPOC have defended me and wrote articles on anti-asian racism.

      COVID19 has hit the Black and Indigenous Americans the most. 500 years BIPOC has had their own history and life looted from them. In systemic American government, in large corporations, in the eye of people who dehumanize them. What good as an all peaceful protesting done? Since 1955 they’ve been trying and trying and being patient with us to treat them as equals in our society. All lives cannot matter until Black
      lives matter.

      For more information on systemic racism please watch this video. It’s helped me to understand it more. https://www.facebook.com/153418591515382/videos/2745061675716583

      As I sit here as an Asian American, we will help him rebuild. We will fix our government to help marginalized communities. All lives cannot matter until Black lives matter.

        1. Really disheartening to see Asian community showing their racist colors here.

          1. The Asian American experience will never be comparable to the history of Black people in the US, period. Stop trying to use your pain to justify your racism. Racism is wrong in every circumstance and situation. Our own histories with oppression should be what helps us empathize with Black people.. but instead Asians use their own experience to casually dismiss it. You feel no benefit of white supremacy or privilege? You have not benefited from black civil rights?

          1. 14th amendment passed during Reconstruction.

          2. Asians were not allowed to marry white people.

          3. Asians were also segregated and unable to go to school with white people.

          4. Asian people were prohibited from leasing or owning property.

          5. Asians were vilified as mongols, brown hordes, yellow peril and that doesnt change until white people changed their minds and started to push Asian Americans as the model minority during the civil rights movement to dismiss the Black community. Minorities are continuously pitted against each other because one group benefits at the expense of the other. Opportunities for Asian immigration drastically increased at the same time as decreasing immigration from Latin America.

          Asians have a unique and different experience as we seem to benefit in some ways because of the model minority myth and also it created division between Black/Latinx communities versus Asian.

          White privilege is real. Racism exists.

          Why then do you refuse to face the fact that of all the minority groups Asians benefit the most?

          Its easy to dismiss racism against Black people by saying that Asians did it all by themselves. They are 2nd class citizens. We are not privileged. But we are… you just dont realize it because of the same reason white privilege doesnt exist for white people.

          Maybe you see it more and experience it more now with anti Asian sentiments due to covid19 perpetuated by not only white people but other BlacK, Latinx and Indian communities. Non chinese Asian should be able to relate how racism doesnt ask for details. They do not care if you are chinese, taiwanese, korean, japanese or vietnamese. We are all affected. The same applies when it comes to Black Lives Matter. You think it stops with Black and Brown people? No, Asian people right behind.

          Asians have their own struggles, hardships and sacrifice but that narrative doesnt equate or translate the same across different Asian groups. No one is saying Asians do not deserve their success but we had help. How? Access to resources. When a white person and asian person go head to head for promotions or jobs, its almost always the white guy. When its black or dark skinned people vs an asian person.. do you truly believe that you do not have an advantage being labeled a model minority as opposed to the stereotyping of Black and Spanish people as lazy, uneducated etc?

          Asian standards of success and beauty is revolves around western white people. We know white lives matter because every damn thing from books, tv, fashion and movies and popculture revolves around White people. Every sub Asian group has their own race hierarchy and you know it. You see it in Asian media and Asian culture all the time.

          What is happening now is not new and blame only relegated solely black people….looters are not the same as protesters. we know how harmful stereotypes are.. come on people! This is a human rights issue.. about equality for all people not just Black people. I hope Mr. Kim finds forgiveness in his heart and finds hope in how all people are donating to help him get back on his feet again.

      1. Who the fuck are you to talk about “sorry we’re privileged” to this business owner’s face? He is and was not privileged. Korean-Americans are second class citizens in the US. Shut the fuck up and speak about your own “privilege,” not the experience of other struggling Asian Americans. We know black lives matter. We protest alongside the cause. Take your preachy bullshit elsewhere you blind piece of shit. While thinking about another group’s well-being and prosperity you’ve been blinded and forgot about your own.

      2. Truly appreciate you discussing this. As a black man I couldn’t have said what you said any better. I also feel for Mr.Kim he did not deserve what happen to him. I know this doesn’t mean much but understand that it wasn’t personal with us, we are hurt, sad , and angry that such measures are being taken towards us with no punishment an we have to show are anger no longer our patients. With that plus these opportunistic young white kids that just want to cause destruction nothing is safe until change is made. done with peaceful protesting.

        But with everything in me. I hope and pray that Mr.Kim gets back on his feet cause end of the day it wasn’t deserved. #EverybodyvsRacist #BlacklivesMatter

        1. Why don’t you put your money where your mouth is and kick in a few bucks to Mr. Kim’s re-building fund?

      3. The hell with that. Tell Mr. Kim that his life doesn’t matter because apparently black lives don’t to white folks. This isn’t the Oppression Olympics, and the racial group that’s been kept down the most for the longest period of time doesn’t get special points.

        There’s simply no excuse for looting his store, and Mr. Kim was basically lynched. Perhaps not physically (though it sounds like they got close to it) then certainly economically. It’s oppression any way you slice it, and we can address this situation while addressing whatever ails the black community, just like we can walk and chew gum at the same time.

        All lives don’t matter until black lives matter? What a bunch of sanctimonious bullsh*t.

      4. While I don’t dispute the contents of your video, people like Mr. Kim and those of similar age today and older experienced the same exclusionary tactics as a first generation immigrant when they arrived here. The difference is, they knew that they were always going to be two steps behind, so they worked four times as hard, just to keep pace. Dismissing this experience and saying he was “privileged” is offensive as it is disappointing, especially coming from another Asian.

        It’s a damn shame your parents didn’t teach you this lesson, or more likely, you blinded yourself so much that you’re spouting this racist nonsense. Saying no lives matter until black lives manner is just as racist as a Klansman yelling “White Power.”

      1. 1st leading country they said. LoL

        Working at airport. I used to said ‘woah, american people.’ thinking they were great, civilize and need more respect.

        As time goes by i realise that US is suck more than 3rd world countries.

        The president and the society itself. Damn how you could live like that? Im so disgusted.

        Now when i meet some american with their bitchy style. I just chuckle inside and pity for them.

        What a worst country you live. You should go back with your darwin theory because that how you all act.

        Monkey.

        Regards,
        Human

    3. Honestly as IF it wasn’t enough that Asians were getting blamed for the Corona Virus and now their businesses are getting attacked over this senseless act of violence!! It’s so infuriating.

    1. There’s a gofundme. Any donations would be of help. I’m planning to donate 20$

  2. Looters are criminals. There is a distinct difference between them protestors.

    We should be commending those that support BOTH the BLM Movement AND speaking out on Small Business Lootings.

    Fighting for both these causes should NOT be MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE. It is MORALLY IGNORANT to speak out on one of these issues and not the other. Activism is NOT a one lane highway.

  3. This is heartbreaking. Praying he can recover from this and reopen . So sorry some bad apples have to ruin a good cause, and cause unhappiness to others in the process. Reading this article broke my heart . Prayers for his family

  4. We should help Kim’s family. I will send some money to go fund me, and encourage my kids to join with me.

  5. A rifle would have stopped the looters, a well armed family would have stopped them or would at least blown lots of them to kingdom come before being overrun. Do you remember “why do you need weapons when you have police and military to protect you”, “US doesnt need to be armed, nothing bac can happen to us”. Well, does this give you an idea??? Arm yourself people because there is noone to help you but yourself in times like this. These riots arent the first ones that happened and for sure wont be the last.

  6. Every small business should buy AK 47 to protect it and must purchase a full business insurance to protect any happening situations.

  7. These looters are heartless. How could they did such thing to innocent people. We Asian have been attacked too due to over Covid, but we stood low not riots. I felt bad for them.

  8. Too bad the laws protect the criminals. Can’t shoot anybody….Yes, it’s worth them dying over a $10 shirt vice the store owner loosing his entire livelyhood…

  9. I think the looters always wanted to destroy Asian businesses anyway. They think we stole it from them or that we don’t belong so they felt jealous of our success. The protest gives them the perfect excuse to loot because they know the police won’t be there. It’s ashame.

  10. We should create gofundme for him and all asian owned small business who most suffered.

  11. If someone looted your business, I know its against the law to shoot them but you could at least cut one of their arms in return. Then there would always be something to remind them not to loot.

    1. Why is it against the law to shoot them? If they’re coming in your closed store by force, your life is in danger.

  12. I am very upset this happen as my family used to own a small business too. I am black and I do not like that people are looting and taking away from the peaceful protests. I donated to help. I am very sorry this happened and hope it doesn’t take away your opinion of so many good people who were not ill-intentioned getting involved with the movement.

  13. this is what happens to unarmed sheep. No rooftop Koreans apparently in Chicago?

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