T Nation

race relations

A couple of nights ago, we saw a show on MTV about the Rodney King riots and it got me thinking. Many of the blacks in the area were upset with the Koreans who owned all the corner stores. They felt the Koreans didn’t treat them properly, thought they were always going to steal from their stores, etc… Ten years later, you go into any(most) minority inner-city area and still most of the stores are Korean owned. Why? Why has one race managed to run stores through out most cities? Why aren’t there more black owned stores in black areas? I’m sure the population would shop there. Not to stereotype but is it because the Koreans are willing to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and other ethnic groups don’t? You see more Spanish bogedas in Spanish neighborhoods but still quite a few Korean markets. Spanish have a slightly different diet. Lots of roots and vegetables native to their countries. Since the black diet isn’t different from whites, is that why they don’t have their own stores? Now, I’m a lily white guy from southern New Hampshire. I don’t know a lot about the black and Korean people, but my wife is Dominican. Neither she nor I could come up with any reasons why Koreans seem to dominate the neighborhood markets.

Small markets are a relatively easy business to open up. They work hard and come up with the money to invest. If you go to Asian coutries, or even south american countries, the small neighborhood markets are fairly common, so it is probably something that they are familiar with.

My observation is that most independent corner markets are run by immigrants from countries with cultures that have a tradition of close-knit extended families. Running a corner store has got to be a very low margin business, so it helps if you can get the kids or grandpa to work for nothing but food & accommodation.

There are Korean business associations that loan money to start businesses like that. They don’t require all the stuff that banks do but the interest rates are higher. It gets a guy, or usually a family, into a business easier. They work hard and make it successful. It pays to stick together sometimes.

My this is a problem. I know what we should do. 50% of the NBA should be given stores to run and 50% of the korean store owners should become pro basketball players.

Wow, I chewed up some brain cells think up this but anything for humanity.

It’s also work ethic. Many of the lower-class blacks (and lower class anyones) in this country have a “gimme gimme” attitude; many feel that their situation is a social, rather than a personal, problem. Many resent the Koreans because they came in with absolutely nothing, didn’t ask for handouts, and through hard work raised their standard of living. It sort of flies in the face of the affirmative action rhetoric.

This is way, way, way off- topic. I’m outta here. Go with peace & respect T- bro’s & T- sista’s.

Actually, the Korean business owners do what they do because…they do not have the education nor the language skills to get a “normal” job. The children of those immigrants go off to college and usually move onto a professional career. Rarely do they continue the business of their parents. As for financing start ups, anywhere there are a group of Koreans living together, they often form investment clubs called “gye” (pronounced like “ye” as in “yes”, but with a “g” in front of it). They pool the money of its members and give it all to one member to start a business. The business owner pays back the loan with interest and everyone shares in the success of the business. No real “secrets” here. Most Korean business are very low risk–liquor stores, dry cleaning, fast food. Anyone who is willing to put in long, hard hours can do it. Aye, there’s the rub.

Yeah from what I see in New Orleans there’s nothing really respectable about it. All the Korean owned stores make their money by selling alchohol to underaged people. I’ve seen them sell a 6 pack of Budweiser to a guy who looked no older than thirteen. Not like us teens mind though.

There’s more to it. Most of these people are immigrants. And why do they come to this country? Free Enterprise! They didn’t come to this country just for a better life, but for the freedom to own their own business. They can do well financially because they can live off meager money, and can think long-term enough to wisely invest what the business makes. They will financially pass up most of the people in this country because of (1) work ethic (as already stated); (2) dedication to business ownership; and (3) long-term thinking. And those of us who have lived our ENTIRE lives in this country – what’s our excuse?

And those of us who have lived our ENTIRE lives in this country – what’s our excuse?

For me?
no investment clubs, no loans available, no peer groop or familial support, takes money to make money. and no labor support from family, peers, etc. (have to sleep some time) and I dont live with 30 people so I cant split the rent with 20 cousins and grandma. and I dont belong to any 'special' social classes so cant get any help that way either.

That’s right, and the list of people who’ve made it who were in your situation is lengthy (Ford, Rockefeller, Carnegie). Ford has a quote: Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right. Instead of looking for all the reasons why you can’t, keep your eye on the prize and don’t let ANYTHING get in your way.

i was friends with an asian family that ran a grocery store in an area similar to that, see there arent many grocery stores in that area so if you want some milk, bread or something to that extent you practically have to go to these stores and they usually charge higher prices than you would in say a suburban area so these stores can pull a nice bank if their run right so its not like they do it for some lets make it happen in america struggle, they usually pull a good amount of cash and for the small investment they usually are its not a bad deal if you have the patience to work the stores shrug

Brider I hear ya, and positivity and glao settig are critical, but those on that list are greater minds than I, and youll notice the millions that tryed just as hard as those, are unknown and forgotten. (ya never hear about them)

I’m pretty sure that if they just immigrated here, the taxes they have to pay are slim to none, making starting a business way easy without high taxes. Then if another member of the family immigrates over they can transfer owenership over so it can withhold from paying taxes even longer.

My mom used to handle hundreds of convenience store accounts in Houston. If you have ever been there there is a lot of Korean owned stores in black neighborhoods, as well as Pakistan immigrants. The way a lot of these people get money is from our Federal Government. The Government gives money to these people to start a small business. It has to do with the whole minority and immigrant thing. They can get grants in the amount of $20,000 and /or loans from the SBA. Then they form their investment clubs. They also have a lower standard of living, so they will live in the stores usually at first, if not forever. I’ve seen this first hand. That is usually why it stinks in there. Plus they will get there whole family to work there. About the selling to minors thing, they get a $125 and up ticket. The amount they sell compared to what they bring in is rediculous. I am going to open one of these up.

The government grant thing is a myth. I know because I have looked into it for my startup business. What the SBA will do is, guarantee the loan for a small business, so that if the business is a bust, the bank will still get their money. Still, it is the bank that does the lending, based on the soundness of the business plan. Is a freshly arrived immigrant going to come up with a tightly written business plan with all the accompanying financial analyses and projections? I highly doubt it. I would venture to say that close to 100% of them rely on savings or community support. The SBA does make special effort to help minorities and women, but it does not change the fact that the business plan, THE essential item in order to get help from the SBA, is beyond the English abilities of most immigrants. That is why it stinks when people like SAK poo poo other people’s accomplishments and make excuses why they havent done the same thing.

Lets face it… Its about hard work and politics… Have you notice how many black politcal leader are out there? And yet the black community think that they are looking out for them and fighting justice for them is all BS… The black politician is out there looking for a vote and only looking out for themselves… There are no more true Martian Luther Kings out there anymore or Malcom X they were true black leaders…

It also has to do a lot with family teachings and ethics…

How many Asian polticians do you see out there. Hell we can’t even fight for our right to have fireworks to celebrate Chinese new years… As I recall didn’t we invent firworks and gunpowder??? But we still on avreage make more money then african americans. Why becuase we work hard and make ourself become and more intellegent.

Asians in general a harder working people we are just happy to be in a land that we could live freely… And we try to make the best of what we can out here…

Now I am not saying that african americans are not hard workers… Because most of my friends that are African American are extremly hard workers… But in general I think the black politicans out there are putting the wrong info in the black communities…

Here’s an example why is that there are more garabage left on the ground in hearlem then in middtown… Is it beause that middtown has more guys that clean the streets? Hell no its becuase the person that lives up in herlam can go down the block throw their peice of paper that they just litter on the floor… Why do you just start by picking up you on garbage see how clean hearlem gets

i don’t get your point. certainly it’s about hard work, but your argument about politics (leadership) is kinda convoluted. true, there are no more martin luther kings, but if there were, such folks would argue that the issue isn’t about race, but about poverty. those folks would argue that the frustration voiced in the MTV piece stems from one groups’ economic inability to own stores in their own neighborhoods, their inability to own their own economic vehicles. further, i don’t know that you’d wanna support what a leader like malcolm x would say–most likely something along the lines of running all non-whites out of black neighborhoods and exclusively supporting an all-black economic infrastructure.

regarding your point on the relative cleanliness of ny neighborhoods: isn’t harlem one of the hottest real estate markets on manhattan? it has a rapidly decreasing inventory of available housing, a buying spree being led by gays, middle-class blacks and white urban professionals. and most of the stores there are owned by arabs.

finally, why are you comparing a recovering residential neighborhood to midtown manhattan, dominated by some of the most expensive commercial real estate in the country? instead, why don’t you compare harlem to chinatown, one of the filthiest parts of the city and universally regarded as rat central.