Recently, a video of two beauty supply workers attacking a customer surfaced and rightfully so, there’s a lot of criticism. Here’s the video:
CHARLOTTE, NC— Sung Ho Lim, Missha’s Beauty Supply owner, and a female worker accused a customer of stealing false eyelashes. When the video started, you see the owner, female worker and the customer tussling. The female worker comes up and pushes the customer. Then Lim begins pushing the customer and she yells out “I’m a female.” Lim then kicks her. He and the worker tussled the customer to the floor. Lim places her in a chokehold. The people videotaping told her to stop moving and calm down.
After the video surfaced, it caused an uproar. According to sources, community leaders and customers of another beauty supply store showed up to the store on Sunday calling for a boycott. Lim tried to apologize to the customers and community leaders, but they felt the apology wasn’t enough. Some feel that racial implication was a factor is this situation and that it can’t be ignored. This wasn’t the first time something like this has happened.
Back in 1991, at a South Central Los Angeles corner store, 15-year-old Latasha Harlins was accused of stealing orange juice by store owner, Soon Ja Du. After a brief confrontation, Harlins turned around to walk out the store. Du pulled her weapon and shot Harlins in the back of the head, killing the young girl. Du claimed Harlins was trying to steal orange juice, but videotape evidence shows that Harlins had the money in her hand and was not stealing. Du was convicted her of manslaughter, but Judge Joyce Karlin gave Du five years of probation, 400 hours of community service, and ordered her to pay restitution to Harlins’ family for her funeral. Basically, letting her off.
This situation was very disturbing and it angered myself and others. I know how it feels to be followed and watched in a store. The color of my skin makes them feel I will steal from them. I don’t have to steal anything. I can purchase whatever I want, but yet, I’m followed because I’m black. This is nothing new. We’re looked at more than any other group of people. Stealing from retail stores isn’t anything new. People steal all the time. As a store owner, you should know how to deal with shoplifters. Did the cameras work? I don’t know, but if she was stealing, he could’ve locked the door from the inside, called the police, showed the police security videos, and they’ll arrest her. It’s that simple. He wanted to fight. We’re disrespected, but we’re their number one consumers. They do us wrong, but we’re maintaining their pockets.