The protests outside Tommy Pak's Diamond Shamrock Kwik Stop in South Dallas have dwindled, but the battle pitting black activists against the Korean store owner continues online at the Don't Stop Don't Shop Facebook page. There are still promises to continue the fight to shut down Pak's store, there are still photographs of the protests and, yes, there are still snippets of hate speech throughout. But Don't Stop Don't Shop is now listed as a bona fide community organization, complete with a new mission statement:
We are asking trusted members of our community to help organize this effort towards establishing a Black Bank or Credit Union. More details of this plan will be available in the near future, but we must start NOW!
The mission statement has nothing to do with Pak or Koreans. It instead embraces a longtime Nation of Islam tenet, "Do For Self," which Nation of Islam Dallas student minister Jeffery Muhammad touched on last Friday on KHVN's Robert Ashley Show. He called next phase of the protests the "Black Development Fund" and said it would be "brought forth to help spur economic development."
"We are about self-sufficiency and we are not about going to the table of any rich white man or any rich Korean man and sitting there like Lazarus begging for crumbs to fall from their table," Muhammad announced on the show. "Part of what needs to happen is education."
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The idea of black banks and credit unions sounded oddly like the deal struck last week between black and Korean leaders when the two sides agreed to terms to stop the protests prompted over claims that Pak made racial slurs. The two coalitions agreed that they'd partner together to educate blacks to help them gain skills to open their own businesses. There are few black-owned businesses in the neighborhood, though African-Americans make up much of its population.
Muhammad declined to comment, so Unfair Park called around to some of the community leaders involved in the truce, but few even knew about the new Black Development Fund, although Donald Wright of Justice Seekers Texas said that black banks had been a goal for some time. "We talked about that since before the protests started," Wright said.
Chong Choe, the executive director of Kollaboration Dallas, also chimed in, saying that one of the Korean leaders, Ted Kim, was a banker, and that part of the agreement was for Kim to teach blacks how to manage their credit and garner loans to open businesses.
The Don't Stop Don't Shop mission, on the surface at least, mirrors the truce between Koreans and blacks but for one major difference: no Koreans. The way it is now, two separate coalitions will work simultaneously yet separately to attain enlightenment and resources for blacks to own their businesses. They'll be competing.