Many restaurants have recently been vandalized, burglarized and set on fire, but instead of asking for support in rebuilding, some are asking their communities to redirect focus elsewhere.
In Minneapolis, where protests began after the death of George Floyd, Gandhi Mahal, an Indian restaurant steps from the burned 3rd Police Precinct, was heavily damaged. After thanking neighbors for trying to stand guard and protect the restaurant, the owner’s daughter, Hafsa, told people not to worry. She wrote, “As I am sitting next to my dad watching the news, I hear him say on the phone, ‘Let my building burn.’”
Another business that experienced property damage was Founding Farmers in Washington, D.C. On Twitter, co-owner Dan Simons said that windows were broken but no one was injured. He explained that he and his team “stand firmly with the message of the protest.”
Simons went on to say he hopes the protests stay peaceful, but if he needs to "suffer" broken property, “let's be real, that isn't suffering.”
Also in Washington, D.C., Asian cafe Teaism suffered shattered windows, a fire and water damage from sprinklers. In response, co-owner Michelle Brown tweeted, “Before anyone puts a single word in our mouths. Black lives matter.”
On the business’s Instagram page, a post reads, “It shouldn’t be controversial or political to say that America needs to heal and in order to do so, acknowledge deep injustices.” It also says to consider contributing money to important causes and black-owned businesses.
Elsewhere, C&B cafe in New York City was broken into and robbed, according to an Instagram post from the business. It reads, “The price we pay for freedom, or just a few thieves taking advantage of someone else’s struggle? Well if this is the price we have to pay for human rights, so be it.”
In just one day, more than $23,000 was raised to keep C&B afloat, and now the owner is asking people to stop donating. Instead, he asks that they give money to organizations that feed and help people in need.