Editor’s note: shattered storefronts, unbroken dreams

by Karen Alberg Grossman

While the chaos and destruction in American cities this past week has been beyond horrendous, the pent-up anger and frustration among people of color is understandable. The terror and trepidation that black men feel at every police siren is painful for me to fathom. Yet after years, decades, centuries of persecution, there’s been little change.

That said, although peaceful protests are slow to affect change, we know that violence is not the answer. So last night, as my TV screen flashed endless images of shattered storefronts, smoke bombs, fires, graffiti and looting across the country, I focused on the peaceful demonstrations: protesters and police taking a knee together, an officer boldly discarding his weapons and protective gear to join an angry crowd, people of all colors/ages/genders/ethnicities marching together in hope.

This morning, several of my fellow retailers confirmed my faith in humanity. Ken Giddon at Rothman’s in NYC posted on Facebook after his store had been vandalized: “Our NYC store was looted last night. While unfortunate, we will definitely get back up. We recognize that this is a moment of profound anger in this country, and we support those who are working to achieve justice for black Americans.”

And from Kent Gushner’s email to his Boyds’ customers, “We regret to share with you that in the chaos and devastation that ensued in Center City on Saturday evening, our store was looted along with many of our neighbors. While we were very much looking forward to reopening our doors, we have no choice but for our store and our website to now remain closed for the near future…. We are a local family business of merchants, tailors, stylists, sales and service folks—many of whom have been with us for decades. Our commitment to our team, our clients, and our community has never been stronger. We wholeheartedly believe Boyds and our local business community will get through this together and thrive in the days and years to come. We stand ready to lead the way.”

All of us at MR are incredibly proud of our menswear community for all that they’re doing to survive and support each other in these difficult times. With positivity, resourcefulness, compassion, and creativity, we can implement change—in our business and in our society.

10 Replies to “EDITOR’S NOTE: SHATTERED STOREFRONTS, UNBROKEN DREAMS”

  1. the leaders of the store lootings were done by theives.they came by car and stole things in the middle of the night.this had nothing to do with the legitamte protests of the horrible murder of george floyd.

    1. Karen,
      Your notation that “the pent-up anger and frustration among people of color is understandable”. Karen, respectfully, the burning of cities, the looting, the violence, the effort to try to burn down Macys in NYC last night, Is not something I understand.

      That’s not First amendment rights, that’s terrorism . The events of last evening went way beyond freedom of speech. Perhaps I am wrong, but I cannot accept what I saw.
      My heart goes out to the store owners that were vandalized and intimated, and hurt.

    1. The death of Mr Floyd was murder, pure and simple. There is no excuse for what happened. All Americans should stand up for black lives matter NOW. The looters and destroyers are a disgrace to the memory of Mr Floyd. I am sure he would not approve of what this criminal element has done while we are trying to make peace in his name, and make sure this never happens again.

  2. fringe / extremist groups (anarchist and white supremacists) are flocking to the protests sites to put blames on minorities. It’s so well documented on the web, great video work. Actually confirmed by chiefs of police and mayors on national tv as well…

  3. What saddens me, in this whole magilla , is that we can’t respect each other , value human life & move forward. I respect the right of every man to involve themselves in their rights to peaceful demonstrations. The cockroaches & looters that showed up, deserve whatever comes their way ! To have this unfold during a Pandemic is unfathomable ! Here, as Retailers, we are declared as Non-Essential Businesses , having are livelihoods stripped from our stores , while trying to rebuild customer confidence. Those ignorant, useless human beings, need to be incarcerated. Certainly, this was another heinous act of cowardice by a white police officer against a black man. The fact these two may have known one another astounds me. The other officers that did not pull that pull that ass wipe off, makes them culpable. May they ROT in HELL !

  4. I, in no way, condone the behavior of the looters, but it is important not to take what they have done at face value. Scratch beneath the surface. Why were they looting? Answer, decades upon decades of broken promises, deceptive dealings, and out right lies by White America have left the gap between the “haves” and “have-nots” wider than ever. Looting is the symptom, IT IS NOT the problem. It’s time to fix the problem.

    1. It’s statements like this article that give people who want to destroy a pass to continue. These looters are taking advantage of a horrible death. STOP! They don’t care about rights because if they did they wouldn’t destroy other people’s rights! You are annoying facts of more deaths and horror is coming out of this rather than having a discussion. As always people would rather tell you what the world is doing wrong rather than come up ways to correct the wrong. People want to talk about black racism only, there is racism period! Racism for the black community, Jewish community, spanish community, Christian community, Muslim community…you can go on! Deaths of many human beings that are lost by HATE everyday. I didn’t even vote for this President, but to say he is the reason is pure insanity! Talk about HATE! Many speak from the mouths of spoiled children who have no idea what freedom truly is! America is the home of the FREE! America is a country with the greatest heart and opportunity! I know! I came from a country where you didn’t have rights as citizens. Where the government told you what to say or think. It saddens me that we are becoming a country that the media is telling us what we should feel and think instead of making our own conclusions on facts! I came from a country where the leaders used the news to tell us lies! I am the only one that sees that our news has becoming the voice of one party? Many have to see it! STOP allowing false facts and hatred to poison the minds of a nation is has more good than evil. Otherwise, America will become a country lost!

      1. I agree with Jaclyn Rice, I think the four Minneapolis cops should be tried for their crimes. But that is no excuse for looting and burning. How about justice for captain David Dorn and the others killed and hurt by rioters.

  5. The looting of stores has nothing to do with human right, civil rights, political favor or any other reason you can come with other than a group of no good, self serving opportunist who would steal from there own neighborhoods after rules of a pandemic which favored box stores as essential who could sell everything including “non-essential products” and my store as non essential who could not sell the same items. Either way is a loss for small retailers. Not sure which one is worse.

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