September 11, 2020

$50M Kenosha Damage Hurts Minority Communities Hardest

Twitter: @Julio_Rosas11

After days of looting and rioting in Kenosha, Wis. last week, small business owners are starting to pick up the pieces of their looted and burned businesses. As the destruction is surveyed, it is starting to become clear that minority communities were hit the hardest by the violence.

Articles by the Foundation for Economic Education and the Wall Street Journal show how these communities are hit hardest in the wake of the rioting in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 23.

At a minimum, 56 businesses were damaged or destroyed by the looting or arson, according to the Wall Street Journal—the damage estimates are around $50 million.

“The destruction has left shop owners in one of Kenosha’s oldest business districts grappling with why their businesses became casualties of the destruction that has followed protests against racism and police brutality, and whether they will have the money to rebuild and stay in the neighborhood,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “While Kenosha’s population is 79.5% white and 11.5% Black, according to census data, locals say the Uptown neighborhood is one of the city’s most diverse areas, with a majority of minority-owned businesses.”

The rioters may have been protesting violence and discrimination against Black people, but the damage they caused affected this very group.

“I always think that people have the right to protest—to peacefully protest—but this goes beyond that,” Abel Alejo, owner of La Estrella Supermarket said. “They were destroying the neighborhoods that they want to protect.”

The damage was widespread throughout the city.

To read the full report of the impacts on minority neighborhoods and businesses, click here.

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