An immigrant owner of a kosher cafe in downtown Los Angeles, Asher Shalom, has been targeted by a local anti-Trump group and had his membership revoked from the City of Commerce after it was found out that he is a supporter of President Donald Trump and allegedly holds "anti-immigrant" views.
Ironically, Mr. Shalom legally immigrated to the United States 30 years ago and currently employs 65 immigrants, he told The Daily Wire.
Asher Caffé & Lounge was targeted by an anti-Trump group known as "Defend Boyle Heights" (DBH) with a fierce protest, calls for boycott, and slanderous social media posts because of Mr. Shalom's support for the president, his alleged "xenophobia," and the cafe's "gentrification" to the neighborhood.
On July 12, DBH posted a "hood alter" via Facebook to inform their followers that Mr. Shalom's cafe must not be allowed in their community. "This is why we have to make sure that anti immigrant forces who are openly supporting Donald Trump and his current campaign of terror not step foot in our hood," reads the post. "We have come to learn that the owner of [Asher Caffé & Lounge] is an out and proud xenophobe and Trump supporter. He is also part of the #GentryClass trying to bring more alcohol into the community."
The business' Thursday grand opening was specifically targeted by the group. "Word on the street has it that he is having a special event tomorrow. ... As Defend Boyle Heights we call on you to Boycott this Trump Supporting Gentry Business. Show up tomorrow and let them know that the Gentry Trump Supporters are NOT welcomed in our hood in any creative way you please!!!"
DBH's post included screenshots of Mr. Shalom's Twitter account retweeting Trump. This is apparently evidence of his "xenophobia."
In another post, the group said they were "not f***ing around when we say Asher Shalom" is "anti immigrant and [a] proud Trump supporter!"
"We cannot allow this foo to open up shop in our hood!" the post continued. "We already know the dangers the Gentry bring to our communities with their trigger happy hands to call the cops on regular hood shit. Now we have #GentryTrumpSupporters trying to creep into our hoodz and make money off the communities they hate so much! F*** em!"
After the calls to boycott Shalom were made public by the group, the Boyle Heights Chamber of Commerce rescinded Mr. Shalom’s membership, boycotted the establishment's grand opening (which they were set to attend), and returned his paid dues.
Chamber president Jennifer Lahoda insists that the action was taken not because of the owner's support for the president, but because of two alleged anti-immigrant posts on social media. "We rescinded his membership Tuesday because of public statements he made regarding immigrants that are not in line with the chamber’s values and objectives," said Lahoda, according to Boyle Heights Beat.
The Daily Wire reached out to the Boyle Heights Chamber of Commerce on Monday for clarification on the supposed "anti-immigrant" posts, but did not receive a reply in time for publication.
However, some of the apparently unacceptable posts highlighted by DBH included Mr. Shalom merely retweeting the president and sharing a post that says, "I wish Democrats would fight as hard for Americans, as they do for illegals."
This is not exactly damning stuff.
On Thursday, the DBH showed up to protest the cafe, chanting, "These racists have got to go," "Gentry get the f*** out," and other obscenities. One group member recording the protest criticized that "they have all the POC [people of color] cops" out to provide protection for the establishment and customers. There were also members taunting the officers on duty, saying "pigs in a blanket" and "a pig is a pig no matter what title." Moreover, customers walking in and out of the cafe were harassed by protesters literally shouting "Shame! Shame! Shame!" and "Get the f*** out!" as they passed by.
"There were also a lot of anti-Semitic slurs thrown throughout the night and pro-Palestinian chants," David Shalom, the owner's son, told The Daily Wire. "We received numerous death threats on the phone and online," he added.
"I immigrated to this country 30 years ago and I am blessed and grateful to have been a part of the Downtown LA community ever since," said Mr. Shalom in a statement provided to The Daily Wire. "Boyle Heights is home and it’s where I’ve started my businesses including Asher Caffe & Lounge. All I’ve wanted to do is support and help my Boyle Heights community and open my cafe’s doors to all – everyone has and always will be welcomed. Through our businesses we have proudly created hundreds of jobs for the community, most of whom are immigrants themselves – and are great friends and family. As an immigrant myself, I wholeheartedly support hiring fellow immigrants."
Mr. Shalom reiterated his support for local law enforcement. "Our cafe proudly extends a 40% off to all of our hardworking and tireless law enforcement, fire departments, CHP and armed forces (army, navy, air force, marines, coast guard)," he said. "I humbly support and donate to various organizations within my community such as local churches and schools."
"Asher Caffé & Lounge will always be open to all of you and the entire community," he stated.
Shalom said he currently employs 65 immigrants. "We've been creating jobs here in downtown for 30 years."