Louisville business owner Fadi Faouri battled with Black Lives Matter activists this weekend while he was protecting his store from potential looters and rioters who’ve savaged the city over the past four months, ostensibly over grievances pertaining to supposed racial injustices.
In video captured by a Daily Caller reported, Faouri — who immigrated to America as a teen without knowing the language and with only “$100 in his pocket” — is leaning against his store window with gun in-hand when activists swarm him and ask for his verbal support of Black Lives Matter and to agree that “Breonna Taylor matters.”
The businessman refuses to promote the radical activist group and emphasizes that he “doesn’t see color” but looks as people as “human beings.”
“Does Breonna Taylor matter?” one activist asks Faouri.
“I don’t know,” he responds.
“How you don’t know that it matters?” one female activist tells him, as others continue to badger the storeowner.
“I’m protecting my business,” he tells one of the protesters who does not appear on video badgering Faouri.
Mr. Faouri told the New York Post that he’s been protecting his storefront for months and was trying to move his location. The place he was leasing, however, was burned down by rioters last week, just as he was finishing up the renovations.
“Get them out of here,” Faouri later says of the protesters.
“The fact that you’re intimidated shows your true color,” says one of the female protesters who stays behind. “… Do you know how many people came around Breonna Taylor?”
“That’s none of my f***ing business,” Faouri responds, later adding that he does care that “all lives matter.”
“You can say all lives matter … you can say blue lives matter, it’s the color ‘black’ that is the issue,” the woman says to Faouri.
“You have an issue with that … I don’t have an issue with that because I don’t see color — white or black bulls***,” Faouri retorts. “I see you as a human being. I see you as a human being. That’s all I care about.”
#BLM protesters approach small business owner Fadi Faouri and demand he say "Black Lives Matter" he refused. A building that Faouri was leasing was firebombed last night in #Louisville pic.twitter.com/mhC5sVo8lF
— Jorge Ventura Media (@VenturaReport) September 26, 2020
“Stuff is being damaged on a nightly basis, people are shooting at each other every night,” Faouri recently told the Post of the destruction in Louisville. “Every night we have a new store that got looted. They break in, they take whatever and go. They walk away.”
“I was basically finishing the paint and all kinds of stuff and it got burned to the ground,” the businessman said of his potential new business location recently torched by rioters.
Faouri said protesters are fine as long as they are not violent, or trying to force him to say something . “They cannot force me to say something I don’t want to say,” he said. “… They try to force me to do stuff that I don’t want to do, and I will not do.”
“If I made it in this country with no language whatsoever when I came in, and $100 in my pocket, nobody has any right to say they can’t make it in this country,” the businessman said, adding, “There’s a different way and better ways to handle this. What they’re doing, they’re doing it wrong.”
Of course, Faouri isn’t the only business owner to be harassed by activists and protesters in Louisville.
According to a report from the Courier-Journal, dozens of businesses in NuLu, a small commercial district in downtown Louisville, have been hit with race-based demands from activists.
As laid out by the outlet, the activists’ list of demands include the following:
- Employ more black people
- Purchase more inventory from black retailers
- Undergo diversity training
Activist Phelix Crittenden outlined three “rankings” local businesses can score: “A” for “Ally,” “C” for “Complicit,” and “F” for “Failed.”
To gain the top rating of “Ally,” a business would have to have the following:
- 23% of staff is “BIPOC,” meaning “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color”
- 23% of inventory is purchased from BIPOC
- Give “regular” donations to BIPOC organizations
- Dress code policy doesn’t “discriminate” against BIPOC
While some business owners have already signed “contracts” to comply with the demands and acknowledge alleged gentrification of the area, some business owners are standing firm.
Restaurateur and Cuban immigrant Fernando Martinez, for example, slammed the activists for their “mafia tactics.”
“There comes a time in life that you have to make a stand and you have to really prove your convictions and what you believe in,” Martinez said in a Facebook post. “… All good people need to denounce this. How can you justified (sic) injustice with more injustice?”
“If you and I can sit down as human beings that we are without screaming at each other, without calling each other names, without offending each other, we can come to an understanding,” Martinez told a protester. “… How is destroying our business going to bring any justice?”
Additionally, Lisa Kahl-Hillerich, owner of boutique Roxy Nell, refused to meet their demands and took issue with the activists’ judgement of her.
“Kahl-Hillerich said she works with a Black photographer and regularly hires Black models for her advertisements,” the Courier-Journal outlined. “Her shop’s custom jeans are made by a vendor in Gambia, Africa, and she also employs someone who immigrated from there.”
“When they put the letter in the store and I read it, I thought, ‘You guys don’t even know me, you don’t know my business and how hard I’ve worked to make sure that we have diversity,” said Kahl-Hillerich. “I was hurt and felt very defensive. I felt like we were set up from the very beginning to not work well together.”
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