Members of the Nation of Islam confronted an Asian beauty supply store owner after a cell phone video of him choking a Black woman went viral.
“Sorry is not hard to say,” a male member tells Missha Beauty owner Sung Ho Lim of Charlotte, N.C., in a video that went public Tuesday, March 14.
“A proper sorry takes time to think through,” an Asian woman responds. “He’s just saying, ‘I’m sorry.'”
The NOI member tells Lim their request for a meaningful apology is open for 24 hours and warns him that the longer he waits, “the longer your store will be financially challenged.”
“So it’s on you,” the man says. “Y’all can wait. You can wait a month. But, do know that people will be out here demonstrating.”
Protesters arrived outside the store after the Thursday, March 9, incident where Lim accused a Black woman of stealing eyelashes. In the raw video, Lim kicked the woman before he and another Asian worker wrestled her to the ground. Lim then put her in a chokehold and let up only when other customers urged him to do so.
The male NOI member related the action to the police choking death of Eric Garner in 2014, but a female NAACP member shut down the comparison.
“Black women are to be cherished,” she says. “The whole point is, we’re not gonna compare this to anyone else. You offended the entire community because you attacked the queens of our community. You came into this country to better your family? Well, we built this country on the backs of our people and you said in one second that we didn’t matter.”
Lim filed a police report for strong-armed robbery, but the video doesn’t capture the moment the woman allegedly stole the eyelashes. It begins after the woman, who is inside the store, tells Lim, “Check my bag. I’m telling you I don’t have it.”
Lim has not been charged and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the woman “has not been identified or arrested.”