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Hey, Let's Ban Bulletproof Glass

Ensoniq

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#1
we can't have constituents suffering the indignity, so safety and personal protection be damned

"Philadelphia councilwoman Cindy Bass has introduced a controversial bill that would require business owners to take down any bulletproof glass they have in their businesses, and not allow future installation."

Snip..

“The most important thing is safety and the public’s safety,” Rich Kim, the owner of Broad Deli, told WTXF. His family has run the deli, which sells soda, snacks, meals, and beer by the can, for 20 years.

Kim said that he had the bulletproof glass installed after a shooting, and that it saved his mother-in-law from a knife attack."

Snip..

"Bass was more concerned about customer’s feelings, and said her constituents shouldn’t have to suffer the indignity of shopping through bulletproof glass."

Snip...

“Right now, the Plexiglas has to come down,” she said.

What a dumbass - BP GLASS is lexan or generically polycarbonate. Plexiglass won't stop a bullet, maybe that's what we need to ensure our representative's windows are made from.

WTF does she think she is to tell a private citizen how to defensively layout his store.

https://www.themaven.net/bluelivesm...of-glass-in-businesses-Saf1_mzuD0qK2UuImYTtkQ
 

solarion

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Obviously Bass' actions are dictated by her "feelings" rather than common sense or for any respect for private property rights.
She should call this the "criminal enabler act".
Given the way politicians like to name bills the exact opposite of what they're actually intended to accomplish, I suspect if such a bill were before CONgress it'd be called something like "The Safe Neighborhoods Act".
 

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All duly elected officials should be required to wear neon colored bulls eye uniforms at all times.
Further, all security measures, including bullet-proof glass, should be removed from their publicly funded work and meeting places.
 

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Another Liberal city, that wants to ensure law abiding citizens are not armed. If someone cannot be armed for self defense, then other security measures are needed to protect you from the thugs.

How about banning dogs? They can be harmful and intimidating to thugs. You wonder if the criminal element is paying her under the table.
 
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DodgebyDave

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#11
Cindy Bass says that these stores are the cause of many of the problems......in a district that she doesn't even live in.

Many of the stores are owned by Koreans.

I think that Cindy just doesn't like yellow people
 

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#13
This is a prime example of why government needs to stop telling people how to operate their business. Will they outlaw alarm systems next?
 

Ensoniq

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If it moves - tax it
If it keeps moving - regulate it
If it stops moving - subsidize it

As Regean knew, government can find a need for itself anywhere
 

latemetal

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Amazing how many podunk town halls are getting security doors and armed guards, I wonder what they know?
 

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#16
Bulletproof beer delis and Cindy Bass' misguided hot potato | Stu Bykofsky
Updated: December 5, 2017 — 5:55 PM EST Columnist
Stu Bykofsky



At the end of a long City Council committee hearing Monday, Councilwoman Cindy Bass’ proposal on protective partitions in beer deli restaurants appeared to have been shunted to the Department of Licenses and Inspections.

It appeared that L&I was ordered to write regulations to ban plexiglass partitions in beer delis, but L&I Commissioner David Perri told me Tuesday that is not true. L&I is authorized to write regulations banning partitions, or leaving them alone, or fashioning a compromise, which is the path he prefers. For the present, everything is frozen.

Last month, Bass engaged in unjustified meddling in business when she introduced legislation to ban the bullet-resistant windows from use inside restaurants. This was aimed mostly at so-called beer delis, often in low-income neighborhoods, that sell beer and malt liquor.

Bass’ idea hit a nerve, partly because of the ban itself, but also because of the reason she gave: The barriers hurt some peoples’ feelings.

“It’s an indignity” to be served by someone behind a bulletproof wall, Bass said, and several neighborhood residents at Monday’s hearing agreed, saying they felt distrusted.

Oddly, the ban was aimed only at larger restaurants, with 30 or more seats, but not smaller takeouts with fewer than 30 seats, which could keep the barriers. If it’s all about dignity, that didn’t make sense to me, but I couldn’t get an answer from Bass before deadline.

I have no doubt about Bass’ sincerity or that of her supporters. But sincerity isn’t always rationality.

How do they feel buying a subway token from a clerk in a bulletproof booth? How about having to pass money through a bulletproof window when paying their cab fare?

Do they feel distrusted when facing bulletproof glass at police districts, bank offices, check-cashing services, gas stations, and even some churches? No one likes it, but who gets insulted over it?

Feeling “disrespected” by plexiglass barriers reflects a victimhood mentality in which slights are manufactured and inflated.

And all this gets compounded by race.

Many of these so-called stop-and-go stores are in neighborhoods of mainly African American and Hispanic residents, while most of the owners are Korean and Chinese Americans.

Merchants who put up plexiglass walls didn’t do it for the fun of it. They did it because they feel threatened.

At Monday’s hearing of the Committee on Public Health and Human Services, it was residents’ feelings versus merchants’ fears.

Adam Xu, the chairman of the Asian American Licensed Beverage Association of Philadelphia, said a ban would lead to merchants arming themselves, and making the city less safe.

He has 230 members in Philadelphia, mostly in high-crime areas, and 90 percent have protective windows, he told me. The plexiglass, he said, is why his members have suffered no fatalities in more than a decade.

City Council would take that security away. That can’t be right.

“Our lives are in your hands,” said Xu in his testimony.

Some store owners were practically in tears when they talked about past assaults without safety barriers and their fear of future assaults.

“Will you be responsible if a store owner or worker or customer gets killed?” asked Kevin Kim, 53, a Korean American whose parents once owned a grocery in West Philly.

That’s when the Council committee handed the hot potato to L&I, which can take up to three years to decide. Don’t expect a quick outcome.

http://www.philly.com/philly/column...sguided-hot-potato-stu-bykofsky-20171205.html
 

Ensoniq

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There are other solutions

 

DodgebyDave

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One of the local banks are set up now so that you have to clear a metal detector to get though the second set of doors. Before, they were robbed every week. They haven't been robbed since.
 

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#22
I have a feeling that Cindy Bass may not spend time in some of the neighborhoods where merchants have the glass. Some are pretty bad in daytime..........stone dangerous at night. Whole lotta bad things going on. I don't blame the shop owners one bit.
 

solarion

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I have a feeling that Cindy Bass may not spend time in some of the neighborhoods where merchants have the glass. Some are pretty bad in daytime..........stone dangerous at night. Whole lotta bad things going on. I don't blame the shop owners one bit.
Only a fool would. These are businesses just trying to survive. Nobody forces anyone to frequent them, so if these precious snowflakes are oh so hurt that these shops employ ballistic glass to protect their employees...why don't they just boycott them? Simply don't go there...or better yet open up competing businesses that don't employ security features. Surely people will flock to these new businesses since they'll make people feel far more comfortable while shopping.

Instead these lazy jerkweeds want goobermint to employ their monopoly on legal violence to force business owners to comply with their "feelings". It's really quite pathetic.
 

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#24
Beer deli debate runs much deeper than bulletproof glass issues | Perspective
Updated: December 12, 2017 — 5:40 AM EST
by Nia Ngina Meeks, For Philly.com




The current furor bursting at City Hall about bulletproof glass transported me back to Lancaster Avenue, where, well ahead of gentrification or university advancements, my family owned and operated a corner store in the 1980s.

After school and weekends found me there, alongside my parents. I stocked shelves, made sales, cleaned the counter – including our two-foot-high glass partition.

The glass showcased our wares and provided a sanitation barrier, but had an unobstructed opening to transact business. Plenty of people came through the door, because we welcomed and served any and everyone – kids, workers, returning citizens, retirees, and sometimes people who were drunk, homeless, or addicted.

We weren’t from West Philly, but smiles and greetings with “Sirs” and “Ma’ams” helped ease away distrust. So did our good relations with fellow shop owners – including Wolff Cycle at the top of the block, Dwight’s BarBQue, Freddy’s Barbershop, and Frank and Belle’s Mobil tire and gas station across the street.

If you worked or lived in the area or caught the 10 trolley there, you probably popped in for soda, snacks, candy, pantry items, or a lottery ticket. Before long, we were trading recipes, praising report cards, sharing laughs, and mourning losses with all.

But none of that goodwill stopped a man from entering the store one day with a gun, seeking to hold up my mom, who was working alone. She managed to steal away and call the police. That spooked the crook and he ran away. But he just as easily could have killed her, because we didn’t have a bulletproof partition.

Up to that point, safety hadn’t really been a big concern for us. Per our invitation, police visited regularly and signed our log. We knew most of our customers by face, if not by name. After that robbery attempt, I doubt any of them would have begrudged us had we swapped for a more secure partition. It had scared us, as shop owners trying to do the right thing.

That’s the tickle line in this current debate.

The language Councilwoman Cindy Bass inserted calling for removing the partitions at stop-and-go shops may heed some constituent concerns regarding businesses not doing the right thing, but it also harkens back to other unresolved issues.

Many underserved African American neighborhoods have watched the area bars of my grandfather’s day give way to establishments that seem more interested in aggravating and exploiting community weakness for profit. Behavior that wouldn’t be tolerated elsewhere – whether it’s selling alcohol early in the morning or treating customers as less-than, if not criminals – feels too common.

This long has been part of a standing gripe among these residents, particularly when “others” stream in and set up shop, but bypass living, mingling, or shopping – let alone hiring – in the neighborhoods where they operate.

For many, that bulletproof glass represents the final insult, physically standing as a shield, as if those spending their money there are but a horde of savages rather than law-abiding citizens.

Clearly, efforts to provide safer environments by making operators opt for being a beer distributor, convenience store, or restaurant would help lessen criminal magnetism. And creating viable eateries, with seating, bathrooms, and all, would be a community value-add.

But it’s easy enough to let poor business practices by some owners mitigate actual fears of others doing the right thing. Many well-intentioned business owners may be reticent after having faced snubs or even threats from locals, feeling pressures to feed their families or hearing stories of loved ones snatched by a bullet while working. If safety is a concern, as a business owner, bulletproof glass should be an available option.

All business license holders should help to foster community, regardless of a neighborhood’s economic level. There remain many legitimate perspectives on this issue, all deserving honest airing and not just recriminations. We should press to make that happen as we move forward as a city.

Because at the end of the day, this is about more than just bulletproof glass.

Nia Ngina Meeks, a fifth-generation Philadelphian, is a communications strategist and freelance writer. Follow her at @nmpurpose.

http://www.philly.com/philly/opinio...-bass-philadelphia-city-council-20171212.html
 

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#25
City Council OKs bill that could force beer deli owners to remove safety windows
Updated: December 14, 2017 — 8:16 PM EST

by Julie Shaw, Staff writer

Despite strong opposition from Asian American beer deli owners and their supporters, Philadelphia City Council voted, 14-3, Thursday to approve a bill that most members said would enhance neighborhoods, but that the merchants fear could jeopardize their safety and livelihood.

Mayor Kenney’s office said he would sign the bill.

City Councilwoman Cindy Bass introduced the bill Nov. 2 as part of an effort to rid the city of what she has called illegal stop-and-go outlets. Although much of the bill involves categorizing food establishments by size for city licensing purposes, one paragraph generated huge protests and polarized communities, exposing fissures involving race, class, and perceptions of immigrants.

That paragraph called for banning bullet-resistant windows in large food establishments. Beer deli owners were affected because state law requires them to have at least 30 seats. Many of the owners, who are largely Asian American, decried the bill, saying removing the safety windows would expose them to being robbed, injured, or killed. But Bass called such windows, which separate food servers from customers, “an indignity.”

On Dec. 4, Council’s Committee on Public Health and Human Services amended the bill, removing the mandatory window ban on large establishments, and instead instructing the Department of Licenses and Inspections to issue by Jan. 1, 2021, regulations for “the use or removal of any physical barrier” in places that serve food and alcohol. The amended bill was unanimously approved that day by the committee.

But beer deli owners and their supporters still saw the amended bill as risking their lives.

Just before the full Council vote Thursday, Bass said the bill was a culmination of 25 years of work to eliminate stop-and-go outlets that sell drug paraphernalia, fruit-flavored cigarillos, and candy for children next to alcohol for adults. “Sometimes they sell food. Mostly they don’t,” she said. “They aren’t delis. … They’re the modern-day pusher.”

“We’re going to say goodbye to the breakfast-booze spots,” she said, to some applause.

Hundreds of beer deli owners and their supporters showed up Thursday to protest the bill. During a public-comment period before the vote, Council President Darrell L. Clarke said he was allowing 10 people on each side to speak against, then for, the bill.

When Adam Xu, chairman of the Asian American Licensed Beverage Association, who has been a vocal opponent of the bill, approached a microphone to speak, he was told he could not do so because 10 people already had spoken against the bill.

Mouy Chheng, the first to speak against, said her 19-year-old son was fatally shot by two armed robbers at the family’s South Philly convenience store in 2003 when it did not have a bullet-resistant window.

Peter Ly, a West Philly beer deli owner who made news after he was shot three times in December 2011 when he went to deposit money at a Cheltenham bank, told Council of another incident a decade ago when he was shot six times during a gunpoint robbery at a beer deli he then owned on Lehigh Avenue in North Philadelphia with no bullet-resistant window. He has a partition in his current business.

“If you take down my bulletproof glass,” he said, “I will not be lucky next time.”

City Councilman David Oh, a Korean American who has opposed the bill specifically because business owners could be ordered to remove their safety-glass windows, said he feared removing them could increase crime and cause more proprietors to buy guns. “I will not expose [beer deli owners] or anyone else to the risk that they could be killed,” he said.

Oh and Council members Allan Domb and Mark Squilla voted against the bill.

Although many of the bill’s opponents were Asian American and many supporters African American, not every speaker’s position was predictable by race.

The Rev. Robert Shine, an African American who is pastor of Berachah Baptist Church on Limekiln Pike in East Germantown, asked Council to reconsider the section of the bill dealing with protective windows. Removing the windows “would certainly expose proprietors to greater hazards or dangers,” he said.

And Councilwoman Helen Gym, a Korean American, voted for the bill, eliciting boos from beer deli owners and applause from African American residents.

The bill seeks to address “irresponsible businesses” that promote addictions, she said. “At its heart,” she said, the amended bill seeks “to reject predatory practices that have hurt black and brown communities. This bill only targets the small fraction of businesses” that are not operating legally, she said.

Also speaking in support of the bill was Asa Khalif, a leader of Black Lives Matter Pennsylvania. “Stop-and-gos have always been a thorn in the side of black and brown communities. … Finally, black and brown people say enough is enough,” he said.

Rochelle Bilal, a retired Philadelphia police officer and president of the Guardian Civic League, an organization of black Philadelphia police officers, said a lot of beer delis “are a scourge” on neighborhoods. She said the bill was not about the partition windows, but “about human decency.”

Xu, the head of the beer deli group, which now represents 245 businesses, held a news conference across from City Hall before the hearing, standing with Chheng, the mother whose 19-year-old son, Luckily Ky, was killed in 2003. Xu said in a message to Council members: “You want to kill more people?”

Three African American men also spoke at the news conference, including Linwood Holland, chairman of the Philadelphia Black Republican Ward Leaders Caucus. “Bodies are not bulletproof, so we need this glass to protect everybody,” Holland said.

Mayoral spokeswoman Lauren Hitt, in a statement Tuesday, said the mayor planned to sign the bill if Council were to pass it Thursday. “To be clear,” she wrote, “the bill does not require the removal of plexiglass — it gives L&I three years to convene a diverse group of stakeholders to decide how the plexiglass issue is to be handled — that could mean L&I ultimately decides to leave the plexiglass as is, to remove it completely, or something in between.”

Asked if beer deli owners would be part of the group of stakeholders, she replied: “Of course.”

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/c...owners-to-remove-safety-windows-20171214.html
 

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#26
Stop-and-Go businesses are a scourge on Philly's poorest communities | Solomon Jones
Updated: December 13, 2017 — 9:02 AM EST
by Solomon Jones


The Stop-n-Go business model has long been a scourge in Philadelphia’s poorest communities. That’s why it’s so galling to see the owners of these nuisance businesses positioning themselves as victims in a battle over bulletproof glass.

In reality, it is the patrons who need to be bulletproof, because these businesses, some of which are unlicensed to sell beer at all, are operating at the margins of the poorest neighborhoods in the poorest big city in America. They are appealing to the worst urges of the people who patronize them, and lowering the quality of life for those who live nearby.

Councilwoman Cindy Bass has proposed legislation to help the city do what we’ve long sought — to shut down these nuisance establishments. I urge our Council representatives to support that legislation, because like any Philadelphian who has lived in the neighborhoods where these businesses thrive, I have seen what government negligence has allowed them to become. But my stories pale in comparison to the stories of others.

In the past few days as I’ve delved into this issue on my radio show, I’ve heard from listeners who’ve experienced violence and gunplay in and around the Stop-n-Go establishments, and from politicians who’ve bemoaned their sale of crack pipes, Phillie Blunts and cough syrup that can be turned into drugs.

But it was my assistant producer, 24-year-old Sakeenah Benjamin, who told the most harrowing tale. The year was 2004, and her cousin, Lamont Savage, was shot dead outside the Stop-n-Go at the corner of S. Dewey and Market Streets in West Philadelphia. Sakeenah was 10 years old at the time, and the incident weighed so heavily on her that she wrote a letter to then-Mayor John Street.

“My name is Sakeenah Benjamin and I’m 10 years old,” read the handwritten letter, penned in purple ink and billowing cursive script. “My cousin got shot to death at 32 years old on January 28, 2004. And I miss him a lot. Today someone got shot again. But I thank the lord that my cousin doesn’t have to suffer anymore. Please Mayor John Street stop the violence because me, my mother, father, sister, niece and baby brother are so afraid that something might happen to us and our family.”

I asked Sakeenah if all the talk of Stop-n-Gos and the violence they breed brought back memories of her cousin’s death.

“Yeah it does,” Sakeenah told me. “Because as we’ve been talking about it that’s the only thing I can really think of because I have experience with it. The [Stop-n-Go stores] should be gone. They’re bringing crime and violence into the communities and people lose their loved ones.”

Unfortunately they’re not gone. And while then-Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson paid a visit to her family to offer his condolences after Sakeenah’s letter to the mayor, the store where her cousin was killed remains open, as do Stop-n-Go stores in poor neighborhoods throughout the city.

They remain open, in part, because the enforcement of such establishments has been lax for decades.

I spoke with Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board spokesperson Elizabeth Brassell, who told me that some of the establishments operate with no license at all, while others have not been adhering to the terms of the state-issued liquor licenses they’ve been granted.

For example, some Stop-n-Go establishments operate under Restaurant licenses, which require seating for 30 or more people and 400 square feet of space. Restaurant license holders can sell beer, wine or liquor for customers to consume on the premises. They can also sell beer to go.

Other Stop-n-Go establishments operate under Eating Place licenses, which require less space and seating for 30 people, but only allow customers to drink beer on the premises.

Until this year, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board could only object to a license being renewed after its two-year cycle was completed. The licensee could appeal to Common Pleas Court, and without evidence of bad acts, such as murders taking place in or around the business, a judge could and often did overturn the objection.

During the two-to-three year appeal process the business gets to keep operating. There were 99 objections filed in Philadelphia by the PLCB in 2016. Brassell couldn’t tell me how many of those licenses were revoked because appeals are ongoing for many of them.

The unit charged with ongoing enforcement is a unit of the Pennsylvania State Police called the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement. Calls to that unit were not returned by press time.

The state has passed new legislation called Act 44. Starting in January, it gives the PLCB more powers to investigate and yank licenses from Stop-n-Go businesses.

I spoke with state Sen. Anthony Williams, who along with suburban Republicans, helped to shepherd through the legislation. He believes it has potential to make the state board more effective.

But Philadelphians are the ones who are living — and dying — in the neighborhoods where Stop-n-Go businesses thrive. With the new legislation from Councilwoman Bass, Philadelphia will have more power to shut them down.

That legislation must be passed.

Solomon Jones is the author of 10 books. Listen to him weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon on Praise 107.9 FM.

http://www.philly.com/philly/column...es-time-to-shut-down-stop-n-gos-20171212.html
 

Joe King

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#27
Stop-and-Go businesses are a scourge on Philly's poorest communities
What am I missing here? Why are Stop and Go's a scourge? Where I live they are a gas station/convenience stores. Why does Philly think convenience stores are a bad thing?
 

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#28
What am I missing here? Why are Stop and Go's a scourge? Where I live they are a gas station/convenience stores. Why does Philly think convenience stores are a bad thing?
Damned if I know.
 

searcher

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#30
Then where is Philly's code enforcement people? Or Pa's drug and alcohol commission?
Hiding out, hanging at a bar, running a side business and collecting a nice pay check.
 

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#31
I'd be all for removing the barriers, if all the government offices have them removed.

There is a reason why there are barriers between us and the unwashed masses.
 

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#33
My guess is that by allowing an easy target for shoplifting, they think that there will be less home invasions, and robberies/stick-ups elsewhere in the community.

Also from my experience I have noticed that these places are usually where all the local drug dealers and hookers/ boozers hang out --- if you are in a large city, that's where all the illegal action starts (the alleys behind these places). Maybe this is just a way to try to put them out of business and move all of the crime to another area?
 

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#35
Lets say they do get rid of these places. Does anyone actually think that they will stop committing crimes ? Some derelict house in the neighborhood will be opened up to replace them by the mob or other gangs.
 

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#36
Lets say they do get rid of these places. Does anyone actually think that they will stop committing crimes ? Some derelict house in the neighborhood will be opened up to replace them by the mob or other gangs.
Yep. Used to call those bootleg houses.
 

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#37
Lets say they do get rid of these places. Does anyone actually think that they will stop committing crimes ? Some derelict house in the neighborhood will be opened up to replace them by the mob or other gangs.
I agree with you. At least convenience stores have video cameras, to record criminal activity.
 

Ensoniq

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#38
How dare these businesses organize to provide what their customers want - lol

The freakin evil of government on full display

Rather than be honest and ban what they don't want irregardless of the overreach, they'd prefer to risk their constituents lives with the bulletproof glass yarn..

Every productive member of Philly should abandon ship and leave the rats to fight amongst themselves
 

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#39
So.... you have black and/or brown people who want to buy booze for breakfast and glass pipes for lunch and butane torches for dinner... maybe a soda and a bag of chips for their children.
Then you have Asian folks who are willing to set up a little shop and sell them what it is they desire
Black and or brown people run out of money and decide they want it back.
Black and or brown people shoot and kill Asian people, take all of their monies and steal what ever else they can.
Asian people make it harder for black and or brown people to kill them and steal their shit.
Black and or brown people cry foul we need laws so we can kill them and take their shit again.We want our dignity back!
Asian folks say no thanks, pack up their shit and move away
Black and or brown people stop drinking and shooting junk and say "huh". They put on their work boots and become productive members of society. White picket fences pop up everywhere.

For more go to www.smoothnolongergivesashit.com
 

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#40
So.... you have black and/or brown people who want to buy booze for breakfast and glass pipes for lunch and butane torches for dinner... maybe a soda and a bag of chips for their children.
Then you have Asian folks who are willing to set up a little shop and sell them what it is they desire
Black and or brown people run out of money and decide they want it back.
Black and or brown people shoot and kill Asian people, take all of their monies and steal what ever else they can.
Asian people make it harder for black and or brown people to kill them and steal their shit.
Black and or brown people cry foul we need laws so we can kill them and take their shit again.
Asian folks say no thanks, pack up their shit and move away
Black and or brown people stop drinking and shooting junk and say "huh". They put on their work boots and become productive members of society. White picket fences pop up everywhere.
Then you woke up and the dream was over