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Alcohol's Toll on Families and Neighborhoods

February 14, 1993

Concerning the rebuilding of the Korean-owned liquor stores in South-Central Los Angeles: The issue is not that the stores are primarily owned by Koreans, the issue is that my Korean brother has been used and made a scapegoat by a capitalistic, racist society.

The issue is alcohol in South-Central. Alcohol is one of America's largest cash crops. It is a legal and condoned form of genocide, slow in its effects but mighty in its blow. I watched in horror as two good human beings--my parents--almost killed themselves with alcohol. It destroyed my family, my relationship with my family, it destroyed my childhood and my neighborhood.

While most kids my age were children living in a world of make-believe, I lived in a world of tragedy. Alcohol is bad. It is imperative to see the correlation between the depravation of the black neighborhood and alcohol.

Those arguing over the solution to this problem need to weigh the consequences of alcohol consumption and choose a better solution than rebuilding liquor stores.

Koreans can still be in business in South-Central; they could contribute to the betterment of the area, perhaps by providing stores that offer other needed products, and in return would be better received in those neighborhoods.

If the buzzwords for the '90s are to be change and family values, let us stop poisoning the minds of my Korean brothers into thinking that it is OK to poison the families of black people.

Let us stop chasing the symptoms of the problem and cut to the source of the problem. Let us come together to make a change for South-Central, for Los Angeles, for your family and mine.



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