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Minority Business Owners Watch As Rioters Loot Their Small Businesses

After this week’s looting and ransacking in Manhattan and The Bronx, Lucy Hosley, a 69-year old co-owner of the Valentine Deli, was seen on a video posted to YouTube. “They tell me ‘Black Lives Matter.’ They’re lying…”I’m black, look what you did to my store.”

Hosley saw “around 30 young men and women overturning the shelves and causing chaos . . . They had bought cutting tools to break open the ATM and the cash register.”

At first she felt anger toward the looters. “But I can’t let hate consume me,” she said. “Many of them have been brought up in a society which believes they are worth nothing and they are acting on that. We will rebuild this store and it will serve this community again.”

She added: “You wanted to loot the store. You needed money. Get a job like I do. Stop stealing.”

Luckily, a GoFundMe had raised more than $114,600 for her store as of Friday. “This is our neighborhood. We’re trying to build it up and you tear it down,” she added.

Watching her business get looted, which she has been growing for the next six years, made her sick to her stomach. “We were lucky in that we didn’t have to close during the coronavirus,” she added, “but we have six employees who need salaries to feed their ­families.”

Oscar Izaguirre, 25, owns Oscar’s Gold & Diamonds on Grand Concourse in the Fordham section of The Bronx. His store was ransacked during Monday’s violence. He watched from home as a group of men wielding sledgehammers lifted the gate off its track, popped the lock and tried to loot the store. By the time Oscar, whose parents were immigrants, got to his store, there were gunshots ringing out in the night and fires on the street. He watched as they ransacked the store, fearing for his life. They broke cameras, bashed glass cases, destroyed the wiring, and knocked out ceiling tiles.

“By looting my store, you’re sending a message that I don’t deserve what I have. But I’m a minority, too. My family and I have worked our whole lives for this,” he wrote.