Don't shop turns into 'do for self' Boycott results in a new Black-owned gas station in Dallas communityBy Jihad Hassan Muhammad | Last updated: Jan 18, 2013 - 1:40:22 PM
Boycott results in a new Black-owned gas station in Dallas community
It related to spending hard-earned Black dollars with the Korean owner Thomas Pak at his Diamond Shamrock gas station located on Martin Luther King Blvd. Mr. Pak’s actions, which activists said had been disrespectful and extremely combative in dealing with the Black community for years culminated in a December of 2011 confrontation with Jeffery Muhammad, the Dallas representative of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam. The N.O.I. student minister of Muhammad Mosque No. 48 says he was told “go back to Africa,” called a monkey, a slave, and a “broke a-- n----r” by Mr. Pak after questions about minimum purchase requirements at the gas station.
Mr. Pak first denied that he used the slurs and insults but later tearfully apologized before news cameras amid a full scale protest that severely hurt his flow of business.
The protest which was organized by a united front including the N.O.I., Dr. Juanita Wallace and the NAACP, Pan-Africanists, the 5 Percent Nation of Gods and Earths, pastors, Cranston Alkebulan, Councilwoman Carolyn Davis and other political leaders. The protest became known as “Don’t Stop Don’t Shop” and a year later the efforts resulted in a new Black-owned gas station in South Dallas. At a Dec. 22 press conference, and grand opening of the new station, the Don’t Stop Don’t Shop movement held their heads high with a sense of triumph.
“It was in December of 1955 when the Montgomery Bus Boycott started and a year later in 1956 when it ended, so it is with our protest of the Korean store owner’s disrespect to the community, and a year later we now have our own gas station that belongs to the community,” said Dr. Wallace.
Don’t Stop Don’t Shop protests garnered attention from high ranking officials in Dallas and throughout the country. Everyone from Mayor Mike Rawlings, to members of the U.S. Justice Dept. were interested in the outcome of the protest and how it would affect Black-Korean relations.
Many in the Black community shared displeasure with the Korean businessman’s disrespect. Arthur Carpenter, a Dallas resident, said he was disrespected and beaten unconscious by the store owner, suffering a concussion and brain injury. Another area resident, Fred Murphy, said, “I have seen them throw water on young girls, and take out sticks to beat people with it; they are very disrespectful to anybody that walks in there.”
In December 2011, Mr. Muhammad said, “We want an end to the mistreating, and price gouging in our community. We want an end to them imposing minimum purchase requirements on debit cards in our own community. We are saying to our people, as the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has instructed us to do, that we need to pool our resources and open up businesses in our own community. We must own where we live.”
His words did not go unheeded as Dr. Sherwin Allen, an educator and regional businessman, heard him loud and clear. Dr. Allen purchased a Shamrock gas station minutes away from the Korean-owned station.
“Minister Muhammad asked me to come to a meeting, I saw how organized the Muslims, and Christians, and people in the community were, so I was inspired to get this gas station,” said Dr. Allen. The gas station has a friendly, clean and respectful environment, and as of press time, regular unleaded gasoline was 25 cent lower per gallon than most area gas stations.
Mr. Allen is known throughout the Dallas area for his dedication to education and success as principal of Maynard Jackson High School and other achievements within the Dallas Independent School District. Mr. Allen is now the head of the Children First Elementary Schools in Dallas and Houston. His schools have made the Governor’s Honor Roll for performance in education.
Community leaders Muhammad, Wallace, Councilwoman Davis and others with the Don’t Stop Don’t Shop movement plan to organize more action for economic development for Dallas’ southern sector. Dr. Allen plans to be a part of the effort. “This is possibly one of a chain of gas stations. I am following Minister Muhammad’s lead,” he said.