Cuban Business Owner: BLM Activists Using ‘Mafia Tactics’ to Intimidate People
List of demands sent to businesses in Louisville
A Cuban immigrant business owner has called out Black Lives Matter protesters for using what he terms as “mafia tactics" for their recent demands in Louisville, Ky.
But Fernando Martinez, who owns a restaurant group with several Hispanic eateries, objected to the threatening letter and posted on Facebook to show his concern.
Martinez accused BLM of using “mafia tactics."
"There comes a time in life that you have to make a stand, and you have to really prove your convictions and what you believe in. All good people need to denounce this. How can you justified (sic) injustice with more injustice?”
Business owners in the area received letters from protesters who demanded more diversity in workplaces.
At La Bodeguita De Mima on E. Market St, where members of Louisville’s Cuban community are gathering to show support for owner Fernando Martinez. He said he was threatened by BLM protesters, who sent letters to business owners in NuLu demanding to improve diversity in the area. pic.twitter.com/sFJR5c0KNM— David J. Kim (@_DavidJKim) August 2, 2020
Some of the demands included:
- Adequately represent the Black population of Louisville by having a minimum of 23% Black staff.
- Purchase a minimum of 23% inventory from Black retailers or make a recurring monthly donation of 1.5% of net sales to a local Black nonprofit or organization
- Require diversity and inclusion training for all staff members on a bi-annual basis
- Display a visible sign that increases awareness and shows support for the reparations movement.
- Also, the activist group warned of repercussions if businesses fail to submit to their demands.
Lead supply organizer for BLM Louisville chapter, Phelix Crittenden, created a group called "Blacks Organizing Strategic Success," which claims to be "creative cooperative designed to level the playing field" and "empowering minorities with business resources & networking opportunities."
"We're holding Louisville businesses accountable, and we're starting in Nulu. We will give businesses the standard 25-30 days to remedy any violation," the site states.
"We will offer them a realistic opportunity & resources to raise their grade."
"I hate the word demands," Rick Murphy, the president of the NuLu Business Association, said.
NuLu protesters' demands posted on East Market Street. East Market is blocked between Clay and Shelby Streets. Protesters unloaded three trucks of barricades, buffet tables, canopies, even a piano to "occupy" the area. pic.twitter.com/od87L2Js5l— Chris Turner (@ChrisTurnerWDRB) July 24, 2020
"It's bullying, it's mean. We look at what they've given us as goals. I don't embrace demands from anyone."
"No one can demand something of me, particularly if they accompany that demand with some sort of threat or doing harm to businesses. Right now is the wrong time to try to do harm to businesses."