Minneapolis Looters Destroy Black Man’s Dream Business Before It Even Opens

Written by  Michael Tennant

Minneapolis Looters Destroy Black Man’s Dream Business Before It Even OpensRioters claiming they are fighting racism in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death are, in many cases, harming the very people they purport to defend. Case in point: a black firefighter whose life savings literally went up in smoke as looters destroyed the Minneapolis sports bar he was preparing to open and burned down the building.

Korboi Balla, a firefighter with the Brooklyn Center Fire Department, sank everything he had into Scores Sports Bar, his dream business. The bar was set to open in March, but the opening had to be delayed because of the state’s shelter-in-place order. Balla was gearing up for a June grand opening when the riots broke out. By Thursday, much of the bar had been destroyed.

“I don’t know what we’re going to do,” Balla, holding back tears, told CBS This Morning Thursday. “It hurts, man. It’s not fair, it’s not right. We’ve been working so hard for this place. It’s not just for me, it’s for my family.” Balla and his wife, Twyana Balla, have four children.

The looters didn’t let up even as the Ballas were being interviewed by CBS. “As we were standing in the front of the restaurant, people where [sic] in the back trying to steal the safe!” Twyana Balla posted on Facebook Thursday.

“I’m hearing people say F*** the business they have insurance,” she added. “WELL WE DONT AND THIS IS ALL OUT OF POCKET!!! Let someone come run in your home and loot for the cause then and let’s see you be ok with it! This is your neighborhood and if you have children you couldn’t even walk them down the street because everything is burning or destroyed…. Justice for George Floyd but not this kind of justice.”

On Thursday night, the building burned down. “It’s gone!!” she wrote in a Friday Facebook post. “The entire building a pile of bricks.” In a video, she said, “There must have been an explosion because the whole front part of the building’s gone.”

On a GoFundMe page Korboi Balla set up to raise money to rebuild his business, he wrote Friday, “I was doing my shift at the fire station this morning when I got the call that the entire building had been burnt down last night. My heart was heavy, and I had to leave work because the emotional toll was too substantial.”

“To find out that the countless hours, hard work, late nights away from my kids, and family had all been for nothing was soul shattering,” he penned.

Despite the pain, Korboi Balla remains optimistic. “The amount of gratitude in my heart right now is outweighing the sorrow and heavy-heartedness I feel,” he wrote. “Yesterday, I was able to share my story and the outpour of financial, physical and emotional support has been overwhelming.”

When he arrived at his business on Thursday, he cried, he said. Then “strangers showed up with brooms, cleaning supplies, trash bags, and food. They helped me and my family clean up in 20 minutes what would have took [sic] days. THIS IS WHAT GIVES ME HOPE!”

Even after the building burned, making all that cleanup for naught, Korboi Balla’s positive attitude was not extinguished. On Saturday, he noted that “the last 48 hours” had been “an out-of-body experience” and “an emotional roller coaster.” But, he continued, “I am overwhelmed and overjoyed that so many people from around the world were able to connect with my story and are supporting the bar.” The fundraising goal of $100,000 was completely shattered; as of this writing, nearly $1 million has been donated.

He also very much intends to rebuild, but, for obvious reasons, will have to find a new location in which to do so. That will take some time. “COVID-19, and a fire cannot stop what plans I have to open my dream,” he declared, “and I cannot wait to open the doors and serve all the people who have supported us and will continue to do so.”

Meanwhile, he’s keeping things in perspective.

“As I think about my losses, I also want to extend my condolences to the Floyd family,” he wrote. “My business can be rebuilt but his life cannot be regained.”

Reprinted with permission from The New American

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