MINNEAPOLIS — Save for one shattered window, Khun Nai Thai Cuisine in Minneapolis was protected from looting by a group of volunteers, which include black Americans and Jamaican-Americans.
“Luckily, our shop was not damaged at all since we have a volunteer group protecting the community right across from our shop,” Suniporn Yotharak, owner of Khun Nai Thai said by online messages Tuesday.
“Without them, all the shops in the area would have been destroyed,” she added.
The restaurant responds with kindness: cooking free Thai meals for a Jamaican restaurant across the street who organized the volunteers that saved Suniporn’s business. The Jamaican restaurant, called Pimento Kitchen, in turn donates the food along with other essential goods to the community.
Suniporn is one of the Thais and Thai-born American citizens caught in the protests and unrest that erupted after a group of policemen were seen suffocating a black man named George Floyd to death.
“White or black or whatever race, we should all have equal rights,” said Suniporn, who has lived in the U.S. for 13 years. “If we are nice and not discriminatory, and respect their human dignity, then people are nice back.”
Amazing Thailand, another Thai restaurant owned by a Thai in Minneapolis, is also reportedly untouched by the violence. The restaurant also put up messages calling for justice for Floyd as well as providing free meals to those in need, according to photos posted by Amazing Thailand.
“Amazing Thailand and our staff are all doing okay this morning,” a statement by the restaurant said. “We are heartbroken for the pain our city is experiencing and thankful that our business, built and tended to by immigrants and people of color, can continue serving our community today.”
Thai businesses in other cities have not been as lucky – Sunday local time, a Thai restaurant and a jewelry store in Thai Town had been looted.