During a campaign stop in Minnesota earlier this week, President Trump met with a longtime Minneapolis firefighter whose sports bar was burned down by rioters in that city after the killing of George Floyd. State and local Democratic officials were paralyzed in their response to the violent unrest, resulting in several nights of terrible destruction, chasing some businesses out of the area -- some for good. Korboi "KB" Balla spent his life savings on the establishment, only to see it razed by criminal agitators shortly after COVID complicated its grand opening. Here's how Balla, an African immigrant, described the situation on his GoFundMe page back in May:
Scores Sports Bar was set for a grand opening this spring but when COVID-19 hit that was put on pause. Now, just as Scores was gearing up to welcome customers with updated guidelines from the govenor, George Floyd was murdered and everything changed overnight. Scores Sports Bar was LOOTED, VANDALIZED and DESTROYED 5/27/2020. This black-owned business is left trying to pick up the pieces amidst mourning with the community. About the Bar Owners: Kb Balla & his wife Twyana are active members of their community. KB is a Firefighter on the Brooklyn Center Fire Department and Twyana was a member of the Sounds of Blackness. They have a 4 beautiful children and the toll of this entire situation is heavy. KB has been a community entrepreneur for decades and coaches and contributes to the community in which they live.
CBS News covered his infuriating and heartbreaking story at the time:
KB Balla, a firefighter and paramedic, was the one who needed rescuing when his Minneapolis restaurant was looted and went up in flames.— CBS Evening News (@CBSEveningNews) June 2, 2020
Strangers are now stepping in to help him -- and the community -- build their way back.
@jeffpeguescbs has more pic.twitter.com/IAfpbbsMMY
Balla's story was featured far and wide, and his fundraiser brought in more than $1.1 million -- a relatively happy ending to a terrible ordeal. Other businesses with lesser-known or less sympathetic owners have not been as fortunate, as the chaos has consumed parts of multiple cities. Part of the reason that Balla's GoFundMe was so successful is that members of the Trump campaign chipped in some of their own money to help his family rebuild. To the surprise of nobody, these gestures received scant media attention:
Thanks to a GoFundMe page that exploded with contributions – and an assist from members of President Trump’s re-election campaign -- Balla’s dream may still come true. At least two dozen staff members from the campaign -- including campaign manager Brad Parscale -- have also sent donations, Fox News is told... Parscale, Trump's campaign manager, took to Twitter to write “Feel bad for Korboi Balla. This country is about making your dreams come true. Before he could open his bar, rioters destroyed it. I just donated to his GoFundMe page. Korboi, hope you make an even better sports bar!”
Juxtapose that with the more than one dozen Biden campaign staffers who chose to donate their cash to the embattled Minnesota Freedom Fund, which bailed demonstrators (including the sorts of violent rioters who destroyed Balla's and others' businesses) out of jail. As we highlighted last week, the MFF is now under scrutiny for spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to bail out an alleged murderer, a twice-convicted rapist, and a man accused of shooting at the police. I'll leave you with Balla and his wife appearing with Trump on Monday, which garnered almost zero attention, despite (or perhaps because of) the stark comparison Team Trump may be trying to draw here. Might they be featured at the RNC?