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'Cash mob' rallying to support Cleveland AsiaTown restaurant harassed with anti-Asian phone calls

A cash mob is currently taking place for LJ Shanghai restaurant to rally support around the anti-Asian harassment they’ve received.

CLEVELAND — The Northeast Ohio community is being asked to come together this weekend to support a Cleveland business that has been the target of anti-Asian hate calls. The owner of LJ Shanghai says they’ve received phone calls from people spewing xenophobia.

“One guy called and said, 'You need to go back to China,'" LJ said.

And that wasn’t the only call. Others asked if they sell bat and blamed them for the coronavirus.  

“We don’t need a virus, this country doesn’t need you,” LJ explained the hateful language the callers would use.  

Between 2020 and 2021, more than 3,000 attacks against Asians were reported in the last 12 months in the United States. Research from California State University shows that hate crimes against Asian communities spiked to 150% in more than a dozen major cities across the nation, including Cleveland and Cincinnati.

LJ still believes in this country. 

"I think that in the future it's gonna be OK, its gonna be better, but we got to do something. I chose to live here. I'm gonna love this country just like you do. Let's be friends. I'll do my part, and please, you do your part."

RELATED: Save our Sauce: 10 restaurants to support in AsiaTown

Northeast Ohio has a chance to help! Cleveland Councilman Basheer Jones, who represents Ward 7, is currently hosting a 'cash mob' at LJ Shanghai. 

Cash mobs were inspired by “flash mobs," and are used to gather a group of people to spend money at a local business. The cash mob is currently taking place until 6 p.m. You can find the menu here. The restaurant is offering carryout only.

RELATED: 'It's not safe': Cleveland attorney and Hong Kong native reacts to Atlanta spa shootings and ongoing anti-Asian climate in America

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