Mr. Lee was the victim of a hate crime!
During World War II the United States was at war with Japan. The Japanese, then, were collectively looked upon as the enemy. Mr. Lee is Chinese, but since, being Asian, he looks no different from the Japanese to many people, he suffers from the effects of anti-Asian sentiment. Mr. Jackson says they "gave a farewell party" to the "Chink", referring to Mr. Lee in a very derogatory manner. Mr. Lee's store was attacked, the front window broken, to frighten him and drive him and his famly away.