On April 17, two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia.
The two were waiting for a friend and asked to use the bathroom without buying something. Eventually the men were asked to leave. After they declined, the manager called the police.
The men were then arrested on suspicion of trespassing. The CEO met with the men to find a “constructive” way to solve this issue. You can’t deprogram a prejudice against another race.
Immediately after this happened anti-Starbucks groups protested outside and inside of Starbucks.
Calling Starbucks anti-black and the CEO’s statement just saying anything to take the heat off of Starbucks and make them look good.
Starbucks is only closing for an afternoon, so it takes a couple of hours to teach people not to feel indifferent about people.
Everybody is projecting the amount of money Starbucks stands to lose when they close their stores. But what about the feeling of being arrested and put into the back of a police car.
Having their family watch the kids that they know and love taken into custody. Starbucks can stand to lose a couple of million dollars while these men can’t get their time back.
On May 29, this year 8,000 stores will close when 175,000 employees receive anti-bias training.
In the current climate black men and police officers don’t mix well. The men were arrested because they didn’t buy anything.
Think about that for a second.
Meanwhile a good number of the population goes to Starbucks to study, to meet, to hang out, or to chill.
We can sit in a Starbucks for hours on end and not buy a single thing and have not worried about being kicked out or arrested.
Good for Starbucks for doing anti-bias training but realistically you can’t teach somebody not to be biased. Being racially-biased is being taught by parents to fear certain races because of what they see on TV or what they have personally gone through.
Every black person isn’t going to steal something or assault you. We have eyes on us everywhere we go, we get followed around stores, or to hurry up and buy something. This will not solve the problem.
Everybody has a bias even if it’s crossing the street when you see somebody or clutching your bag or children when somebody who doesn’t look like you pass by you.
People of color live in fear everyday that a minor stop may lead to a different outcome than the one they thought of.
We fear everyday if we get stopped by the police the situation might escalate and end up you not being able to go home. Thank God that didn’t happen in this incident.
However, unnecessary stress and fear is uncalled for based on the color of skin.
Let this story be a lesson. The manager put those two men in danger when she made that call to the police.