Latte On Its Face: Starbucks Called Racist After Arrest of Black Men in Store. [VIDEO]

Latte On Its Face: Starbucks Called Racist After Arrest of Black Men in Store. [VIDEO]

Latte On Its Face: Starbucks Called Racist After Arrest of Black Men in Store. [VIDEO]

Based in liberal Seattle, the Starbucks coffee chain has a reputation that extends beyond its lattés, macchiatos, and cold brews. For decades now, Starbucks has been a model of progressivism, promoting such issues as refugees, climate change, and race relations.

That is, until it doesn’t.

On April 12, in Philadelphia, police arrested two black men in a Starbucks store. Apparently they were waiting for a friend, but they didn’t buy any coffee. And that, in the eyes of the store manager, was out of line. So rather than directly asking the men to make a purchase, he called the police.

It’s obvious in this video of the arrest that both men went quietly. It’s also plain that customers were upset about the incident.

A woman named Lauren, who didn’t want to give her last name, shot that video and told the local ABC affiliate what happened.

She said the two men entered the Starbucks late in the afternoon and asked to use the restroom. Employees told them that it was only for paying customers, so the men sat down to wait for a friend. Police Commissioner Richard Ross also confirmed this.

Later officers entered the store and told them to leave, under the threat of arrest if they didn’t comply. The two told police they were waiting for another party, and offered to call the friend to confirm.

However, police arrested them, anyway. The friend arrived and tried to intervene, but the police told him that they were trespassing. Lauren added, “The two men stayed calm and did not raise their voices once. Everyone else in the Starbucks, however, was appalled.”

Since then the men were released from custody, the DA declined to press charges, and the Philly police began an investigation.

And Starbucks? It went into damage control, issuing an apology on Saturday:

But, no matter. Twitter went into social justice overdrive, with users expressing anger with the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks, and making comments like these:

Well, well, how ironic is this? Starbucks, the coffee company that brags on its website about its ‘corporate social responsibility,’ and how it seeks to ‘strengthen communities,’ just got a black eye from fellow liberals. And it will be really interesting to see how Starbucks digs themselves out of this kerfuffle.

So let’s step back and analyze this, shall we?

First of all, if you’ve ever been in a Starbucks — or any coffee house, for that matter — it oozes comfort. There are big leather chairs to sink into while checking your phone. There’s free WiFi, and tables where people hunker over their computers. Groups meet there for lengthy meetings over their laptops and coffee. My eldest daughter says the local Starbucks is her “office,” where she can escape with her laptop to work on her photography business. And then there’s coffee — lots of hot, comforting java.

There is nothing in the environment of a Starbucks that would tell the two men that they weren’t welcome to hang out — obviously people do it every day, and for long periods of time, too.

So are the police at fault? I have no idea. I’m not a police officer, and am not married to one, so I have no idea what their policies are. So I will neither blame nor absolve them of any error in judgment.

However, I do wonder what in the world the Starbucks manager was thinking. All he or she needed to do was to tell these men that they needed to make a purchase if they wanted to stick around for a while. A simple “Can I help you?” might have gone a long way. Even going so far as to offer a small sample of a new drink to the men while they waited would’ve been a great PR move.

But no. Instead the manager called the police. And Starbucks, the hipster coffee company that prides itself on championing liberal causes, now has to eat crow in the face of its virtue signaling Fail.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

5 Comments
  • GWB says:

    There is nothing in the environment of a Starbucks that would tell the two men that they weren’t welcome to hang out
    Well, nothing except politeness and a grasp of property rights and maybe economics. You don’t just wander into someone else’s place of business and use it like it’s your living room. At least, polite people don’t.

    Having said that, I think the employee handled it poorly. The cops just did their job. (As a suggestion, if this ever happens to you, walk outside with the cops before you try to defend your actions. It makes you look helpful and removes the “trespass” piece.)

    Boycotting them? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

  • SFC D says:

    I love it when liberals eat their own. Hey Starbucks! Check your white priveledge!

  • Wfjag says:

    @GWB, you missed the dog whistle. Seattle based Starbucks is trying to expand in the South. Having conducted polling of knowledgeable experts of the Duke Univ facilty as to what Southerners want, their marketing strategy will be aimed at creating safe spaces for Fragile Whities, and counter The Black & Strong Dixie Coffee Culture with an “OK With Latte” ad campaign.

  • David Lentz says:

    I read two articles from Philadelphia. One mention that the two gentlemen were asked to make a purchase. When they declined, the store called the police. It is clearly a case of trespassing. What were the police expected to due, buy the two a cup of coffee, each?

    Both articles called the episode a case of racial discrimination, but neither established that the two non-patrons were treated differently because of their race.

    The finally Starbucks killed their own would be case by one not pressing charges and two referring to two non-customers as customers.

    Then on the bright side the two non-patrons appeared conducted themselves as gentlemen.

  • Raphael says:

    Screw Starbucks! Black Rifle Cofee for me!

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