Philadelphia Starbucks Arrest Cues Racist Whines

Philadelphia Starbucks Arrest Cues Racist Whines

Philadelphia Starbucks Arrest Cues Racist Whines

Last week, two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia. The media has reported that the men were arrested because they didn’t order food and were denied use of the restroom. It seems, to me, more like the manager called the police because the men didn’t leave when they were asked to leave the store. At least that is the way it reads in the “USA Today” article:

The men were denied use of a restroom because they didn’t order food or drinks. The store manager called police when they refused to leave, explaining they were waiting for a friend. As video rolled, the friend arrived as police led the pair away in handcuffs. They were later released when Starbucks didn’t press charges.

In the video, they are neatly groomed, wearing casual clothes and not causing a ruckus.

Okay, so that last bit is a little elitist. “They are neatly groomed, wearing casual clothes…” That’s kind of like having “perfectly creased pants”. It’s not racist. It’s elitist. But, “not causing a ruckus”. I would say that not leaving an establishment when you are asked is at least borderline ruckusy. Let’s go to the videotape:

A couple of thinks here: (1) Some of the cops at the arrest were black. (2) All of the patrons protesting the arrest were white. (3) A woman’s voice is heard saying “she said the restrooms were for paying customers. (4) Are people required to ask permission to use the restroom at Starbucks? Not that I patronize Starbucks, but, gee whiz, I don’t ask to use the restroom. Not since I graduated high school anyway.

All of this leads to the absurdity of the whole chain shutting down on May 29 for a company wide re-education brainwashing “racial-bias education” training. Paging George Orwell.

Which brings us to “Slate Magazine” and “Being Black in Public”. May I just say here that I have never read any twaddle that is so myopic, racist and bigoted in my life.

This was, apparently, an online discussion:

The events have sparked yet another conversation about what it means to be a black person in a public, predominantly white space, but it’s unclear whether this will lead to any real shift. Below is an edited and condensed conversation between Slate writers Aisha Harris and Jamelle Bouie, NPR’s Gene Demby, and sociology professor Tressie McMillan Cottom about the significance of this happening at Starbucks in particular and about navigating public spaces while black.

Now, I was unaware of this until today, but it seems that there are only two races in America. I must have been hallucinating that I was in a place called “Chinatown”. I have never been black in America. I have been the only white person in a room. Just last week I was at the Golden Corral Buffet in Aberdeen, NC (don’t judge me). It wasn’t until I was leaving that I realized that I was the only white person in the restaurant. I had waved at kids and made small talk at the dessert counter. Must have been my white privilege. I have been followed in a store. I have been asked if I needed help. Must have been my white privilege that made think it wasn’t personal.

But absorb this:

Tressie McMillan Cottom: I have post-traumatic stress disorder at this point with videos of white people doing horrible, routine racism. Like a lot of black people, I suspect, reading the latest on this primed all the emotions of my experiences of being profiled or othered in white spaces. And then you deal with the inevitable shock from white people, which in its way only reinforces how utterly hypervisible yet invisible we are. The constant shock to white sensibilities is part of the black trauma.

Jamelle Bouie: Right. I’m not sure that I had any reaction beyond, “Ah, another example of black people getting arrested for the crime of—checks notes—existing in public space.”

Gosh almight, white people are just awful. Why on Earth would these people want to exist within the same space as white people.

But, there is so much more ugly hatred from these writers:

Demby: I was talking to Phillip Atiba Goff, the co-founder of the Center for Policing Equity and a Philly dude, who said it’s a mistake to partition the public’s racial bias off from the police’s racial bias. The police were called into this situation, as a colleague said, to mediate a misunderstanding, like they were RAs in a dorm and not armed agents of the state with broad discretion to use violence and detain people. And so there’s this way that the reasonableness of white people’s fears about black people is backed up by institutions. Folks call the cops to back them up in disagreements with other members of the public in ostensibly public spaces open to everyone.

Because black folks and the other races that I have hallucinated never ever call the “armed agents of the state” to “mediate a misunderstanding”. No.

The article/discussion just gets more racist and elitist from there. You can read it but unless you are prepared to want a divorce from the United States I wouldn’t advise it.

I have no love for Starbucks. I never cared for the product and I don’t patronize woke companies. Starbucks can get disappeared for all I care. If one is asked to leave an establishment, one should leave.

Do you really have to ask permission to use the restroom in Starbucks?

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5 Comments
  • Amanda Green says:

    The two men were interviewed on GMA this morning. One thing that caught my attention, something I hadn’t heard before, after one of them asked about the restroom and was told it was for paying customers, he and his friend found a table and sat down. The manager then came over to see if they needed anything, specifically asking if they needed a coffee, a water, etc. This is where it gets interesting. They didn’t need to ordaer anything because they had brought bottles of water in with them. Now, I get that people look at places like Starbucks as gathering places and not as places of business, but they’re wrong. Starbucks is in this to make money. Most restaurants don’t allow customers to bring in food from outside. So why should Starbucks, a place that makes it money selling drinks, let people bring drinks in from outside? This could all have been avoided had the men either waited by the door for the person they were meeting or simply ordered a coffee or danish or something. It had nothing to do with race but with them not complying with a reasonable request, both by the manager and then by the police.

    • George V says:

      I did not see the GMA interview but after reading your comment this confirms in my mind that this was a setup and will evolve into a shakedown. (Not an original thought – I’d read on another website that the situation sounded fishy.) I did think it odd when this was first broadcast that the white friend just happened to show up at the same time as the police. The fact that the two men did not really need to use the bathroom and brought their own refreshment just clinched it. Oh yes, of course, don’t we all sit down with a nice bottle of water when we really need to answer nature’s call? Nice to see they pulled this at Starbucks, eating one of their own brethren, so to speak.

  • SFC D says:

    In many places, bringing outside food or drink into an establishment is illegal. It’s a health code violation and places the establishment’s license in jeopardy. Starbucks had every right to ask these gentlemen to leave. These has blown up completely out of proportion because in today’s USA we have to blame everything but the three individuals (the two gentlemen and the manager) who are the actual problem here. Let’s blame the farmer who grew the beans as well.

  • Events like these are just aberrations of day to day life – like road rage. It’s a way that people from the Left, like ‘Aisha Harris and Jamelle Bouie, NPR’s Gene Demby, and sociology professor Tressie McMillan Cottom,’ can gain some essence of notoriety e.g., claim that being cut-off in traffic is an excuse for flipping someone the bird. After all, they never do that, and it prompts people to pay attention to them by saying, “I’m right, you are wrong, and you are an asshole if you don’t agree.” As for me, I’m headed to the Krystal to use the bathroom! I’ve been thrown out of better places than Starbucks.

  • GWB says:

    I have post-traumatic stress disorder at this point
    No you don’t, you self-centered, sanctimonious, illiterate, ignorant, fragile twit!

    in ostensibly public spaces open to everyone
    Denby, you ignorant slut! It’s NOT a “public space” open to “everyone”. It’s a private establishment, open to paying customers. It’s defined as a “public accommodation” – a creation of the imagination of the SCOTUS in 1964 – which means it can’t discriminate, but it’s still only open to customers.
    Customers is NOT defined as “anyone walking in off the street”, but “people conducting ordinary business with the establishment”. This includes browsing in a retail store, but not “hanging out” in a coffee shop without buying anything.

    Do you really have to ask permission to use the restroom in Starbucks?
    You should darn well ask permission anywhere, really. It’s called “being polite”. Though, making a beeline for the restroom, then stopping to buy something on the way out is generally acceptable in some places. As Amanda mentions, all they had to do was politely order or buy something. Or wait outside.
    (Oh, BTW, some drug stores – can’t recall if it’s Walgreens, CVS or Rite-Aid where I encountered this – actually have cypher-locks on their bathroom doors, and a store employee has to let you in.)

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