Is Starbucks Racist? Protesters Shut Down Store Where Two Black Men Were Arrested

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  • A group of protesters took over the Starbucks in Philadelphia where two black men were arrested for no reason.

    Tensions have run pretty high since the incident on Thursday, which was filmed and uploaded to Twitter by author Melissa DePino. She wrote in her original post: “The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing.”

    Basically, the Starbucks employee called the police on the two men because they were sitting at a table and using the restroom without ordering anything. But, how many times do people of all colors do the same exact thing — without being put in handcuffs?

    Starbucks as a whole is being heavily criticized over the incident, with the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks trending over the weekend. But, others — like, actor Kevin Hart — thinks it’s more about that specific location than Starbucks as a whole. He tweeted:

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  • But new videos emerging suggest that it might not be an isolated incident. Watch:

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  • Journalist Shaun King shared a video made by a black man who was denied the code to use a Starbucks restroom, though they gave a white man who hadn’t purchased anything the bathroom code.

    Starbucks tweeted an apology to the two men over the weekend. It reads: “We apologize to the two individuals and our customers and are disappointed this led to an arrest. We take these matters seriously and clearly have more work to do when it comes to how we handle incidents in our stores. We are reviewing our policies and will continue to engage with the community and the police department to try to ensure these types of situations never happen in any of our stores.”

    Additionally, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson appeared on Good Morning America to apologize and suggested that their employee training may need to be updated to include education about unconscious bias. Johnson says he plans to meet the two men in the video to personally apologize.

    Those men have retained lawyers, so there might be more at that meeting than just a nice handshake (if you know what I mean).

    A company spokeswoman said the manager who called the police has “left the company.” Meanwhile, the protests at the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce are continuing. Watch:

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  • What do you guys think? Are you going to boycott Starbucks? Let us know in the comments below.

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