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Tue Jun 23, 2020, 03:15 PM

Starbucks Revisited: Any changed minds?

A little over two years ago, here was quite the heated back and forth on DU over the incident in which the manager of a Starbucks called the police on a young black man whom she said refused to leave after she ordered him out of the shop because he sat down without buying anything. The police arrived and handcuffed, arrested and too him to jail, even though other patrons begged them to leave him alone and some white customers said they hadn’t bought anything, either.

Many DUers said this was yet another example of how black men are treated as criminals while other DUers defended the manager and officers and insisted they were simply enforcing store policy and the law and race had nothing to do with it.

I’m curious if, given all that’s happened in the past couple of years, if anyone has changed their mind about this incident since it occurred two years ago,.

Philadelphia Starbucks Arrests, Outrageous to Some, Are Everyday Life for Others

But to some black Philadelphia residents who venture into Rittenhouse Square, the neighborhood where it happened, the treatment depicted in the video was a frustrating reality of everyday life.
Christian Hayden, 30, recalled a security guard searching his bags as he left a nearby Barnes & Noble. The guard found his copy of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s memoir “The Beautiful Struggle,” and would not let him leave until the staff had checked the shelves to make sure no copy had been stolen.

Trevor Johnson, 27, a bike courier, recalled being arrested in the square four years ago after an officer asked him to turn off his music and he got up to walk away. And earlier this year, Michele Bradshaw, 49, said she left a Nordstrom Rack not far from the Starbucks after she noticed a security guard following her through the aisles of clothing.

In fact, statistics show that Rittenhouse Square, with its hotels, boutique museums and upscale shops, has the highest racial disparity in the city when it comes to police pedestrian stops. Although black people account for just 3 percent of the residents in that police subdistrict, they made up two-thirds of the people stopped by the police in the first half of 2017, according to figures collected by the American Civil Liberties Union.
...
The eight-minute video clip of the encounter shows three officers in bicycle helmets standing around two black men, who were sitting and calmly responding to the officers’ questions. ... A few minutes go by, with the officers and the men continuing to exchange words, when a white man who was supposed to meet the men showed up. He began arguing with the officers, saying that they were discriminating against the two black men. Eventually, the white man said they would just go somewhere else, but the officer responded, “They’re not free to leave,” adding that they had already failed to comply.

...
Ronal Serpas, a former police chief in New Orleans and Nashville, said it was “troublesome that an arrest occurred,” given the tremendous discretion officers have to handle such situations. “Using every available alternative to a physical arrest, within department policy, should be the goal in a case like this,” said Mr. Serpas, who is now a professor at Loyola University New Orleans.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/17/us/starbucks-arrest-philadelphia.html


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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Starbucks Revisited: Any changed minds? (Original post)
EffieBlack Jun 2020 OP
stopdiggin Jun 2020 #1
StarfishSaver Jun 2020 #6
stopdiggin Jun 2020 #7
StarfishSaver Jun 2020 #8
Blue_Adept Jun 2020 #11
StarfishSaver Jun 2020 #12
stopdiggin Jun 2020 #13
gollygee Jun 2020 #14
stopdiggin Jun 2020 #15
gollygee Jun 2020 #16
EffieBlack Jun 2020 #17
mcar Jun 2020 #25
mcar Jun 2020 #24
sheshe2 Jun 2020 #29
leftieNanner Jun 2020 #2
sheshe2 Jun 2020 #3
EffieBlack Jun 2020 #27
sheshe2 Jun 2020 #28
BComplex Jun 2020 #4
JonLP24 Jun 2020 #5
sheshe2 Jun 2020 #30
DFW Jun 2020 #9
Hortensis Jun 2020 #10
EffieBlack Jun 2020 #18
Hortensis Jun 2020 #19
EffieBlack Jun 2020 #20
Hortensis Jun 2020 #21
EffieBlack Jun 2020 #26
Hortensis Jun 2020 #31
Tipperary Jun 2020 #22
mcar Jun 2020 #23

Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 03:47 PM

1. have I changed my mind? nope.

If the man was treated differently because of his skin color .. that's clearly ugly and wrong. If he is simply acting in the same manner as others similarly situated and the store manager singles him out as black .. then the store manager needs to go.

On the other hand, I can not imagine the idea that I have a right to sit in somebody's business .. occupy their tables and seating, avail myself of their wifi, AC and other amenities .. without any sort of purchase or consideration as a customer? Who has this right (white, black or blue)? And further .. that I have a right to refuse to leave upon being requested to do so by an employee (and subsequently by uniformed police) .. still with no offer to purchase any item sold by the store?

Apparently the men in the video feel they have a right to do these things .. but I have strong doubts.
So, no .. I haven't really changed my mind to any great degree .. in the wake of "subsequent events."

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #1)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 05:02 PM

6. I think the issue was that they were treated differently than the white customers, none of whom were

asked to leave, even though they hadn't bought anything.

And people sit in Starbucks all the time using their wifi, ac and other amenities. That's Starbucks' business model.


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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #6)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 11:54 PM

7. that was the storyline

Here's how I handle this. "Yes, I'm meeting a friend here. I'm sorry for any inconvenience. He/she should have been here by now .. but I would be happy to order an xyz while I'm waiting.

I've never in my life assumed I could seat myself in a business that I wasn't patronizing. I'm sorry but I just don't think it's a thing.

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 07:41 AM

8. That's what they did

She called the police on them anyway.

I can't believe you're trying to defend that manager's actions or suggest it was these young men's fault that she treated them the way she did.

And yes, this IS a thing - at least for people who get treated like this regularly only to be told by some white people that it's just not "a thing" because if they had only talked nicely to the racist white lady in charge, she wouldn't have called the police and had them hauled off to jail for not buying a cup of coffee.

To people who have to put up with this day in and day out it is definitely a thing. I guess you haven't been paying attention.


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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 08:31 AM

11. Exactly!

It's baffling that people STILL defend it here.

We've so lost our way over the years here.

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Response to Blue_Adept (Reply #11)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 08:35 AM

12. One would think we've moved beyond

"Why, if *I* were there *I* would have done thus and so. If they had just done what *I* would have done, none of this would have happened" because we all know that the only reason black men are ever treated badly is that they don't behave themselves as well as white people.

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Response to StarfishSaver (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 01:37 PM

13. read my post

"I can't believe you're trying to defend that manager's actions or suggest it was these young men's fault that she treated them the way she did."

There was nothing even suggesting this in the post you responded to. My post outlined (one possible) path of polite behavior and (hopeful) resolution. As with, perhaps, an offer to purchase an item in return for usage of store amenities?

And .. what I said I did not believe was a "thing" (fairly clearly and explicitly) was seating yourself at a business's tables and chairs .. with no intention of purchase. If you have grown up to think this is a right .. then, yes, we do disagree on that.

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #13)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 02:13 PM

14. He had an intention of purchasing

He was waiting for a friend so they'd have hot coffee at the same time. This is very common.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #14)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 02:29 PM

15. And a simple explanation to that effect

defuses the situation.
(on the other hand, if you've been there for 20-30' .. friend still hasn't showed up .. it's time to place your order. otherwise you're just camping out.)

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 02:32 PM

16. He explained it

and she called the police. Were you part of the discussions then?

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 04:38 PM

17. He did explain it. And she still called the police. He explained it again. They arrested him anyway

I can’t believe you would keep insisting that if only these young black men had been more "polite" and offered to do something that no white person in the store was required to do (and which they actually did offer to do), that would have prevented the store manager from having them arrested. In other words, like too many other people, you put the blame on THEM for the racist manner in which they were treated and not on the people who singled them out for treatment not accorded to white people doing the exact thing they were.

And yes, from a legal standpoint, if a store invites people to come in and use its amenities and has no stated or posted policy requiring that guests must buy something within minutes of entering the premises before they may use said amenities, and allows everyone who came in previously to use those amenities without purchasing anything, then people do indeed have a right to come in and sit down without immediately making a purchase and they also have a right not to be arrested and jailed for trespassing when ordered out of the restaurant as the white people who were also in there having purchased nothing look on.

Even Starbucks and the police acknowledged that when they disciplined the manager and dropped charges. The question is why are you still making a bogus, tone-deaf argument that not even the people who engaged in the wrongdoing dropped two years ago?

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 05:00 PM

25. Why do you think he didn't say that?

Your user name offers a hint here.

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 04:58 PM

24. IIRC, that is precisely what they said.

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Response to stopdiggin (Reply #7)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 05:35 PM

29. Stopdiggin. nt

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 03:50 PM

2. I think it was wrong - haven't changed my mind

That being said, I don't do Starbucks. EVER. Their coffee is crappy and I don't drink the 5,000 calorie sugar bombs either.

If I get coffee out, I go to a local place.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 03:54 PM

3. I haven't changed my mind.

This was yet another example of how black men are treated as criminals.

It was bad before and has escalated under trump. The woman that called the police at Starbucks? She is your typical Karen who we keep seeing more of when black people walk, cookout in the park, unlock their front door, do their jobs, write BLM on their OWN retaining wall, well...frankly just exist.

That T-Shirt, perfect and true. Sigh.

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 05:12 PM

27. IIRC, the police called for backup, saying the men were creating a disturbance

When they had done nothing of the kind.

They were just sitting there.

Sound familiar?

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #27)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 05:20 PM

28. Yes, Effie.

Very familiar.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 03:58 PM

4. Here's what needs to happen. Phone numbers for police chiefs, mayors, councilmembers and

highly ranked democratic state senators/congresscritters need to be published and put on people's phones in their contacts.

EVERY SINGLE TIME a member of the public sees this kind of police brutality/profiling, people need to start smiling and dialing, and give the powers that be over these officers enough grief that they finally give in and start training these assholes!!! Let one person take the video, maybe two, and everyone else needs to call their bosses, the elected officials.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Tue Jun 23, 2020, 04:02 PM

5. This was a controversy here?

Looks like he won a settlement so obviously they were wrong.

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Response to JonLP24 (Reply #5)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 05:37 PM

30. The police were called, Jon.

He could easily have died that day.

Easily.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 07:54 AM

9. Frank Rizzo is alive and well in Philadelphia

I went to college there.

The most hated person in the world (besides Richard Nixon) was the police commissioner, Frank Rizzo. How he ever made it to that position, I'll never know. A sadistic lout, he took great pleasure in hearing that his cops beat people over the head with their nightsticks.

He soon ran for mayor as a Democrat. I was so disgusted that he was even nominated, I voted for his opponent. It was my first vote ever, and the one and only time in my life I ever voted for a Republican. I don't regret it to this day. He soon switched parties anyway, and went to hang with "his friend," Nixon. He was soon gone, anyway, when it was discovered he was building a $400,000 house on a $40,000 salary.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 07:57 AM

10. Sorry, I just don't recall all those minds you wonder about. To the contrary.

The manager was quickly removed and fired by middle management after prompt investigation. There was no question of whether Starbucks would protect this behavior. Starbucks' COO, I believe it was, was a black woman. The white male CEO also felt it best to make a very strong statement affirming Starbucks' commitment to all its customers.

And overall, DUers had immediately already leaped in with that typical DU outrage at first mention of this incident. Whoever you remember voicing initial questions or doubts would have been promptly leaped on. As usual.

This syndrome is not always entirely admirable, so let's at least give credit to DUers where, in retrospect, we knew from almost the very beginning that it was very appropriate.

The same now also for DUers' unflagging commitment to equality since then, including our enormous, proud support for the marches this summer. Just wish I wasn't very at-risk with an 80-year-old husband and didn't dare march myself. I virtually never drive to Tampa or Orlando, but for a magnificent national coming together like that I would have. Had to settle for just being among the 77% of all Americans who supported the marches.

Now, if you like, we could speculate about whether that manager and those officers have changed their minds, which we all know really needed changing.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #10)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 04:40 PM

18. You should have read through this thread before you posted this comment

You might have saved yourself some time and effort.

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #18)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 04:43 PM

19. Just broadening the input. I see no virtue in looking for

and emphasizing bad in whole populations, denying when not ignoring the good. Quite the contrary.

When we're thinking of how to be better people, we'd do a lot worse than just trying to be the person we think others should be.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #19)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 04:45 PM

20. This doesn't even make any sense

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #20)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 04:47 PM

21. Sorry. Not entirely surprised since it's a viewpoint from

another angle. But the higher we set our standards for others, the harder it can be for us to meet them. Sometimes impossible.

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #21)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 05:04 PM

26. It's not the viewpoint that doesn't make sense.

The post itself is gibberish and completely off-topic.

For example, what does “I see no virtue in looking for and emphasizing bad in whole populations, denying when not ignoring the good” have to do with whether a store manager was correct to have a black man arrested when he didn’t buy a coffee in Starbucks?

Maybe you could reword it to better express your viewpoint and how it relates to the topic at hand?

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Response to EffieBlack (Reply #26)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 06:09 PM

31. Reworded: "Do unto others as you would they do unto you."

"Be the change you want to see."

"One standard for all. If racism is wrong, it's wrong."

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."


Me too.

Since I felt a crowd who initially assumed the police behavior was justified would fail to appear and answer, I thought perhaps we could discuss another issue that affects all of us: Our own behaviors and attitudes toward others -- not just among that missing crowd, but all of us. If you're not in the mood to think about that, okay. It's not what you posted for.

But these are not new ideas, and everyone does understand them. Some good people manage to live them most of the time. Can we agree that if more try to do it better we will have the world we say we want for our children? Where people are no longer stupidly and meanly judged and condemned by the color of their skin?

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 04:51 PM

22. I make my own coffee. Always. I drink it black.

 

Cannot imagine spending multi-bucks on one of their sugar shakes. Or spending good money for a black coffee. My French press is great.

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Response to EffieBlack (Original post)

Wed Jun 24, 2020, 04:58 PM

23. Knew it was shite then, know it's shite now

I'm wondering if thosewho thought Rayshard Brooks was "dangerous" and "potentially lethal" still agree with their intitial assessment.

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