Starbucks’ stocks are probably about to plummet, as well as their retail sales, after this viral video that has just surfaced. As we all know, in the new age of social media, nothing in popular public establishments goes unnoticed. Starbucks is about to learn that lesson the hard way, because based on what just happened with two Black men at their Philly location, they’re about to get the H&M treatment real soon…
— ❌₲üĐ❌ (@RageManT) April 14, 2018
Racial Profiling At It’s Ugliest, Many Calling For #BoycottStarbucks
So what happened was that two Black men -who happen to be real estate brokers- were sitting in Starbucks, minding their own business, when all of a sudden they found themselves handcuffed and taken to the Philly police station. As they were handcuffed, for seemingly doing nothing other than being enriched with an abundance of melanin, even the White customers were confused, pissed off, and questioning the cops about why they were arresting those young brothas.
Thankfully, a White customer by the name of Melissa, caught the whole thing on camera and her video has now gone viral all over social media. Here’s what she wrote on Twitter:
“@Starbucks 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.”
Watch the video of this racial Starbucks fiasco below:
@Starbucks 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. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci
— Melissa DePino (@missydepino) April 12, 2018
That same Starbucks customer, Melissa, then later gave updates about the situation, the responses from other White people, and the men’s ultimate release from jail, in the series of tweets below:
“Ever since I posted this, I’ve had white strangers AND friends say “there must be something more to this story. That assumption is a big part of the problem. It does happen. All the time. Just not to you and me. Believe it and speak up.”
“Thanks to @LAWimmerESQ, the Philly DA’s Office declined to arraign, and both men were released from the 9th at approximately 2am.”
The Internet Slams Starbucks
After the Starbucks arrest video went viral on Friday, April 13, 2018, people of ALL races have been bashing the living daylights outta Starbucks and rightfully so. Celebs and civilians alike, are now speaking out. Check out some of the responses below…
Actor, Jeffrey Wright, pointed out how Black men in America are forced to have the unrealistic ability to suppress standing up for themselves in order to save their lives, when they’re wrongly arrested/accused by law enforcement:
These American men knew what was necessary to preserve their health. Obey. Comply. It's ENRAGING that that's the reality. I hope they sue the hell out of Starbucks and the city of Philadelphia. https://t.co/c3WENcRkQ6
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) April 14, 2018
News journalist, Soledad O’Brien, wrote:
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) April 14, 2018
BET writer/comedian, Robin Thede, wrote:
Starbucks is literally the place where everyone goes to meet a friend. No one ever orders anything. Everyone knows this. Wtf?! Also says something about the resiliency of racism when even white people are screaming “they didn’t do anything!!” and it falls on deaf ears. https://t.co/JvpTWuda9O
— Robin Thede (@robinthede) April 14, 2018
The attorney who reportedly helped with the men’s release from jail wrote:
The video speaks for itself. What took place at the 18th and Spruce #Philly @Starbucks was reprehensible. Two young black men, who were simply waiting to be joined by a friend, were blatantly discriminated against based on their race. Not only is this inexcusable, it's illegal.
— Lauren A. Wimmer (@LAWimmerESQ) April 14, 2018
Activist, Shaun King, also called for restitution:
We know what happened. It was a gross double standard rooted in racism. What we need is an apology followed by restitution. We need you to proactively make this right by the two young men you violated. https://t.co/enIbgtzGrK
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) April 14, 2018
Many other commenters voiced their outrage as well:
it’s weird to see people responding to that starbucks video with “well if they didn’t buy anything that’s trespassing” ….. especially since i’ve literally seen people set up entire work from “home” offices in starbucks without so much as getting a water cup. fuck off.
— Auntie Can (@spinnellii) April 14, 2018
Shout out to the guy in the grey vest for standing up for these men. Sadly, had he been black, he would have no doubt been arrested, too, for creating a public disturbance, interfering with an arrest, some other nonsense.
— WTAF (@NotMyPrezEver1) April 14, 2018
.@Starbucks, whoever called the police in this instance needs to be fired. Same for any manager who failed to intervene. I am a very regular (and vocal!) customer, but if you don’t take robust action to address this racist incident I will have to drop my Starbucks habit. https://t.co/kmIlKysuvu
— Christopher Stroop (@C_Stroop) April 14, 2018
Starbucks’ Wack Reply
Nearly 18 HOURS after the video went viral and has now become a trending #BoycottStarbucks topic on Twitter, Starbucks has finally decided to issue a formal apology that reads more like a robotic politically correct statement from a generic upper management manual. But for whatever it’s worth, here it is:
We apologize to the two individuals and our customers for what took place at our Philadelphia store on Thursday. pic.twitter.com/suUsytXHks
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) April 14, 2018
Prior to the #BoycottStarbucks becoming a trending topic, Starbucks had previously only had the nerve to tweet a lackluster reply to the customer who first outed their actions with her video:
Starbucks: We’re reviewing the incident with our partners, law enforcement and customers to determine what took place and led to this unfortunate result.
We’re reviewing the incident with our partners, law enforcement and customers to determine what took place and led to this unfortunate result.
— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) April 14, 2018
As y’all can see, there are many people blasting Starbucks. There is also that same incorrect assumption by some, that ‘neither a place of business, like Starbucks, nor the cops would ever racially profile someone, the Black dudes must have done something really bad.’ There’s also an unfortunate -yet appreciated- reality regarding why many are listening to this particular Starbucks fiasco. That’s because it oftentimes takes for our White brothas and sistas to stand up for what’s right -even when it does not directly affect them- and sound the alarm about racial injustices, that happen every day across America.