Starbucks Arrests of Black Patrons, Racist or Homeless Problem? – Starbucks has become a haven in many cities for the homeless population
The Starbucks arrests of two black patrons are the result of a much bigger problem for the corporation that needs to be addressed. Recently, two black men were sitting at a table in the establishment and asked to use the bathroom (code) the barista refused to give him the code and told him that bathroom use is for paying customers only. After that, the barista asked him and his guest to leave and he refused. The barista told him he (or she) was going to call the police and he allegedly told the barista “Go ahead, call the police.” There was probably much more dialogue that is missing but this is the gist of it. This is also one of the situations that you would have to ask yourself, as a black man, how a black man thinks he is going to win? Without question, lawyers are on these two like white on rice right now to start a lawsuit that will probably end up in a settlement thanks to the white patron who defended them on the tape as evidence.
In many states coming into a store and not buying anything is considered loitering which probably led to the altercation and the Starbucks arrests. But for Starbucks, there is a bigger problem. Starbucks has become a haven in many cities for the homeless population and that is a very sensitive issue. Starbucks arrests can’t be something that happens daily even though many of the stores have people who come in and don’t buy anything. It appears the corporation is in a tether. They can’t appear to be mean to the homeless by asking them to leave and not use their facilities but they also have a business and a brand to keep up with. Who can blame the hardworking employees for being frustrated with having to repeatedly clean the bathrooms?
The CEO made a statement after the Starbucks arrests on twitter. “We regret that our practices and training led to the reprehensible outcome at our Philadelphia store. We’re taking immediate action to learn from this and be better.” A statement from CEO Kevin Johnson: and the police chief in Philly, Richard Ross, also responded about the Starbucks arrests stating: “As an African-American male, I am very aware of implicit bias; we are committed to fair and unbiased policing,” he said. But he added, “If a business calls and they say that ‘someone is here that I no longer wish to be in my business,'” the officers have “a legal obligation to carry out their duties and they did just that.” Finally, the mayor of Philadelphia, Jim Kenney, has since ordered the city’s Commission on Human Relations to review Starbucks’ policy.