Coffee, Tea, or Racism?

Alexis Banks, Contributor

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On a regular day, two men entered a Starbucks and asked to use the restroom without making a purchase. The manager denied them access to the bathroom, which was within her legal rights to do so. On private property, such as at Starbucks, owners are legally allowed to deny access to restroom facilities if a person is not a paying customer.  After being denied access to the restroom, the two men refused to leave.  The manager then asked them again to leave based on the fact that they were loitering, and the gentlemen still refused.  They were asked multiple times to leave and even got into a verbal altercation with the manager.  Hoping to calm the tension, the manager called the police to escort them out of the restaurant.  The police officers arrived and the men still refused to leave.  They were then arrested.  Once the men where processed at the precinct, the men were released, because the Starbucks management chose not to press charges.

Seems pretty routine right?  Why tell this story?  Well, it’s because the men in this event were black and the media exacerbated this fact.

The common thought was the men in this event were black, and the manager was being insensitive towards them because of their skin color, and decided to hate on them.  This is not true.  If corporate Starbucks thought the manager did something wrong, then they would have fired her for doing something that was not allowed and the manager is still there working the store.  Starbucks does not really see this as a racial mistake.  In fact, the manager really did not do anything wrong and followed protocol. When the police showed up asking the gentlemen to leave, the police then did arrest the two men.  They would not have done this if they thought nothing the two men did was wrong.  All the acts of the manager where completely justified.

Why put every Starbucks employee through training though?  In May of 2018, Starbucks will close their locations for a day to train all their employers on implicit bias, which is it is thought to only be an act to please the media.  This is shown to be proven because they did not fire the manager.  The media says the manager was insensitive and biased towards these men, and Starbucks is only doing this to appease the public.

Now, what about the training itself?  Will this be something that changes the employees for the better? No, it is actually proven that trying to train someone on implicit bias is like trying to train someone on guessing a number 1-10.  It’s inconsistent.  Its also telling people that making a judgement is wrong, when in fact, it can be a good thing.  People make judgements everyday about the people around them, they make judgments on how they are going to act around that person.  Those actions are what can be bad.  The manager in this story rightly made a judgement call that these men were loitering.  She acted on this judgement, based on company protocol and the law, and the media presented it the wrong way.  She was using her right as the manager of a store: the right to refuse service to anyone.

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