Two Black men walk into a Starbucks coffee shop. It sounds like the start of a bad joke, until you see what happens next: The manager called the police to have the two men arrested for being….well…two Black men in a Starbucks.

Thankfully, there were some White folks there who used their White privilege to record the entire sorry episode and post in on social media.  It’s always good to have conscious White folks around who will take note of the disparity in treatment between the races and call out the perpetrators on their actions.

True confessions. I used to go to Starbucks quite often, primarily because I had a thing for their Caffe Misto. But I have since broken away from my Starbucks jones,  because I do not like the idea of being addicted to a particular drink— or anything else for that matter. Sadly, I always noticed a classist yuppie vibe about Starbucks that I found offsetting. There is a perception that they are these liberal progressive folks who cater to a like-minded people, but I have learned long ago that certain types of “liberal progressive” people can be some of the most racist who harbor implicit biases about Black folks that are no different than those in different ideological camps.

Anyway, clearly the manager at this particular Philadelphia store fit into that category. She felt the need to call Philly’s finest on the two men for trespassing  because she felt that they stayed in the store too long without making a purchase. Forget the fact that the men were waiting on a friend to consummate a business deal, or that Starbucks is a place where folks (see White people) hang out for hours after purchasing just one cup of coffee or nothing at all.

“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.”

Melissa, I could not have said it better myself.

*Pic courtesy of  @missydepino

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