Ethics Observations On The Philly Starbucks Ethics Train Wreck

The now viral Starbucks incident that took place in Philadelphia last week is a genuine ethics train wreck.

Two days after two men were arrested while waiting for their friend at a local Starbucks, the company has issued an apology.

Police were called to a Starbucks after two men, who were African Americans, refused to leave the coffee store after they were told that they needed to buy something in order to stay there.  The men were waiting to meet companion to have a meeting. The store management then summoned the police.

 

The men now have an attorney, Lauren Wimmer, who says that her clients were waiting in the Starbucks  for less than 15 minutes. “These guys were doing what people do every day, they were having a meeting and they were undoubtedly singled out because of their race, ” she says.

The company tweeted the apology yesterday:

Ethics Observations:

  • Activists are calling for a boycott of Starbucks. Of course they are: this is now the reflex response of the Angry Left to any action or event that displeases them. The fact is that Starbuck’s is a self-consciously Social Justice Warrior-friendly corporation, obnoxiously so. Punishing the company and innocent employees and investors because of a single incident is just progressive bullying, sending the currently popular message, “Displease us and we will destroy you.”

The goal  is to make Starbucks grovel, and sure enough, it is.

  • Question: Is it unreasonable to have a policy against people using your establishment as a meeting place without buying anything?

Answer: No.

  • Question: Is it unethical to use a restaurant as a meeting place while refusing to buy any food?

Answer: Yes. It fails the Kantian test: if everybody did it, non-buyers might crowd out buyers.

  • If the two men were told they had to buy something to stay, and their answer was “We will, just as soon as our third arrives. We’re having a meeting here,” then they were not at fault in any way.

If instead they just refused to buy anything, then they were in the wrong. Starbucks is not a public meeting place. To avoid a confrontation, they should have just moved outside.

  • My guess is that the men were indeed singled out because of their race, but not because of racism. Starbucks everywhere is pretty white: two whites hanging around waiting might never be noticed. Two African Americans might stand out.

This is not “systemic racism.” This is reality. Another pair who stood out from the usual crowd for reasons other than race might well have encountered the same response.

  • Calling the police is a needless escalation. If that is Starbuck’s policy, it is a bad one.

Nobody should be fired under these circumstances, but I’m betting the protesters won’t be satisfied until one or more low level employees who were just trying to deal with a situation they hadn’t encountered before with black individuals will be sacrificed.

  • The police did nothing wrong.

____________________________

Facts: CBS

70 Comments

Filed under Business & Commercial, Ethics Train Wrecks, Law & Law Enforcement, Race, Workplace

70 responses to “Ethics Observations On The Philly Starbucks Ethics Train Wreck

  1. If there was a way to have more ethics stories that are conducive to step by step break-downs (breaks-down?) in manners, etiquette, and escalation of conflict, that would be awesome. As a humble suggestion.

    How much of our modern sickness would be cured with basic manners?

    (Yes, those old fogey notions pushed by prudes that we’ve systematically torn down since the 60s)

  2. Greg

    I was once in a similar situation. When the cop got there, he said, “Sir, you’ll have to leave. If you don’t, I’ll have to arrest you.” He listened for a while to what the guy wanted to say, then he said, “I understand, but you have to leave. That’s the law.” So the guy left.

    Is that what the cops did here, or did they move straight to the arrest without the firm but polite request first?

  3. Isaac

    It’s not likely that any racism was involved, but Starbucks is, to be kind, designed to attract a certain type of clientele, and, ahem, discourage others. Much like farmers’ markets, the unjustifiably-high prices are a feature.

    I much prefer Dunkin‘ Donuts. It’s like Starbucks, if Starbucks liked Black people.

  4. John Glass

    I go to Starbucks a couple of times a week in Montgomery County, MD & sometimes DC. The racial makeup is reflective of the area. I’m white, but hardly in the majority. They’ve always been extremely tolerant with everyone in my experience & their customer service is outstanding. It’s true that they cost a bit more than others, but they offer free refills after a certain period of patronage. People pretty much go & come as they please. I’ve never heard anyone being challenged to buy something to stay. I suspect there’s more to the story than we’re being told.

  5. Is there a video of the initial conversation between the employee and the two guys that sparked the employee to call the police?

    I witnessed a “similar” incident” some years ago in an area coffee shop.

    A small group of people (3 or four not regulars) showed up at a similar type of establishment. The place was pretty busy as usual. The small group took a table right next to me and my buddy, sat down and begin to talk. Their conversation was loud enough that we could overhear just about everything they were saying. They sat there for around 15 or 20 minutes talking without purchasing anything. They were approached by the manager who explained that the tables were for the purchasing patrons that were standing around with no where to sit. One of the group rudely and loudly stated something like “this is a free country and we got here first”, I was sitting at the table right next to them and I heard the entire thing. The manager calmly told them all to leave and they all climbed up on their arrogant little soapboxes and quite belligerently refused. They were told that the police were going to be called, they again said something like “it’s a free country”. In the mean time I leaned over to the table and told everyone of them that they were being assholes, a couple of them told me to “mind your own business”, I said, “your choices, your consequences” one of them told be to “fuck off”, I looked at that idiot, called him a dumbass, and turned around to wait for the police. The police showed up and this group of people had the audacity to claim that they were polite and were waiting for someone else for a meeting and they were going to purchase something after that person arrived. I stood up, interrupted the conversation with the police, told the police they were being belligerent assholes to the staff and they hadn’t mentioned that anyone was coming to to join them the entire time they had been there. The group was escorted out of the building, they weren’t arrested.

    The only reason I can figure that the police arrested these two black guys at Starbucks must be because they refused to follow the instructions that the police gave them.

    • It is well within the rights of any business to have anti-loitering rules and have non-paying customers removed from their place of business.

    • TheShadow

      People do not know the full story and are filling the gaps in knowledge with their own assumptions. Watch the show Cops some time; the first thing anyone of any color usually says to the police is some variation of “I wasn’t doing anything” or “I was just minding my own business.”

  6. Steve-O-in-NJ

    I don’t think I’ve set foot in a Starbucks in over five years, although if I go to Barnes and Noble I will sometimes buy Starbucks coffee if I am in the mood. The last time I did that was after a long walk photographing Christmas windows, when I popped into B&N to use the facilities, noting an ominous sign that you had to make a purchase to do so and they would be checking receipts. I complied, thinking just buying something in the café would be enough and wanting to avoid getting crap from Jobsworth security guards. No one was checking boo, but I’d have been ok with them doing it to cut down on no-purchase foot traffic and to keep homeless people out. Sorry, but I don’t need to smell someone who hasn’t bathed or washed his clothes in a month while I search for the latest in neocon scholarship. The same principle applies to coffee shops. They’re there to sell coffee, not provide public meeting places or free wireless.

    The ironic part of this is that Starbucks is famously left of center, and now the left is eating its own. One day it will have no one left to support it.

    • Steve-O-in-NJ wrote, “The ironic part of this is that Starbucks is famously left of center, and now the left is eating its own. One day it will have no one left to support it.”

      “Eating your own” is always the end result of enabling social justice warriors.

      Modified MARTIN NIEMÖLLER quote…

      First the irrational social justice warriors came for the _______, and I did not speak out because I was not a _______.

      Then they came for the _______, and I did not speak out because I was not a _______.

      Then they came for the _______, and I did not speak out because I was not a _______.

      Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.

      In today’s social justice warrior enabling world, there are way too many ways to fill in those blanks with the irrational actions of social justice warriors.

  7. Starbucks issuing that apology shows that they are a wimp corporation kowtowing to the social justice warriors. Starbucks should have issued a statement that said something like…

    “Starbucks provides seating in our coffee shops for paying customers, we are not in the business of providing free meeting space to non-paying loiters. Loiters who are occupying seating will be asked to leave.”

    This Starbucks apology is just another in a long line of wimp companies enabling the illogical nonsense of social justice warriors. When are these companies going to stand up for their own rights instead of adding fuel to the fire of illogical social justice warriors?

  8. Still Spartan

    Starbucks allegedly has it in its employee manual that employees are not supposed to ask clients to leave if they haven’t ordered anything and are waiting for their guests. (I have not confirmed this, but I have seen it on several sites.)

    As someone who regularly has client meetings in Starbucks, I always arrive early and never order until my guest arrives — it would be rude to do otherwise. I assume the same code goes for coffee dates generally.

    “This is not “systemic racism.” This is reality. Another pair who stood out from the usual crowd for reasons other than race might well have encountered the same response.”

    Er. That IS racism — or bigotry depending on the circumstances. Being uncomfortable because there are people in your presence who are a different gender, different race, different religion, is not the diverse person’s problem, it’s yours. And, as a woman who works with mostly men, as a white person who lives in a predominantly black county, as a white woman who frequently goes to restaurants with her half-Mexican husband where I am the only non-Spanish speaker, I can assure you that I have never been approached or even stared at. Sometimes I have had people chuckle over my Spanish skills, I’ve had black friends explain to me about “black time” when I show up for events at the time indicated on the invitation, sometimes black friends have explained to me about different aspects of their culture that are different from mine, but I have always been treated with respect. I also have never had problems hailing a cab or being waited on in a store or restaurant where we are the only white family. Such is the privilege that comes with being white and upper middle class in the U.S.

    • Still Spartan wrote, “Starbucks allegedly has it in its employee manual that employees are not supposed to ask clients to leave if they haven’t ordered anything and are waiting for their guests. (I have not confirmed this, but I have seen it on several sites.)”

      Don’t use Progressive Magical Thinking and spread it if you can’t reasonably confirm it.

      Still Spartan wrote, “As someone who regularly has client meetings in Starbucks, I always arrive early and never order until my guest arrives — it would be rude to do otherwise.”

      No Spartan it’s not rude to order before others show up at a meeting in a Starbucks, it’s being respectful of the retail business and other paying customers where you are choosing to have the meeting.

      Still Spartan wrote, “I assume the same code goes for coffee dates generally.”

      You assume too much. You are being rude to the business and fellow customers by taking available seating space away from non-purchasing patrons. The right thing to do is to wait to obtain seating until the others arrive for the meeting and you are purchasing your products.

      All this can easily be remedied by approaching the manager when you get there and tell them you are having a meeting and that you will be purchasing product after everyone arrives.

      • Still Spartan

        Zoltar — numerous Starbucks employees have posted online that this is in their employee handbook. Since I don’t have the handbook and it hasn’t been reported in a newspaper yet, I acknowledged that it may or may not be accurate. Why you got a bee in your bonnet about me being upfront is beyond me. However, as someone who worked in countless waitressing jobs at everything from truck stops to bars to 4 star restaurants, I can acknowledge that allowing people to wait for friends before ordering is pretty standard except in high volume places — and usually at lunchtime.

        I can also conclude that you don’t have business meetings in public restaurants — I have about 20/month. My way is the norm, and restaurants love me — in DC, expense accounts like mine keep the entire industry afloat. We are good tippers and usually restaurants go out of their way to seat me even when I acknowledge my guest hasn’t arrived yet.

        • That’s my experience too, the kinds of places that don’t understand or accommodate for this are the kind of places you don’t want to take clients too anyway.

        • Still Spartan, “numerous Starbucks employees have posted online…”

          Give me a break Still Spartan and reread your initial comment; you did not say these were past or present Starbucks employees that posted that information. Believe it or not Sparty, that does make a big difference and it would have made a difference in my reply.

          Still Spartan, “…usually restaurants go out of their way to seat me even when I acknowledge my guest hasn’t arrived yet.”

          Didn’t you bother to read all of what I wrote, “All this can easily be remedied by approaching the manager when you get there and tell them you are having a meeting and that you will be purchasing product after everyone arrives.” You basically notified the “management” when you told them that there are more coming and they seat you anyway, you’re doing exactly what I said should be done.

          Take a pill Spartan.

          • Still Spartan

            Except that I usually have no need to check with a manager — they offer to seat me even when I am the first to arrive.

            Coffee shops are hangouts and meeting spots Zoltar. But for quick business meetings, I don’t go in them but it is expected and standard etiquette to wait for your guest. That is their entire business model.

            I’ve never approached a manager to let them know my guest has not arrived. I sit and check emails — like every other person there — until my friend or client arrives.

            You’re just wrong on this one. But I look forward to your reply with random words in bold to try and prove your point.

            • I think you are misrepresenting the event. There is no indication that the pair said, “We are going to have a meeting here, and will order when our third arrives.” If they did say that, you are right, of course. If they just said, “We’re just waiting for our friend, then we’ll leave”—well, that’s not what Starbucks is for.

            • Reread Spartan, you’ve approached “management”. Read for comprehension.

              Still Spartan wrote, “You’re just wrong on this one.”

              Nonsense!

              Still Spartan wrote, “But I look forward to your reply with random words in bold to try and prove your point.”

              There you petty little person, wow do you like that for text formatting?

              Usually I’m the one that’s an asshole but I guess it was your turn tonight.

        • Again, irrelevant. The issue isn’t someone waiting to order until someone else arrives. The issue is someone hanging around to meet someone when they don’t intend to order at all. The latter is not reasonable nor fair.

    • “This is not “systemic racism.” This is reality. Another pair who stood out from the usual crowd for reasons other than race might well have encountered the same response.”

      “Er. That IS racism — or bigotry depending on the circumstances. Being uncomfortable because there are people in your presence who are a different gender, different race, different religion, is not the diverse person’s problem, it’s yours.”

      I think you’re talking past eachother, although I think you have the stronger point, Spart. I don’t think it’s reasonable to call the mere act of noticing a customer is different from your average customer, for whatever reason, racist. I think it’s delusional to think that people don’t make those kinds of distinctions normally, and if you want to tie noticing someone’s race to racism, then you’ve really hollowed out the usefulness of the term. I mean… Really… The entire identity politics wing of the progressive movement exists because they notice race. It’s a distinction with meaning.

      Where I think you have it right is the reaction. While it might not be racist to merely notice someone because they are different from your usual clientele… I can’t imagine that the normal response to someone waiting for someone in a Starbucks is to ask them to buy something or leave.

      • Still Spartan

        Yes, you said it better than me. Of course people recognize differences — I yell at those few friends of mine who claim to be color blind. But, being fearful because someone looks different than you is not normal and is your problem, not the other person’s.

        • Other Bill

          I think reactions of various sorts are completely normal but we have to be aware of them and take them into account when we interact with people.

          When I’m in public, I always make eye contact with black people and say “hi.” It’s something black people do and I get a kick out of it. (I’m white.) I also wear a hat (I’m white. Hah. Skin cancer.) And black guys usually make a point of commenting favorably on my hat. Black guys tend to dig hats. [Is that a racist thing to say? Am I culturally appropriating blackness by wearing a hat, or noticing black guys enjoy hats?]

          My daughter in law went on a mall date with a black friend when she was in her teens. He said “hi” to all the black people they encountered. She was amazed and asked him “Do you know every black person in town?” He laughed and just said, “Black people say hello to each other.”

          I just think this systemic racism concept is terribly divisive and destructive. Just not helpful.

        • Chris

          Agreed with HT and Spartan. To claim that singling out someone because of their race isn’t racism because hypothetically others may have been singled out for some other difference is nothing but an attempt to redefine racism out of existence.

    • Spartan, it’s rare that we agree, but I’m with you on this one…except for the part about etiquette on when to order. I’m not necessarily disagreeing, just saying that I didn’t know that it was a thing, to have to wait for your party to arrive. I certainly understand at a dinner, where the point of the gathering is heavily on the act of eating (so it should be done concurrently), or even a date, but for a business meeting at a Starbucks, any food or drink, IMO, is more for comfort or convenience, and secondary to the actual meeting. Anecdotal, I know, but if I showed up to meet someone at a Starbucks, and they already had a drink, I would not care one whit.

      Aside from that, Im with you. My take on this is that I have been to Starbucks to meet or to work many times, and in a lot of those situations, I ordered nothing, and have never been warned or asked to leave. I have watched many other people do this as well. So while Starbucks is obviously well within their right to have a “you must purchase something to use our tables/chairs/facilities” policy, is it *really* a policy if it’s rarely enforced? And when it is enforced, it’s selectively being enforced on people who stand out, only because they look different from the “normal” clientele? I think everybody on here knows that I usually walk the opposite direction when I see accusations of poor treatment annoyingly mislabeled as racism, so Im hardly one to be looking for racism around every corner…but it’s hard for me to feel like these men weren’t treated the way they do, by Starbucks, solely because of what they looked like. And that pisses me off.

      If you have a policy that people who use your place of business must be actual customers, you *should* make they policy unmistakable, and *must* apply that policy uniformly (with regards to whom you choose to enforce that policy on). Anything less leaves plenty of opportunities for employee personal bias to affect the application of the policy, and for customers to legitimately feel discriminated against.

      As a side note, since we’re talking about race, I have recently made the decision to visit Ann Althouse’s blog a lot less frequently. She recently had a short post about the black teen in Michigan who missed his bus, knocked on a neighbors house to get walking directions to his school, and the female homeowner freaked out, assumed the kid was trying to break in, and the male homeowner got out his shotgun, and fired on the kid as he ran off. The whole incident was captured on a Nest camera, and prompted the local police, after viewing the video, to arrest the husband. However, the fact that the incident was captured on camera (but not released to the public) did not stop the comments section from turning into a race to the bottom, of seeing who could be the most racist, with 98% of the commenters either justifying the actions of the husband, assuming the kid really was there to break-in, or making excuses for the lady freaking out (her husband was HOME, and the boy never made an attempt to enter the house). And the few people who spoke up, to defend the boy, were brushed aside as bleeding heart SJWs, as if that’s the only type of person that could possibly view this incident from a viewpoint sympathetic to the boy. And all the while, Ann said nothing to dissuade the commenters of their shameful behavior. She has lost my respect and my clicks.

      • In defense of Ann, her practice is not to argue with commenters, because she is soliciting opinions. She seldom comments at all, even when commenters are bashing her. I find many comment sections in any blog that is even slightly conservative have these racism outbreaks.. especially sports sites. It’s disturbing.

        • Thanks for that context Jack. I’m used to your involvement with your commenters and assumed the same from her. It was pretty jarring to see all of that bias, feeding off of each other, and no one stepping in to question it.

          • This is why I keep intervening, and just about nobody else does. Over at Simple Justice, a great blog written by nasty lawyer, Scott Greenfield engages commenters, and he’s about the only other one I can think of who sees his role the way I do. It’s time consuming, to be sure, but necessary to keep order, civility and quality up.

      • Chris

        This should be a COTD.

        Unfortunately Chris M., the comments on Althouse’s blog are frequently quite racist. Her refusal to clamp down on that is one of the reasons I do not see her as a remotely ethical blogger.

    • “That IS racism — or bigotry depending on the circumstances. Being uncomfortable because there are people in your presence who are a different gender, different race, different religion, is not the diverse person’s problem, it’s yours.”

      Wrong, but I’m sure it makes your little SJW heart feel superior to think so.

      My point is that two black people doing the same thing as five white people in a room with 25 white people and no other black people risk being the ones singled out. That’s not a racial phenomenon, its just typical human perception. It might be racism, but it doesn’t have to be. Absent more, I will assume that the two black individuals were easily picked up as not doing anything but standing around. I was at a conference in Africa where I was the only white guy amidst over a hundred African lawyers. If I stood out, and I was told that I did, it was not because of racism.

      If the two men at Starbucks had been white but had turnips in their ears, I’m betting that the same scenario might have occurred.

      • Chris


        Wrong, but I’m sure it makes your little SJW heart feel superior to think so

        As two of your most anti-SJW commenters expresses agreement with Spartan’s analysis here, this comment of yours is unfair and mindless.

        • No, they are just falling into line in fear of being labelled racists, which is what SS’s post implied.

          A single instance of a black individual being mistreated, misunderstood or abused by a white individual is not evidence of racism. Write it down a hundred times, please. Such incidents do serve as a means to advance a false and destructive narrative that all blacks are victims, and all whites are racists out to victimize them.

          • valkygrrl

            Really Jack? You’re accusing your regular commenters of lying to avoid the disapproval of…. who exactly? Chris? Rodney Dangerfield gets more respect around here, and he’s dead.

          • Chris

            No, they are just falling into line in fear of being labelled racists, which is what SS’s post implied.

            To echo valky here, your assumption that Chris Bentley and Humble Talent are just pretending to hold a position they don’t hold because they’re afraid of being labelled racist is extremely unfair to them, and comports with absolutely nothing we know about them.

            A single instance of a black individual being mistreated, misunderstood or abused by a white individual is not evidence of racism.

            If this were the only instance of black individuals being mistreated, misunderstood or abused by white individuals, you’d be right. But it isn’t, so you’re not.

            • The last sentence is nonsense, but nicely encapsulates a delusion. This is why evidence of unrelated racist events by different individuals cannot be used as evidence in a trial regarding one incident. One Starbucks employee made one decision. It was not part of a pattern, or a conspiracy, or grand scheme. Her decision can only be fairly assessed based on the facts of the incident, and nothing else is relevant.

              • Chris

                You are massively moving the goalposts. No one is talking about a trial. You originally said that the decision could not be called racism even if the decision was based on the men were singled out because of their race. That is absurd. You don’t know what racism is.

                • Chris wrote, “You don’t know what racism is.”

                  Just because you choose to label something as racism does not mean that it actually is racism or that you know what racism is. You, like so many others, are falsely labeling this as racism.

                  When you look at the world through racism tinted social justice warrior glasses, all you’re going to see is racism.

                  • Chris

                    Zoltar,

                    I have not said that this incident as Starbucks was absolutely racism.

                    Jack said that if the men were singled out because of their race, that isn’t necessarily racism. He is wrong. Singling out people for their race is racism.

                    I hope you agree.

                    • Chris,
                      Your problem is a recurring one, you simply don’t really understand the words you use, you’re not alone in that, most social justice warriors don;t really know what the f*** they are talking about.

                      Here’s a bit of help…

                      Racism ≠ Bigotry

                      Now apply what you’ve learned or remain ignorant; your choice.

                    • Jackie Robinson was singled out to break the color barrier because of his color and race. Racism?
                      Barack Obama was celebrated as a groundbreaking President, singled out for the distinction because of his race. Racism?
                      I was singled out as the American ethics expert in Nigeria and surrounded by over 30 questioning black lawyers who spotted me because of my race. Racism?
                      I cast a black actress as a judge in “Nuts” because I singled her out to have a diverse cast. Racism?
                      I singled out a male black singer to perform “The Face On The Dime” in a revival of “Call Me Mister” because he was the only black baritone in the cast, and the song was originally performed by an African American. Had he been white, I would have cast a better singer. Racism?

                      Stop being stupid.

                    • Chris

                      You’re being ridiculous and willfully obtuse. We are not talking about singling out someone out for praise because they are the first of their race to accomplish something, or any of the other legitimate reasons you mentioned. We are talking about singling out people for their race and then kicking them out of an establishment for doing something that people of another race do all the time without getting kicked out. That is racism. Period.

                    • You said, and I quote, “the decision was based on the men…singled out because of their race,” and that this is racism. Being singled out because of race is NOT racism, as my examples show. There has to be bias, prejudice and animus, and absent proof of these, racism cannot be presumed. If four naked men, three albinos and a black, are running from a crime scene, its is not racism if the black man is the one apprehended.

                    • Chris,
                      I think you might be able to power up a small town with the CPGP that you’re displaying in this thread. There are some pretty big winds skimming by just above your hairline. 😉

                • Deceitful,Chris. “Singled out” does not mean “treated prejudicially.” Thurgood Marshall was “singed out” for his color when he was appointed to the Supreme Court. My statement was clear in context their color made the two men stand out in that setting, and their loitering was more apparent than it might have been if they were white. If that is why they were “singled out, ” that is not racism. That sequence does not require animus or bigotry. It is similar to George Zimmerman’s conduct: he singled out the only person in the area at night that he didn’t know and who was acting, in his view, suspicious.

        • I actually disagreed with Spart, and I think you misread it.

          I think that:

          “Being uncomfortable because there are people in your presence who are a different gender, different race, different religion, is not the diverse person’s problem, it’s yours.”

          subtly shifted the goalposts from the previous conversation. No one mentioned discomfort before Spart did, we were talking about whether it was racist to notice someone in your establishment because they din’t fit the mold of your usual clientele. And I said that that couldn’t possibly be the case, although the employees conduct after noticing the person MIGHT have been racist, and I’m even leaning that way because I have real doubts that SOP in a Starbucks is to tell ANYONE to buy something or leave. I actually think that in her clarification, Spart moved her argument more in line with mine that the reverse.

  9. DaveL

    A couple of points: First,

    My guess is that the men were indeed singled out because of their race, but not because of racism. Starbucks everywhere is pretty white: two whites hanging around waiting might never be noticed. Two African Americans might stand out.
    This is not “systemic racism.” This is reality. Another pair who stood out from the usual crowd for reasons other than race might well have encountered the same response.

    That’s pretty much what “systemic racism” (or implicit racism, or structural racism) is – that confluence of circumstances and psychological tricks that bring about things like the differential enforcement of rules along racial lines, all without conscious racial animus.

    Secondly, am I the only one here who doesn’t consider it rude to already have a drink in hand while waiting for the rest of my party to show up? It’s not a Japanese Tea Ceremony. Caffeinate at your own rate.

    • DaveL wrote, “Secondly, am I the only one here who doesn’t consider it rude to already have a drink in hand while waiting for the rest of my party to show up?”

      Nope you’re not; read the rest of the comments above.

      • Steve-O-in-NJ

        Then there’s also this useful thing called texting, for finding out when the rest of your peeps will be there, and stepping aside for paying customers if it’s going to be a while.

      • Other Bill

        Hipsters make their own arcane rules. It’s part of being in the in group and indicating you are. I avoid Starbucks. Caffeine and I don’t get along. Plus the coffee is extravagantly expensive. And my Aussie friends tell me all American coffee is terrible.

        Anyway, Starbucks is a “community.” I suspect people who go there regularly think of it as their second living room or free conference room. That’s certainly what the company seems to try to foster in its patrons. But like any living room, when someone or a group acts up in the living room, it’s a problem.

        Would be interesting to see what would happen if a bunch of hunters or bikers or Mormon missionaries came in and sat down and refused to buy anything until Godot showed up.

        • Steve-O-in-NJ

          They’d be told to leave others’ safe space.

          • Other Bill

            Man, I HATE the term “community.” It’s a weapon used by small, ineffectual groups to impose their will on others. I don’t want to be part of a community. I want to be whatever I want to be.

        • Michael R.

          A better example would be a group of people wearing MAGA hats and then tell the Starbuck’s employee they want ‘Trump” written on their cup. You can search YouTube for that one. The result is you get thrown out and (I believe) you don’t even get the coffee you paid for.

          • Steve-O-in-NJ

            Asking to have Trump written on the cup is one thing. The hat is nobody’s business.

            • Michael R.

              Yeah, they were trying to antagonize the lefties with that one. Of course, if they weren’t lefties, they just would have done it and let them have their giggles.

    • Still Spartan

      Yes and yes.

  10. valkygrrl

    If anyone is interested in a small bit of history. Today, April 16’th, is celbrated in DC as Emancipation Day marking Abraham Lincoln’s signing of The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862.

  11. I literally just left the Starbucks closest to my house & 3 teenage black boys were spread out across 3 tables with no food or beverages using I presume the wifi. Our favorite barista there was visibly uncomfortable as there wasn’t much seating left for the other customers coming in. Another black woman was there eating a pastry and not associated w/ the guys. I feel bad for all the Starbucks staff that now are caught between a social justice rock and BLM hard place.

    • Just deserts, you think?

    • I feel a bit bad, and am disappointed that the teens aren’t self-aware enough, and lacking in shame to recognize the burden they were causing, the other side of me says, this is the price you pay for having a “policy” that’s rarely enforced. This is the bed they make, presumably in an attempt to make their establishments more welcoming. Sometimes, they have to lie in it.

  12. I find it ironic when the ‘tolerant’ left eats their own. Facebook, Youtube, and now Starbucks will have to learn to be better socialists!

    I have not graced a Starbucks since the gun rights kerfuffle a few years ago. The coffee tastes bad to me (your results may vary) and the pretension in the room is off putting. Plus the parking of most in our area is dangerously tight and limited. So not going there was not a huge change to my lifestyle. 🙂

    My wife used to get Starbucks cards as gifts from students all the time, when they were more trendy. I still have some tens of dollars on my consolidated card, which my teenage daughter uses for frilly cold coffee drinks with her friends. She understands their politics, and at 15 will not turn down a free social event, as long as Daddy provides the card.

  13. Michael R.

    As expected, the manager has been fired. Also as expected, the ACLU faulted the police for arresting people for trespassing when they were trespassing, stating that the police need to update their procedures and policies. “Starbucks may be able to decide who sits in its store, but only the police could decide to arrest these men,” Shuford (executive director of the Penn ACLU) said. Predictably, a Marxist group occupied the Starbucks to keep them from serving customers.

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