Casually Drinking A Venti Caramel Macchiato And Then…

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Rashon Nelson (left) & Donte Robinson (right)

Photo: Jacqueline Larma, AP

Haven’t we all been in Starbucks casually drinking a Venti Caramel Macchiato, watching customers walk in and out, or just pleasantly sitting down, using all of the cafe’s wifi to our advantages? I know I have and many times at that. But who would’ve thought that asking to use the bathroom or something as simple as sitting down in one of the chairs, while waiting for someone would be a crime?  Rashon Nelson (left) and Donte Robinson (right) obviously didn’t.

If you haven’t heard already, the two Black men, both 23, made national headlines recently after being arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks for “trespassing and creating a disturbance,” according the to Washington Post. Their only crime was arriving 10 minutes early to a business meeting and not ordering anything within the first two minutes!  An eyewitness who watched the drama unfold captured most of it on video.

That night the charges were dropped and the Starbucks higher-ups issued a public apology, but for many people that wasn’t enough. Crowds of angry protesters have been occupying and boycotting this Philadelphia Starbucks for days. Other protesters are even picketing the cafe chain across the country. Since the incident, the Starbucks owner has decided to close 8,000 stores nationwide on May 29, to educate employees on racial bias and diversity. Taking it a step further, Kevin Johnson, the CEO, has even terminated the manager’s employment and met with both Nelson and Robinson.

It seems clear that this is a fight that has already been won. So, why continue to waste our breath and raise our voices when there are many other fights that have yet to be won?  Don’t get me wrong, anytime that a racially insensitive altercation takes place, we should be the first ones to protest these sins that have been committed against our Black community. However, in this situation, I feel as if Starbucks has handled this in a way that was effective, civilized, and in a timely manner.

I’m not the only one that feels this way. De’Anthony Means, a senior at Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep, and a Starbucks enthusiast, has said that this incident will not change his view and visits to Starbucks. “It was only one location, an isolated one at that,” he said. “I will continue to go to Starbucks. I love me a Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino with whip cream.”

What are thoughts about the situation? Will you continue to patronize Starbucks? Tell us why or why not in the comment section.


By Jada Daniel, Gwendolyn Brooks College Prep, Junior

Twitter: @tgijadaaa

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