Starbucks is in full on damage control mode after one of its stores had two black men arrested at one of its Philadelphia locations for trespassing and being uncooperative.
According to Fox affiliate KTXL, the two black men had sat down at the Starbucks, but were not ordering anything. After some time went by, the manager called the police who arrived and after talking with the men, said arrested them for trespassing. A real estate developer Andrew Yaffe said the two men were waiting for him.
The story went viral and resulted with two dozen protesters showing up at the location in anger.
According to the Valdosta Daily Times, protesters arrived at the store and called for the firing of its “racist manager.”:
Protesters Sunday demanded the firing of the store manager who had called police and every Philadelphia police officer who participated in the arrest. About 75 people and at least two dozen uniformed officers attended the noon protest, organized by Black Lives Matter activist Asa Khalif.
Halfway through the demonstration that began outside, Khalif led protesters into the store as confused customers looked on.
“Today, today this space is now secure, secured by the people,” Khalif yelled through a bullhorn once inside.
He then said to the crowd: “Should we ask the racist manager to come out?”
“Come out, come out wherever you are,” one protester said.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson went to Philadelphia to personally apologize to the men for the incident, and said there’s going to be some changes on how Starbucks employees are trained.
This new training revolves around teaching its employees about “unconscious bias,” which is newspeak for teaching their employees how to identify their own racist tendencies.
While the actions by the managers were wrong, Starbucks is now engaging in a social justice driven training course usually only offered at college campuses. “Unconscious bias” usually implies that the person being accused of it is racist. While racism in any form is always bad, I’ve never once seen this leveled at anyone except the white population, and I hope that if Starbucks is going to engage in this kind of training, that they make sure it’s done across the board.
Or, better yet, either fire or reprimand the manager responsible for the incident, apologize to the two men, and don’t introduce social justice agendas into the corporate workplace. This rarely works out for the better.