How the Starbucks arrest is unjustified

How the Starbucks arrest is unjustified

Even though racism in the U.S. doesn’t seem to be one of the biggest issues this country faces today, there is still more hate for others than there should be. One of the latest incidents involves two black men in a Philadelphian Starbucks on April 12.

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were not doing anything illegal. Nelson simply wanted to go to the restroom while waiting for a friend to talk more about real estate in Philadelphia.

The black men were told that the restrooms were only for customers, so they decided to wait at a table, something that is commonplace for many Starbucks locations.

A Starbucks manager then called police, saying the two consumers didn’t want to make a purchase or leave.

While the two black men were not charged, it is still sick to see how human beings can’t seem to respect each other’s differences. Personally, it’s not just the employee who called that is at fault. After the 911 call, someone on the opposite line remarked, “We have a disturbance at the Starbucks,” mentioning “a group of males inside causing a disturbance.”

In addition to little evidence to arrest the men on (they were later released on no charges), the way the police happened to treat these two is disgraceful. In an interview with the two men, they noted how the police never asked what the problem was once they arrived at Starbucks and they never told the men their rights.

While it is true that one can be kicked out of a store, simply cursing at an employee should not be grounds for an oust. If and only if there is wide disruption should a consumer be ejected from the premises.

As a result of the incident, Starbucks closed down their stores for one day on April 24 and will close down their corporate headquarters on May 29 to educate their employees about racial bias and how to prevent racial bias from unjustly creeping into their decisions. Additionally, the manager who called police has been fired.

Unfortunately, there are various places, even in the U.S., where racism is more prevalent than other spots. The New York Times Article “Philadelphia Starbucks Arrests, Outrageous to Some, Are Everyday Life for Others,”  notes how the racially-biased activities are so frequent, from a black woman being followed by a security guard to a man’s shopping bag being searched and the Barnes & Noble shelves checked by staff because another security guard didn’t trust the black man.

Nelson noted in his interview that he hopes people like him “really stand up and show your greatness, and that you are not judged by the color of your skin as our ancestors were.”