The Starbucks Scandal and Why You Shouldn't Call the Cops on Black People

The Starbucks Scandal and Why You Shouldn't Call the Cops on Black People

It does more harm than good. Trust me.
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An incident that took place at a Starbucks in Philadelphia on Thursday, April 12th sparked protests as two black men were arrested for “loitering.” The two men were waiting in the store for their friend who was going to have a meeting with them about real estate investments. One of the men asked to use the bathroom and the employee said the bathroom is for customers only. It isn’t exactly clear what happened in the store but we do know that an employee called the cops on the men for not ordering.

There are a lot of issue with this situation especially considering my own personal experiences as a white person. People meet at coffee shops all the time for business or dates or hanging out and Starbucks is no stranger to that environment. I, as a white person, have gone to a lot of businesses to just be somewhere and not eat their food. I’ve bought tacos at 711 and ate them in the back of a Panda Express. I’ve gone to Wendy’s and brought my food to the McDonald’s next door because the place look nicer and I’ve never been kicked out. People do this all the time. And as someone who works part-time in the food industry, it’s something you deal with because it doesn’t matter. Telling someone to leave if they honestly aren’t causing any real trouble isn’t worth the time and effort.

Another big issue with this scenario is how the call immediately ended with arrest. The clip that went viral shows police officers arresting the two men while their friend is trying to explain the situation. Again, we don’t quite know how much time had occurred between the call, the police showing up and the friend showing up, we can estimate that the entire scenario happened in a fifteen minute time window since they were meeting up with someone. That is still not a lot of time spent figuring out the situation which means the police didn’t take time to think whether or not arresting them was really necessary.

The thing is, a police call does not require arrest. I know this first hand from having to call the cops on a person myself. For context, I was dealing with a drunk person in my home who had been acting aggressively towards me and the call was a last resort. An important thing to note is that the drunk person was white. When the cops came, they questioned us individually about the situation and reasoned with him as to why he needs to calm down. They didn’t immediately arrest him even though he was an aggressor. They didn’t threaten him even though he was being drunk and condescending. They just went on with their night.

If we compare these two scenarios, mine being a little bit more extreme because I had been dealing with an aggressive drunk person, compared to two people who were allegedly loitering in Starbucks, we can see that an arrest was severe. Nothing violent happened to them during the arrest because the two held a calm demeanor, even though they knew they did nothing wrong. However, being arrested is a terrifying and traumatic experience for anyone, but especially if you are a person of color.

To me, it’s very obvious that the call was unnecessary, though for some reason other people are reluctant to agree. But this situation is not new. White people tend to view police differently than black people do. We tend to view them as a solution to the problem rather than the reason for all of the problems. A white women in the suburbs doesn’t see an issue with calling the cops on the black person walking by her house. The white boy doesn’t see the problem on calling the cops on a black person getting in a fight at a party. White people just don’t see the harm in getting the cops involved in a situation like people of color do because we’ve had the police on our sides. Even in our most messed up situations where we did need to call the cops, we don’t realize how much it could have escalated if we were people of color or if people of color were involved. But that’s something we need to consider especially if the situation involved a non-violent crime like loitering where police force isn’t necessary, where no ones lives are actually in danger.

A lot of people are saying that the Starbucks employee wasn’t racially profiling, but they were. They absolutely were. Starbucks is very much a white store. Sure there are customers of color, but it appeals to the basic white suburban community. They are very specific to the types of customers they cater to and maybe they aren’t as out about it as maybe some sports bar in the middle of Alabama, there’s still that subtle racism that I wouldn’t notice since it’s not something I have to think about as a white individual.

If you work part-time in food service or retail, you profile your customers. When a white women with highlights comes into your store, you wonder how long it'll take for her to ask for your manager. When a person of color, specifically a black man, comes into your store, automatically you profile him. You look at his clothes and you pay attention to what kind of phone he has as if that says something about whether or not he lives somewhere. You look at your tip jar and you wonder if he’ll notice if you move it away from him in case he tries to steal from it. Maybe you’re not even having these thought consciously, maybe they’re just quick passing thoughts, but what you’re brain is doing is assessing danger that you think is there because society taught you it’s there. It’s screwed up, but we do it and we need to be more aware of it.

A call for boycott of Starbucks stores has been made on twitter. The Starbucks executive has issued an apology to the two that were arrested. Starbucks is closing U.S. stores on May 29th to have racial bias training.

Cover Image Credit: pexels

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Gillette Somehow Faces Backlash For Saying That Women Should Be Treated Like People

I mean seriously, what just happened?

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I've always found it funny when conservatives make fun of liberal "snowflakes" the get offended by everything only to burn their Nikes when the company ran an ad with a guy they don't like. Another example of this hypocrisy happened just this week.

In case you've been living under a rock for the last week or so, the razor company Gillette, also the namesake of the New England Patriot's stadium released an ad that has divided the internet just as effectively as any blue and black dress...or white and gold...whatever. How were they able to accomplish this? All it took was a simple advertisement.

The ad played on Gillette's famous slogan, "The Best A Man Can Get." It went on to show casually sexist men catcalling, stalking, and silencing women, an experience that I'm sure any woman can relate to. The men in the commercial responded with the age-old excuse of "boys will be boys" and dismissed these events. However, as the ad progresses other men begin to intervene on the women's behalf and basically saying that this crap ain't right, which it's not. The ad ends with a text saying "It's only by challenging ourselves to do more than we can get closer to our best."

Personally, I thought nothing of the ad. To me, all it was saying was "please don't be a dick to women. Women are people too." I found these positions to be pretty reasonable, and the advertisement left my mind completely...until the next morning. Remember how I thought the ad was reasonable? Yeah, not everyone else thought so.

Social media was inundated by those who hated the ad, and many were calling a boycott of Gillette in response to it. This, of course, started another one of those respectful, thoughtful and nuanced conversations that the internet is known for...I'm kidding.

It was a bloodbath with accusations of sexism and toxic masculinity and toxic femininity and Nazism and communism and so many other political buzzwords that even Fox News would've had an aneurysm.

As I read as many comments and tweets as I could (as much as I could stomach anyway), I found that the vast majority of negative responses boiled down to two basic complaints. The first of these is the accusation that the ad paints all men as rapists and woman-haters, demonizing an entire gender. However, if you actually watched the ad for more than thirty seconds, you would see that this is bullshit.

The ad doesn't paint all men as trash, just the ones that are acting like trash.

In fact, there are even men in the ad holding other men accountable for their actions. In my opinion, if you think that the ad is treating men like trash for no good reason, then you probably see yourself in those trash men, which probably means that you are, in fact, also trash.

The other large complaint was that they saw it as liberal propaganda, with a lot of comments reading something along the lines of "keep politics out of my razors!" This of course, is only said when you disagree with the politics being pushed. If Gillette had run an ad with a more conservative angle, the same people bashing it now would have had no issue. Whenever someone says "I don't want politics in my [insert thing here]," they really mean "I don't want politics that I disagree with in my [insert thing here]." This goes for both sides of the political spectrum.

All in all, Gillette made a reasonable ad that promoted the idea that maybe we shouldn't treat women like objects that are meant to bring us pleasure. Unfortunately, Gillette underestimated the unholy amounts of sexism and right-wing hatred on the internet, which is only allowed to escape 4chan when something is about to utterly destroy the fabric of society....like a football player not standing for a song and other such world ending events. I find the ad pretty tame and harmless, but always remember that in the era of social media, the standards for outrage are extremely low, and only getting lower.

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