Starbucks and Racial Profiling


On April 12th in a Philadelphia Starbucks two black men, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, were arrested under the suspicion of trespassing. The men were waiting on a friend to show up and while they were waiting they asked to use the restroom but because they didn’t buy anything the employee refused. They did not leave and eventually the employee called the police. A video of the arrest was posted onto twitter and in that video you can see both men being handcuffed by police and escorted out of the Starbucks. The man Robinson and Nelson were meeting to discuss real estate, Andrew Yaffe, confronted the police saying, “This is ridiculous. What did they get called for? Because they’re two black guys sitting there meeting me?”. Yaffe wasn’t the only customer bothered by what was taking place. Another customer says, “They didn’t do anything, I saw the entire thing.”. This specific store in Philadelphia has a rule stating that customers must buy something in order to use the bathroom but Matthew Kreitzer, a Virginia based attorney, states that such policies are useless unless they are consistently enforced. Some people believe that the cops had the right to arrest them and have argued that none of this has to do with their race. These people have expressed their opinions in a longer video which will be attached below.

Nonetheless such occurrences are not rare for black people. Even if this had nothing to do with the color of their skin being racially profiled is something that many people of color have experienced throughout their life. Since this incident Starbucks has apologized and on April 15th they announced the closing of 8,000 stores in the United States for anti-bias training which will take place on May 29th.

You can find the video here:


One thought on “Starbucks and Racial Profiling”

  1. After these two were arrested on April 12, it sparked an outcry for many individuals. The men did not end up getting charged with anything and the Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson, apologized for the actions of his workers and called the arrests “repressible.”. These two men wanted to give back to the community and not let the spark die down. So, they reached an agreement for a symbolic settlement, receiving $1 each. In addition to this payment, they have pledged to support a $200,000 effort to support and encourage young entrepreneurship. Working with the city and a nonprofit organization, this grant will be used to establish “a pilot curriculum for public high school students to develop the skills necessary to pursue their dream of being entrepreneurs,” according to Dunn. I am happy to see these two individuals giving back to the community and trying to help others while receiving a symbolic payment for themselves. The pain they have received with this bad Starbucks situation will now go into something good.

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