At first when I read about this story I wasn’t sure of how to react. On the surface it had all the look of a racial bias incident. For those who don’t know the story, 2 Black men were waiting in a Starbucks in Philadelphia for another man to come in and have a meeting. While they were there someone had asked them if they wanted anything and they declined the offer. One of the men understood when he was told that he couldn’t use the bathroom because he wasn’t a paying customer. If you would like to read the full story here is the link:
Let’s examine the facts of this case. First, a lot of places will tell you that if you are not a paying customer then you cannot use the bathroom. That makes sense to me. Normally places like this want you to purchase something from them because they are a business designed to make money. If you are occupying their space it detracts from others who might want to buy their products or services. I understand all of that. Now let’s look at the other side. For many, Starbucks has been a place where a LOT of people meet up for meetings. In fact, I can’t think of any other place where more private business meetings have been held. I, myself, have had meetings there (and no, I don’t like coffee). Since these men weren’t buying anything, should they have been arrested and escorted out by policemen? On the surface, this looks very bad because the men arrested were Black. One of those men had been a long time patron of this establishment. Just because both men were Black I don’t necessarily like to call it a racial issue, but then you have to ask yourself, “Would this have happened if the men had not been Black?” Because of the heightened awareness of racial issues in our society it is difficult to ignore the impact of this case. There may be other parts of this story that have not yet been divulged as well. I do know that if Starbucks is going to be one of those places for meetings then it may need to revise the policy of having people pay for services in order to congregate there. I am not calling for any type of boycott against Starbucks… at least not yet… I would like to see what results they can come up with to help rectify this situation and go from there. Every place needs to check it’s policies to make sure you don’t violate the rights of your customers. Hopefully this situation can find a solution that is amicable to all. Thank you for checking out my Daily Thought and as always I wish you the very best that life has to offer.
Comedian Kris Tucker, brother Bill Jolly and Brett Jolly