Alright, thanks to everybody who left comments on the blog and on my Twitter account as to what they would have done had they also been a patron in the Starbucks in Rittenhouse Square last week. I’m about to tell you what I would have done if I had been inside that location. But first, and this is juicy, some of the Starbucks staff from that location are going on the record saying that the manager who called the police, a white woman, Holly Hylton was hostile to non white staff and customers.
This makes me go “hmmm.” I mean how does one even get into a managerial role if they can’t get along with all people??? Seems like the wrong sort of person to be in charge of people and an establishment where humans of all walks, and colours of life frequent, doesn’t it??
Now, where I sit, all I know to be true is that there is a Starbucks within walking distance from my house. Directly kitty corner to that Starbucks is a high school, and this high school, let’s just say, has kids in it that you wouldn’t want to run into in a dark alley. They seem a little bad ass to me; yet even though they have this vibe and attitude about them, not only does my “local” Starbucks allow them to come in there all day long, 95% of them bring in outside food with them, while one of them buys a hot chocolate or a frappuccino with extra whip on it. And guess what? I’ve never, not once, heard any staff from my Starbucks ask them to leave. Even when they’re clogging up the entrance and sitting three to a chair. Similarly not once when I’ve had to rush into a Starbucks during a long car ride to use the girls room, have I been caught without making a purchase, and subsequently had the cops called on me.
Hell, I’ve been in a Starbucks for four hours waiting for a dog of mine to come out of surgery. The first hour was the only time I purchased anything, the rest, well that was just spent clacking away on my laptop working, but not spending a penny more.
These two men. These two African American men were in a Starbucks waiting for a friend. Probably waiting until he got there to order, in case they opted to hold their meeting elsewhere. I mean what’s wrong with that? I’ve done that numerous times in many establishments without having the cops called on me. Oh, but wait, I’m WHITE. Of course I can sit for hours in a Starbucks, or thirty minutes at a table in a restaurant “waiting to order” until my friend arrives without anybody demanding I pay up, or get out or risk being arrested for doing none of the above.
I’m sorry. Regardless of whether or not these men refused to order something or not while they were waiting doesn’t in any way shape or form excuse the manager’s decision to call the cops on them. Plenty of white folks, including myself do this all day every single fucking day.
That woman, I hope she was fired.
Those men, well I hope they were handsomely compensated.
Starbucks? Well I hope they learned a very valuable lesson. If they’re going to let some customers loiter, and use the bathrooms without a purchase; then this habit needs to extend to ALL customers, regardless of the colour of their skin. As for me, and what I would have done had I been in that store, I would have absolutely told the manager to “sit down.” 1000% I would have gotten involved, and probably point out to her that I had been there for over an hour, making my $6.00 purchase pretty much null and void. I mean she had no definitive knowledge that they weren’t going to purchase something once their friend arrived, did she? She was offside in my opinion, and I would have made no bones about telling her so.
Going forward, well coffee doesn’t agree with me anyway, but I suppose I won’t even be buying tea from them anymore. Should be interesting to see how the big machine, that is Starbucks responds to, and handles this, and what the financial ramifications of one racist manger’s misstep will mean to the juggernaut business.