It’s hype: Plenty of reasons to avoid Starbucks, but what happened in Philly isn’t one of them

Liberal coffee chain Starbucks was swarmed by protesters Sunday after a video of two black men getting arrested for violating a longstanding company policy went viral.

The militant Black Lives Matter and dozens of people protested outside the Center City location of a Starbucks franchise in Philadelphia, carrying signs that read: “Boycott Racist Starbucks” and “Shame On You Starbucks,” the Philly News reported.

Two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks for loitering and using the restroom without making a purchase.

Two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbucks for loitering and using the restroom without making a purchase. (Melissa DePino/Twitter)

The brouhaha erupted after two black men were arrested for loitering at the Starbucks shop without making a purchase.

It is a longstanding policy at Starbucks and almost every other business, including McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC, that you must make a purchase to use the restroom or hang out at the store. The policy is in place to ensure that paying customers will not be denied access to seats or the restroom at the expense of vagrants who are just loitering.

Witnesses said when the two men refused to leave after being told by the manager that they could not use the restroom, the manager called the police, who arrested the two black men.

Liberals were quick to pounce on the incident as racist even though loitering and trespassing on a private business are grounds for removal/arrest no matter what color you are.

“The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything,” one woman wrote. “They were waiting for a friend to show up, who did as they were taken out in handcuffs for doing nothing. All the other white ppl are wondering why it’s never happened to us when we do the same thing.”

The men, who declined to be identified, were released eight hours later and no charges were filed. Predictably, the arrest of two people of color sent liberals into a feeding frenzy since it’s red meat for grievance-mongering social justice warriors.

Social media went wild with #BoycottStarbucks hashtags and similar anti-Starbucks posts. Naturally, Starbucks caved into mob pressure and apologized for enforcing its own longstanding corporate policy.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson issued a self-flagellating “white guilt” apology: “Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome—the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong.  Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did.”

Meanwhile, legal experts underscored that Starbucks did nothing wrong. Attorney Elura Nanos wrote at Law and Crime:

The manager of a public establishment, such as Starbucks, would have the legal right to ask any person to leave. While the public may have a license to enter and remain on the Starbucks property, that license can be revoked at any time, and for almost any reason. That’s just the way property law works, and in this regard, it’s no different for Starbucks than it is for you in your own home.

Nanos said if no one can prove that the Starbucks manager acted with racial animus when he/she called the police to enforce the company’s own policy, there was no discrimination.

Meanwhile, conservatives had a nice chuckle over liberals and activist groups like Black Lives Matter turning on one of its own. In January 2018, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz responded to President Donald Trump’s executive actions to keep Americans safe by announcing that he will hire 10,000 refugees. Conservatives wondered why Starbucks won’t commit to hiring 10,000 military veterans instead.

In June 2017, Starbucks was forced to apologize to a longtime customer who says she was bullied and harassed by a group of baristas for wearing a Trump t-shirt.

Kayla Hart said when she walked into the coffee shop, the cashier laughed at her and sarcastically labeled her order “BUILD A WALL” instead of her name. Then, the other Starbucks employees mocked and jeered.

“They shouted out, ‘Build a wall!’ and shoved a drink at me,” Hart said. “And then all the baristas in the back started cracking up laughing.”

Keep in mind that loyal customers like Kayla pay the salaries of these thugs who bullied her. Hart said she felt so humiliated that she walked out because she noticed all the other customers were staring at her.

So yeah, there are plenty of good reasons to boycott Starbucks: Overpriced coffee, a serving of leftist propaganda with every Frappuccino, and stale sandwiches. But the arrest in Philadelphia isn’t one of them.

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Samantha Chang

Samantha Chang

Samantha Chang is a politics/lifestyle writer and a financial editor. She is a law school graduate and an alum of the University of Pennsylvania. You can find her on Twitter at @Samantha_Chang.
Samantha Chang

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