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Two black men arrested for refusing to leave Starbucks speak out, say they feared for their lives

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The two black men who were arrested for refusing to leave a Philadelphia Starbucks are now speaking out, saying they feared for their lives when confronted by police.

Rashon Nelson and his business partner Donte Robinson appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America” Thursday to talk about being denied the opportunity to use the restroom because they weren’t paying customers, with Robinson saying, “It didn’t really hit me what was going on.”

ABC News anchor Robin Roberts asked them about Starbucks’ policy on non-paying customers and about police asking them repeatedly to leave.

“I understand that, the rules are the rules,” Robinson replied. “But what’s right is right and what’s wrong is wrong. And that’s in any situation, whether race is involved or not.”

In effect, he understands the rules, but will not abide by them if he doesn’t agree with them.

The men explained to The Associated Press that they were meeting a third party for a business meeting at the coffee shop.

Police were eventually called after the men asked to use the restroom and that’s when Nelson “wondered if he’d make it home alive,” the AP reported.

“Anytime I’m encountered by cops, I can honestly say it’s a thought that runs through my mind,” he told AP. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

Nelson told Good Morning America that he wants the incident to serve as a “stepping stone,” with the hope that it leads to “true change.”

The reaction to the incident has dominated the news cycle, with Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologizing for the “reprehensible” arrests and and ordering all stores closed for mandatory racial sensitivity training.

But as one black man proved when he walked into a Starbucks and demanded a free coffee as “reparations” because of the Philadelphia incident — and got it! — America is being played by the “ridiculousness” of hypersensitive race activists.

The rush to make the incident about race and not about the men being asked to leave a business because they weren’t paying customers is a reoccurring theme in post-Obama American.

Here’s a sampling of the mixed reactions to the GMA interview from Twitter:



Tom Tillison


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