Last week, two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia in a shocking case of racism. The two men were waiting for a friend and hadn’t ordered anything when the police were called. This was despite the fact that there were white customers waiting who also hadn’t ordered anything, yet they weren’t arrested.
Footage of the arrest went viral after Philadelphia resident @missdepino posted this video on her Twitter.
@Starbucks The police were called because these men hadn’t ordered anything. 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. pic.twitter.com/0U4Pzs55Ci
— Melissa DePino (@missydepino) 12 April 2018
The two gentlemen were released later on that night, however, it serves as a sobering reminder of the racism that is still prevalent in much of the world. In light of this incident, Starbucks has released a statement mentioning that they will be closing 8,000 company-owned locations in the States the afternoon of May 29 to hold a racial-bias education workshop designed to prevent discrimination in stores.
The training will also be a part of the on-boarding process for new partners, moving forward. The training is said to address implicit bias, prevent discrimination, promote conscious inclusion, and provide a safe environment for staff and customers.
“The company’s founding values are based on humanity and inclusion,” said executive chairman Howard Schultz. “We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer. We can’t help but wonder if it’s too little too late?