If you have turned on any news lately, you are bound to have heard about the recent incident that took place at a Philadelphia Starbucks.
Last week, two black men walked into the store and sat down at a table. When one of the men asked to use the bathroom, he was denied saying that the bathrooms were for paying customers only. The men then sat down at a table and did not buy anything.
The initial video that has surfaced has been difficult to watch by some. Many people saying that they did not deserve the outcome.
The manager of that Starbucks then called the local police and the men were arrested for trespassing, but soon released without charge.
This incident sparked outrage across the U.S. with riots and protests over the multi-billion dollar coffee chain. Some even described the coffee franchise as being “anti-black.”
The response from Starbucks was quick and proactive. On Monday, a video was released of the Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson, publicly apologizing to the men and all of Starbucks customers in a video that reached two million people under 24 hours.
“This is not who we are, and it’s not who we’re going to be”
– Statement from Kevin Johnson
Many regular Starbucks patrons have said how common it is for people to occupy tables without purchasing beverages, but for some reason these two men were singled out.
A statement released by Johnson discusses the “disheartening situation.” Johnson also vowed to review their practices and training of employees – noting that this situation should never have escalated as it did.
Still, Starbucks continues to receive backlash from their loyal customers. Hashtags on Twitter include “#StarbucksWhileBlack” and “#StarbucksProtest”, and “#StarbucksArrest.” The public is disappointed in their beloved coffee chain with some tweeting how they will buy from McDonalds until they “sort it out”.
Protestors on Monday were heard chanting “Starbucks coffee is anti-black.”
As for the manager that worked for this store, she is “no longer employed at the store,” which leads many to assume that she may have been shuffled to a different location. The identity of the manager has not been released.
Still, Johnson continues to meet with the Police Commissioner and Mayor of the town, “hoping to ensure this never happens again.”
Still, many have their doubts. Patrons are skeptical of this move by Starbucks while they question the authenticity of their moves and public reach.
You can watch the full video here.