Too Little Too Latte

On Thursday, April 12, two African-American men were arrested and escorted out of a Starbucks in Philadelphia when they refused to leave the store. The two gentlemen asked to use the restroom but weren’t given access due to the fact that they weren’t paying customers. The men then sat down in the Starbucks, still without ordering anything. This is when the manager asked the men to leave. When the men didn’t leave, the manager called the police.

“From what I know, the men weren’t in the wrong and they were just chilling in Starbucks.” said sophomore D’Ann Rexrode.

The CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson, said that what happened to these men was wrong. Johnson didn’t agree with the manager on getting the police involved, and he plans to meet with the two gentlemen and apologize for the incident. Later, the chief executive at Starbucks organized an “unconscious bias” training for all store managers. Rosalind Brewer, the chief operating officer, was one of the workers that attended the training. Brewer called it a “teachable moment for all of us”.

“I don’t understand why the manager did that, they really didn’t do anything wrong.” said freshmen Siarra Harris.

A gentleman named Andrew Yaffe stated that he was there to meet the two men to discuss business opportunities with them. He arrived at the Starbucks as the two unidentified men were being put in handcuffs and taken out of the cafe. Yaffe thought the event to be absurd and said it was “discrimination” towards these gentlemen. The two men were held at the station between eight to nine hours until they were finally released. The men were not charged with any crime. The manager that had called the authorities was said to be “no longer working at the store”.

Because of this event, many protests have been taking place at the Starbucks. Many people had placards and also yelled chants at the cafe. The people felt this event occurred because the men were African-American and not white men. The protest was moved indoors and was then deemed a “stand-in” because the protesters were forced inside the Starbucks due to the heavy rain. The protestors were allowed inside the store as long as they remained peaceful during their protest. The protests are still ongoing with protesters yelling at the workers and holding huge signs for all to see.