As you’re probably aware of by now, Starbucks has been under fire for the past couple weeks because one of their store managers called the police to arrest two black men who were waiting to meet a friend. To give a short recap, two black men in Philadelphia, walked into a Starbucks and sat down to wait for their friend before ordering. They hadn’t been there more than 5 minutes when the manager told them to leave. They explain they were just waiting for their friend to arrive before ordering and the manager called the police and had them arrested. For what? Being black and having the nerve to sit down in a public place.
We can sit here all day and talk about why what was done was racist and fucked up, but being as many have already done so, I don’t want to. What I really want to talk about is the fact that this isn’t new nor is this a one-off incident as Starbucks loving white people seem to think it is. This what black people’s everyday life is like. This is what MY life is like. This is what we are talking about when we say we are targeted and followed every time we leave the house, walk into a store, walk too close to a white person. This is our experiences. Since this Starbucks debacle, more and more stories have been coming about similar situations. Another black man, this time in Los Angeles, recorded a Starbucks employee denying him the code to the restroom, meanwhile, a white man who purchases nothing, was given the code. Just a week after that video resurfaced, yet another story, also in Pennsylvania came out about a golf club that called the police and 5 black women who are all members of the club for “playing too slowly”. While these stories old and new keep being circulated back to the attention of the public, the number one comment I see is some form of “What is going on? Is this a new trend?” No, it’s not. Do y’all remember Jim Crow? Discrimination and racial profiling are not new things. Every week there's a new story about a black person being murdered by the police because of racial profiling. Every day indicidents just like this one go unreported because being racial profiled as a black person, is just something we have accepted and know is normal. I know people like to pretend all racism stopped with Martin Luther King, Jr. But it didn’t, racism is what murdered him, and it kept going. We didn’t get better as a nation, we just got better and hiding it. The only difference now is that people have the technology and access to record these incidents and post them to the world.
Let’s please stop acting surprised at these acts of racism and start doing something about it. Had people been listening to black people since the the 1600s when we been told y’all this shit was happening, we could have actually made some progress. But until people actually WANT to change, nothing is going to change. Save your facebook outrage and instead turn it into taking action, not just typing “I’m outraged” on social media. Be more than a keyboard activist.