Was the Starbucks Incident a Setup?
I live in an Italian neighborhood in the Bronx. Growing up, it was a place where racism was not only rampant, but seemingly an integral part of the community's essence – so much so that it was one of the jurisdictions covered by Section 5 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Any changes made to election practices or procedures necessitated preclearance from Department of Justice. I wrote about my neighborhood here.
As the world turns, times change. Today, while the area is still mostly white, the balance shows a level of diversity that would have appalled the Mob wannabes with their baseball bats from back in the day. Blacks now live in a place where forty years ago they would have caught a beating just walking through.
In any case, I bring this up to elucidate two recent instances of bigotry in my life and the similarity they have to the now infamous Starbucks incident.
Once a month, I go to a bank in a neighborhood that is probably 95% black. After conducting business, I go to the supermarket next door. I have never seen a white person in the bank and only occasionally see one in the supermarket.
When you walk in the door of the bank, they have an officer at a reception desk to answer questions. On this day, I had one. The lady at the kiosk was helping someone already, so I stood behind him, and a woman stood behind me. It was a line of two. When the man was finished, he stepped away, and I stepped up to the counter. The woman at the desk looked up and asked the woman behind me what she needed help with. My line-mate seemed surprised but asked her question anyway.
When entering the bank, I had held the two doors for her and was in front of her only because she had gone to a separate counter to fill out a bank slip and I had gone directly to the line. I wouldn't have minded letting her go first. I'm one of those guys who lets ladies go first. But I was shocked that the bank lady had skipped me so she could help the person behind me (they were both black). When it was again my turn, the counter lady smiled and asked, "Oh, did you have a question?"
It wasn't a big thing, so I didn't make a big deal about it. I didn't even respond to the email they send every time I visit the branch asking about my "banking experience." Live and let live, right?
A couple of months later, when in the supermarket, the people on line at the two operating registers had overflowing carts, while I had a quart of milk. A woman, who I assumed was a manager, was walking by, so I queried, "Excuse me, do you guys have an express line?" The smile disappeared from her face as she turned slightly away from me and, in silence, lifted her head as if pointing with her nose to the self-service machines nearby.
I got the picture: I was a white guy, and she was a black woman, and she didn't want to help someone with so much privilege. I was angry, but I would never be rude or raise my voice to a woman in public, so I respectfully stated, "Excuse me, I didn't hear what you said." She smiled a little and informed me, "You can go there," pointing to self-service.
I was really bothered by both incidents. It was clearly a black and white case of different treatment for different races, which was the issue with Starbucks as well. For me, both incidents were illuminating. This happened to me twice in the span of several months, but I cannot recall anything comparable ever happening to me before. I know that Obama set race relations back decades with his incessant race-mongering, but it never occurred to me that I would ever be on the receiving end of racially disparate treatment, however trivial.
I thought about it, and I realized that it wasn't so long ago that such minor travesties and often much, much worse were things black people lived through every day. While it was never something I ever had to worry about in my life, millions of minorities did have to worry about things like that.
That being said, I think what happened at the Starbucks in Philly doesn't pass the sniff test. Two black men went in, sat down, and apparently went unnoticed for a period of time until one got up and asked to use the restroom. When told it was only for customers, he declined the opportunity to purchase something and returned to his associate at their table. After another unspecified period of time elapsed, the manager, a woman named Holly, asked them to either purchase something or leave. They said they were waiting for someone, did not want to buy anything, and wouldn't leave. More time passed, the option was again proffered, and the double-refusal was again the response. That's when Holly called "the man."
The "screws" arrived and made the same offer as Holly, three times. And just as many times, it was refused. As they were slipping on the cuffs to take them to the "big house," the ever-elusive "friend" magically appeared. You get the picture: it was a setup. Why wouldn't the "friend" just buy a cup of Joe so they could all sit down and chant, "No justice, no peace"? How did he already know not to? How did he know to soldier on for the cause?
It was a win-win for the unprivileged. Getting arrested was the goal, but if they weren't arrested when the friend came in, it would validate the claim that white people are treated better than blacks.
The only things I would have done differently are, I would have put one in a suit and have the other dressed as a woman – but tastefully, you know, flats with perhaps a below-the-knee summer dress and some nice hoop earrings. A little intersectionality would have created a bigger payout.
But hey, it worked out great anyway. That million dollars each of them will get from the settlement will come in handy. I would, however, watch the bank accounts of the friend. I have a feeling his accounts will see a large deposit once the inevitable lawsuit is settled – and that would be the "smoking gun" the left is always seeking but can never seem to find. I would wager that the left won't find it here, either.
Yet I can't get out of my mind all the times something like that really happened back when nobody cared.
Yet again, it's stunts like this, perpetrated by an immoral left with the purpose of keeping and widening the racial divide for all time – while getting rich in the process, of course. They always get rich.
The saddest thing is what their stunt did to poor Holly. So afraid that the world was going to deck the halls with boughs of Holly, she quit her job.
Those on the left willingly sacrificed one of the little people for their cause. Remember when people sacrificed themselves for their cause?
Oh, the hypocrisy!