The Starbucks incident promotes weaponization of phony racism

Two black men come into a Starbucks and ask to use the restroom.  The manager tells them they must buy something first.  They refuse and sit down at a table.  The manager calls the cops and has them arrested for trespassing.  They are later released with no charges.

Cell phone video of the arrest goes viral.  Human rights groups are livid.  Charges of racism are weaponized by the legacy media to target a company and its employees.  As a result, the CEO of Starbucks apologizes to the "victims" personally and closes 8,000 stores for "racial bias training." 

Starbucks gets what it deserves for being so stridently politically correct, but I don't believe that the Starbucks incident had anything to do with racism. 

I can see how these incidents happen, because they have happened to me.  I have been unfairly ignored, hassled, and insulted (in my perception) by clerks and store managers for no apparent reason.  Perhaps it was because I was young and vulnerable or looked angry.  If I were black, I certainly would have thought it was due to racism.

Sometimes, we can escalate a situation beyond normal bounds because we are angry or feel aggrieved.  Sometimes, we encounter people who are just jerks.

Once, I went to a very exclusive private country club restaurant for lunch with a group from my office.  The restaurant had recently been opened to the public for lunch only.  It was a special occasion, the birthday of one of the women in the group.

We were young and not dressed elegantly.  I wore a long-sleeve polyester shirt and corduroy bell-bottoms (popular at the time).  My hair was bushy with long sideburns.  Most of the other patrons from the country club set were older and had suits and ties.  

We had trouble getting someone to wait on us.  Sensing some hostility toward us, I ordered a drink at the bar to calm my nerves (actually two).  Finally, our order was taken, and two of the women (including the birthday girl) ordered steaks, well done.

When the food arrived, both of the women announced that their steaks were burnt, and they could not eat them.  Being the "senior" person at the table, I took charge and asked the waitress to replace the steaks.  She took the steaks away, but then the manager arrived at our table.  He refused to replace them due to their policy of not being responsible for well done steaks.

I refused to pay for the steaks that were taken away and not replaced, and he threatened to call the police.  I dared him to.  The next thing I knew, the front doors of this fancy, dark, quiet Miami Lakes Country Club restaurant burst open, and cops poured in, their radios blaring. 

We all stood up at once and started a shouting match.  One of the women threatened to punch the manager in the nose.  The older, well heeled patrons were shocked.  The cops dragged me outside and into the back of a squad car.  One of them looked through a paperback law book to determine what to charge me with.  He finally decided I was "defrauding an innkeeper."

Rather than go to jail, I relented and paid for the steaks that were not served.  I had only refused to pay $4 for the two steaks.  Right.  All of this grief for $4.  Must be racism.

The restaurant had a policy of not replacing well done steaks that were burnt.  Starbucks has a policy of not allowing non-patrons to use its restrooms.  Managers can be jerks about enforcing company policies.

This happened in 1978.  If it happened today, and we were black, the Miami Lakes Country Club restaurant would probably be shut down, and the manager would be unemployed, branded as a racist.  The cops would be fired for racism as well.  Cell phone videos of the incident would go viral, sparking outrage from human rights groups and every liberal in Congress.  The incident would be national news for weeks, with CNN and MSNBC screaming for blood.

As it was, the manager was just a jerk, the cops were ignorant rookies, and I was white and powerless to do anything about it.  So much for "white privilege."  To anyone who accuses me of having that, I will tell him to pound sand.

Andrew Thomas blogs at http://darkangelpolitics.com.

Two black men come into a Starbucks and ask to use the restroom.  The manager tells them they must buy something first.  They refuse and sit down at a table.  The manager calls the cops and has them arrested for trespassing.  They are later released with no charges.

Cell phone video of the arrest goes viral.  Human rights groups are livid.  Charges of racism are weaponized by the legacy media to target a company and its employees.  As a result, the CEO of Starbucks apologizes to the "victims" personally and closes 8,000 stores for "racial bias training." 

Starbucks gets what it deserves for being so stridently politically correct, but I don't believe that the Starbucks incident had anything to do with racism. 

I can see how these incidents happen, because they have happened to me.  I have been unfairly ignored, hassled, and insulted (in my perception) by clerks and store managers for no apparent reason.  Perhaps it was because I was young and vulnerable or looked angry.  If I were black, I certainly would have thought it was due to racism.

Sometimes, we can escalate a situation beyond normal bounds because we are angry or feel aggrieved.  Sometimes, we encounter people who are just jerks.

Once, I went to a very exclusive private country club restaurant for lunch with a group from my office.  The restaurant had recently been opened to the public for lunch only.  It was a special occasion, the birthday of one of the women in the group.

We were young and not dressed elegantly.  I wore a long-sleeve polyester shirt and corduroy bell-bottoms (popular at the time).  My hair was bushy with long sideburns.  Most of the other patrons from the country club set were older and had suits and ties.  

We had trouble getting someone to wait on us.  Sensing some hostility toward us, I ordered a drink at the bar to calm my nerves (actually two).  Finally, our order was taken, and two of the women (including the birthday girl) ordered steaks, well done.

When the food arrived, both of the women announced that their steaks were burnt, and they could not eat them.  Being the "senior" person at the table, I took charge and asked the waitress to replace the steaks.  She took the steaks away, but then the manager arrived at our table.  He refused to replace them due to their policy of not being responsible for well done steaks.

I refused to pay for the steaks that were taken away and not replaced, and he threatened to call the police.  I dared him to.  The next thing I knew, the front doors of this fancy, dark, quiet Miami Lakes Country Club restaurant burst open, and cops poured in, their radios blaring. 

We all stood up at once and started a shouting match.  One of the women threatened to punch the manager in the nose.  The older, well heeled patrons were shocked.  The cops dragged me outside and into the back of a squad car.  One of them looked through a paperback law book to determine what to charge me with.  He finally decided I was "defrauding an innkeeper."

Rather than go to jail, I relented and paid for the steaks that were not served.  I had only refused to pay $4 for the two steaks.  Right.  All of this grief for $4.  Must be racism.

The restaurant had a policy of not replacing well done steaks that were burnt.  Starbucks has a policy of not allowing non-patrons to use its restrooms.  Managers can be jerks about enforcing company policies.

This happened in 1978.  If it happened today, and we were black, the Miami Lakes Country Club restaurant would probably be shut down, and the manager would be unemployed, branded as a racist.  The cops would be fired for racism as well.  Cell phone videos of the incident would go viral, sparking outrage from human rights groups and every liberal in Congress.  The incident would be national news for weeks, with CNN and MSNBC screaming for blood.

As it was, the manager was just a jerk, the cops were ignorant rookies, and I was white and powerless to do anything about it.  So much for "white privilege."  To anyone who accuses me of having that, I will tell him to pound sand.

Andrew Thomas blogs at http://darkangelpolitics.com.