Racism has been a huge issue in American society in recent years. Although we are all aware of it, and the majority of people are trying to move past it, these altercations continue to occur.
Last week, a middle-aged white man in Michigan was charged with aggravated felonious assault for shooting at and chasing a 14 year-old black boy down the street with a 12-gauge shot gun. The retired firefighter awoke that morning to his wife screaming and crying because she had assumed the boy was a burglar. In response, the man grabbed his shotgun and if not for the safety being on, the boy would most likely be dead. All the boy did was knock on their door to ask for directions to school after he had missed the bus.
Although he had pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and only got 1 year of probation plus fines and court costs, in no way is this acceptable. This brings us to Starbucks.
On that same day, a video emerged of 6 Philadelphia Police officers arresting and removing two black men from a downtown Philadelphia Starbucks store. Why? Because they were waiting for their white friend in the restaurant, and did not order anything. The Starbucks employees called 911 because the men asked to use the restroom, but were unable because they were not customers. The employees then asked the men to leave. When they refused, the employees dialed the police.
Although the Philadelphia Police Commissioner, Richard Ross, said that the officers did nothing wrong and were simply following procedure (which they said they will review), Starbucks is taking a reactive step to make sure this does not happen again.
In response to this incident, Starbucks announced that all company-owned Starbucks units and corporate offices will be closed on the afternoon of May 29th, allowing more than 175,000 employees to complete a racial-bias education course focused on preventing discrimination in their stores.
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