National Starbucks Shutdown

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National Starbucks Shutdown

Michaela Fromme

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After a Starbucks in Philadelphia arrested two African American men, there has been huge outrage nationwide and several days of “Black Lives Matter” protests outside of the store. The two men were refused when they asked to use the bathroom and ordered to leave after they sat down without buying anything. Eventually, an employee (allegations suggest that it was the manager) called the police stating, “two gentlemen at my cafe…are refusing to make a purchase or leave.” It is confirmed that the employee who made this call and/or the manager no longer works at the store, although it is unclear whether they had resigned or were fired.

The two men were arrested on “suspicion of trespassing,” however when the case was reviewed, charges were declined because of “a lack of evidence that a crime was committed.” Following the arrests, a new hashtag, #BoycottStarbucks, emerged on Twitter.

To address this incident, Starbucks is working with programs, such as Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Equal Justice Initiative, and more, to conduct a racial-bias education program. They plan to shut down 8,000+ of their stores across America on May 29 for the afternoon to train nearly 175,000 employees. Starbucks earns roughly $35.5 every day. It is estimated that around $16.7 million could be lost from this half-day shutdown.

A similar incident was reported at a Starbucks in Los Angelos where an African American Mann was denied access to the bathroom, although “a white man was given the entry code.” Starbucks stated that they are taking both incidents seriously and are “working closely with the team [in the Los Angelos store] to learn from our mistakes.” Howard Schultz, Starbucks executive chairman, also released a statement: “We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer.”