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The Starbucks Boycott

by Brian Dollard 4 years ago in opinion

Why Identity Politics Suck

Apparently, two people arrested for trespassing at a Starbucks location is worthy of national news, Good Morning America appearances, and a call for a boycott of our overpriced, trendy corporate coffee house. The reason? The men arrested were black.

The two men entered a Starbucks location while waiting for a friend for a meeting and they sat down at a table. One of them asked for the restroom and was told the restroom was for paying customers. After they refused to pay for anything and refused requests to vacate the premises, the police were called. The police then asked them multiple times to vacate the premises. After many refusals, the men were arrested for trespassing.

This has absolutely nothing to do with the color of their skin. It has everything to do with their non-compliance of a private business’ rules.

An earlier article on The Swamp asked the question of why people are not arrested for trespassing when using a restroom at WalMart or a gas station when they are not making a purchase. The answer is that a private business reserves the ability to set their own rules. In this case, the rules of the location prohibit loitering, with the result of loitering being trespassing.

If you come into my home, and I ask you to leave because you are disrespecting the rules and requests of my home, I can call the police and you can be arrested for trespassing. It’s the definition of the crime.

This particular Philadelphia Starbucks has a passcode on their restroom door that is available from a barista, and the rule of the location is that the bathroom is available to paying customers. Now, I’ve never been to this Starbucks and I don’t know its history, but is it possible that this restroom rule exists due to abuse of that restroom? I ask because a Starbucks local to me has the passcode lock on their restroom doors due to abuse.

The manager of the location has been removed from the location but has not been fired. Video footage is only available from customers inside the location at the time, so we do not have a time stamp or the entire encounter. Starbucks is closing all locations for half a day next week to conduct implicit racial bias training. Fearing massive protest and boycotts, Starbucks played into the hands of the social justice warriors by conducting this training.

It seems in today’s climate, you either submit to being called racist or you provide counter evidence, which labels you as aiding and abetting “systemic racism.” Starbucks could very easily release security footage which has the possibility of showing that this was just an incident where management made a request to enforce the rules of the location, the men declined, and authorities were called. However, if they were to provide this evidence, the mob mentality will change their stance claiming Starbucks protecting racists.

No one should be discriminated against due to their race, gender, sexuality, religion, etc., but we should also understand that not every disagreement between individuals is a plight of racism. We also have what’s left of free speech in this country, which allows the speaker to say what they’d like freely, no matter who’s feelings it may hurt.

I am inclined to believe that if a business chooses not to serve people due to their skin color, gender, sexuality, or religion, we should let them. Reason? The majority of us will view them as the imbeciles they are, and the free market will take care of that business. You don’t want to serve someone because of the aforementioned characteristics? I doubt you’ll be in business long.

Individuals make individual decisions and should take individual responsibility for their individual actions. If the evidence points to this Starbucks manager acting in a biased manner towards these patrons because of their skin color, then she and only she bears the responsibility for her actions. Starbucks employs 238,000 people, 237,999 people do not bear the responsibility for the manager at this Philadelphia location.

The only thing that is going to be accomplished from this implicit bias training is that Starbucks is going to lose around $15M in revenue for the half day they are closed. Starbucks is essentially punishing themselves for the unconfirmed actions of an individual person. This figure does not account for the thousands of people who will boycott the company because of an issue that may not even be true.

This is the climate we’ve created in the world. If you don’t like the way someone treats you, or you don’t like the rules, find a characteristic of yourself that is perceived to be marginalized and you can create a national news story about yourself.

If you, however, follow the Golden Rule and treat people the way you want to be treated, treat Starbucks while they are caught in this social justice paradox. Go grab yourself an overpriced cup of coffee or tea, and join the boycott.

opinion

About the author

Brian Dollard

An amalgamation of conservative and classical liberal values I call myself a Libertarian when discussing politics with new people.

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