Starbucks is under a lot of fire today after a video that surfaced on social media this past Thursday, gained nationwide attention with over 3 million views. The video taken at a Starbucks in Philadelphia Pennsylvania shows police handcuffing two African American real estate brokers and escorting them out of the Starbucks. The video shows a white male as well as a few voices that can be heard in the back ground telling the police officers “They didn’t do anything.” It was later reported that the police were called because these 2 African American men sat inside the Starbucks waiting on a friend to show up for a meeting without ordering anything. The friend eventually showed up to the Starbucks as the two black males were being escorted out in handcuffs and being sent down to a county jail. Immediate outrage on social media prompted Starbucks to issue a statement online, writing a public apology to the two individuals as well as customers who were angered by this racial incident. Starbucks stated, “We apologize to the two individuals and our customers for what took place at our Philadelphia store on Thursday.”
Early Saturday afternoon, the Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross addressed the racial incident on Facebook live. Commissioner Ross stated the 2 black men were “trespassing”, due to them being non-paying customers who wanted to use the restroom. When the Starbucks employees asked the two gentlemen to leave, they refused to comply with the requests which resulted in the police to be called. Commissioner Ross further states “The officers did absolutely nothing wrong.” Immediately following Commissioner Ross’s statements, social media responded to Ross’s claims to be absolutely absurd and incorrect. Shortly afterwards, a hash tag #BoycottStarbucks became a trending topic on Twitter Saturday afternoon. This is nothing less than a classic case of typical racial discriminatory and racial misconduct on behalf of a white owned establishment and the Philadelphia Police department.
In the wake of this incident, I want to take the time to address black America and all melanated people across the world. Many of us have tend to have this false notion that racism is a thing of the past and as long as we carry ourselves in a decent manner, we will have nothing to worry about. Many of us believe that fancy college degrees, having a professional career, and living in the suburbs will eliminate the threats of racism. This idea is easily debunked because the two men arrested in that Starbucks in Philadelphia were real estate brokers which most people would agree, is a rewarding professional career. We as a people, collectively, suffer from a case of extreme escapism and we place a high value on materials that gives us a psychological escape from reality. We don’t want to believe that racism still exists and Jim Crow still very much alive. When dealing with reality, one thing we must come to an understanding of is that we live under a global system of white supremacy. White Supremacy dominates all 9 areas of activity including Economics, Education, sex, labor, law, war, politics, religion, and entertainment. When it comes to all of the industries and the total wealth in the United States of America, African Americans own less than ½ of 1% of the total wealth therefore having no economic base whatsoever. When you belong to a group of people who have no economic base and no continuous flow of income within your community, you will always be susceptible to disrespect from other racial groups as well as being subjected to termination. This is why African Americans are the main targets for police brutality and institutional racism. This is why African Americans continue to deal with racial discrimination today just as much as we faced racial discrimination during the Jim Crow Era. Thanks to camera phones, the world gets to see the deleted scenes from the horror movie known as the Jim Crow Era. Just 60 years ago, blacks were not allowed to sit in the same restaurants as whites. 60 years later, we are not allowed to sit in coffee shops without the police being called on us. Now I want you to ask yourself, did we really have any racial progress in America? Having an historical consciousness is simply not enough, we must build physiological and sociological awareness in order to combat systematic racism. It is well documented throughout historical records that Africans invented and created the foundation of almost all of the most profitable product the world consumes on a daily basis. This product includes coffee. If you actually pay attention to the Starbucks logo, you will see that the Starbucks logo in fact traces back to Africa.
Most people are not aware that the mermaid logo is indeed an African goddess named Yemaya also known throughout West Africa and the Caribbean as Yemoja. Yermoja is an Orisha goddess of the traditional Yoruba religion that came from enslaved Africans in the land of what is present day Nigeria. When the slaves were kidnapped and transported to the western world, Yermaya was said to be the one who protected the slaves on their journey and kept them safe. Yermaya is a very giving and nurturing goddess who rarely gets upset but when she does become enraged, she unleashes a massive hurricane. She is said to be the mother of the fishes in the sea which is why she is shown to the world as a two-tailed mermaid. It is no secret that many of the European owned franchises including Starbucks stole their ideas from African based spiritual systems and created the concept of their organizations as well as profited off the backs of Africans for centuries. Here you have an African goddess printed on the logo of a major franchise that outright discriminates and disrespects the very people it took their ideas from yet no consequences are bestowed upon them as result of that. This is where I want to gather all of the melanated people across the world and get each other on one code so we can establish a solution.
Starbucks should never benefit from the black dollar ever again. I want every black male and black female to see what we did as a people for the Black Panther film. I want every black male and female to see what we did as a people to the city of Montgomery during the Montgomery bus boycott. I want every black male and female to see what we did as a people to build Hollywood and the music industry. I want every black male and female to see what we did as a people to build black wall street. We are the people who hold the power to make and break businesses and industries. Segregation did not come to an end because the power structure finally realized that separating blacks from whites was wrong. Segregation came to an end because it became apparent just how essential the black dollar is to the economy. Without black consumers, the economy would be in shambles and the power structure will have no longer have a choice but to respect our demands. The most effective way to bring a person to their knees is to attack what they value the most and in this case, the American social order worships the almighty dollar. When you interfere with an individual or establishment’s ability to generate income, you immediately hold their undivided attention for as long as you wish. In order to get respect, we must demand our respect. From this moment forward, I advise all melanated people to get on code and never spend one cent in a Starbucks again. Please do not accept a simple apology from an establishment that wouldn’t even think to give you one otherwise hadn’t this story never reached a wide audience. Let us start demanding our respect and set an example of what happens when we are discriminated against. The time is now to stand together and demand our voices be heard.