The recent Starbucks “racism” scandal just took a strange turn. Last week, two non-customers were arrested in a Philadelphia coffee shop after they repeatedly refused to leave. A barista who called the police has been accused of racism — but people who know her say there’s much more to the story.
At the center of the problem, of course, is the fact that the men arrested for loitering and trespassing were black. As part of its desperate public relations efforts, the Starbucks corporation seems to have turned its own employee into a scapegoat, and is accusing her of being a bigot.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that the reason that they (police) were called was because they (the men) were African-American,” declared Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz on “CBS This Morning.”
“That’s not who Starbucks is.”
“Who they are,” apparently, is a company that refuses to stand up for its own employees. Starbucks has all but openly called the manager who contacted the police, known by her first name of Holly, a racist.
“I’m embarrassed, ashamed,” Schultz stated, according to The Daily Wire. “I think what occurred was reprehensible at every single level. I think I take it very personally, as everyone in our company does, and we’re committed to making it right.”
But evidence is beginning to suggest that Holly is not so racist after all. She may have simply been trying to enforce what she believed to be store policy, while the race of the men involved had little to do with it.
“I highly doubt that she saw the two men and decided to call the police based solely on the fact that they are black,” stated a listener of the “Ben Shapiro Show.”
That Philadelphia resident told the conservative commentator Shapiro that he frequently visits the same Starbucks where the incident occurred, and has become friendly with Holly.
The listener pointed out that to his knowledge, the manager is actually a “social justice warrior” who would have likely gone out of her way to avoid offending anybody.
“From my observations and interactions with her, I was actually under the impression that Holly is an SJW feminist of the highest order,” the source told Shapiro.
“Once I even overheard her scorn a male barista for not using the proper neutral pronouns with somebody. That’s why this whole situation is so shocking to me! Even though I did not agree with her and all the SJW pins that adorn her beanie, I think calling her a racist all over the news and doxing her name, address, phone, family, etc. is disgusting,” he continued.
He also claimed that the accused employee frequently interacts with people of many races — Philadelphia is 43 percent black, after all — and is typically polite to everyone.
“I’ve personally seen Holly give the oh-so-coveted restroom code to both black and white people, patrons and non-patrons,” the Shapiro listener told the host. “I’ve seen her train both black and white staff members and she has been nothing but nice to everyone, and I’ve never witnessed any racist behavior.”
It isn’t definitive, but audio of the original phone call to police seems to back this up. The recording made public online reveals that Holly calmly informed authorities about the situation, and referred to the men as “two gentlemen” while explaining the problem.
There is also evidence that at least some Starbucks locations around the country have policies against loiterers who refuse to order food or beverages. For example, this sign was posted on Yelp: “Seating area reserved for customers enjoying Starbucks products.”
Another sign documented by Esquire Magazine declares, “Due to increased maintenance costs, Starbucks will no longer allow non-paying customers access to our lavatories. Restroom are now reserved for paying customers only.”
The point is that even though the Philadelphia incident was regrettable, that doesn’t mean that Starbucks can paint its own employee as a flaming racist, and it doesn’t give mobs of people the grounds to turn a local misunderstanding into the latest “Black Lives Matter” rallying cry.
We’ve crossed a line. Accusations of “racism” have lost their meaning, ironically thanks to “social justice” adherents including perhaps Holly.
By pushing identity politics where facts are tossed out in favor of racial outrage about even the smallest incident, the far left has put entire communities on edge. People now walk on eggshells to avoid offense, and everything seems to be on a hair trigger.
Perhaps America would be better if we were a bit slower to take offense, and stopped immediately jumping to the worst conclusions about the people around us.
Yes, that certainly applies to judging black citizens… but it’s just as important to think twice before condemning baristas name Holly, too.
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