Manager of Philly Starbucks is fired, but that’s not enough to quell anger over ‘racial’ incident

Manager of Philly Starbucks is fired, but that’s not enough to quell anger over ‘racial’ incident
One of the two black men arrested at Starbucks (Image: Cellphone video still)

“We know that you don’t have the power to change everything — you’re just a figure head. But we’re going to get to those in power, and we’re going to make sure that we shut you down.”

Those are the words one protester of coffee giant Starbucks had for executives of the Seattle-based company, according to ABC News. The threat was made in reaction to the arrest last Thursday of two black men at a Philadelphia branch of the chain. The incident started when employees asked the men to leave because they weren’t paying customers. When the pair refused, the manager threatened to call the police, which one of the two responded to with the challenge “Go ahead and call the police. We don’t care.”

Police arrived and again asked the two to leave — several times. When they refused to comply, they were arrested for trespassing, handcuffed, and escorted out of the establishment.

There is no question that the management overreacted. According to the comments of customers, the men were causing no disruption and claimed they were there to meet a friend.

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At the same time, this is also a case of self-martyrdom on the cheap. The two could just as easily have picked up and left but chose instead to hang tough, perhaps counting on the story to be blown out of proportion.

Which is exactly what has happened. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson offered a schmalzty written apology in which he flagellates himself over the “disheartening situation” and the “reprehensible outcome” it led to.

But that was not enough. Neither was the firing today of the store’s manager. Philly Mayor Jim Kenney has gotten involved, tweeting:

Others have taken to Twitter to express their sheer outrage over what is clearly another racial injustice:

Protests are now underway. At 7 a.m.two dozen protesters filled the the Philly coffee house where the incident happened, chanting, “Starbucks coffee is anti-black.”

Some, as noted earlier, want to shut the company down.

Anyone else think this is a little over-the-top?

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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