Racial Profiling In Philadelphia?

Page 12 of Last Thursday 2 black men entered a Starbuck's in a predominantly white, affluent Philadelphia shopping area. They asked to use the restroom. Since the... 250 comments | 5837 Views | Go to page 1 →

  1. #166
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIPTON BASH View Post
    Listen the Starbucks worker could be the most racist person in the world I have no clue. I want to focus on the fact what else could police do when they are called to a business to remove someone who won't leave. We need to separate the two.
    To be super brief about it, the Police have a duty to remove anyone "trespassing" and refusing to leave.
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  2. #167
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgrappler View Post
    When I first saw this story my first reaction was this looks like a case where two men are not given the benefit of the doubt because they are African-American. There may be white people in a Starbucks who have been treated similarly. This policy is impossible to enforce consistently because the employee has priorities and their's is to sell product not walk around the tables to police who is purchasing and who is not. So there is bound to be a thousand inconsistencies among stores across the country, within the same store, and even with the same employee. I have worked retail and sometimes you don't have the energy or time to deal with a small infraction of the rules. Sometimes you let it slide. Sometimes you don't. It may have to do with your mood that day.

    So, I look at it and my first reaction is these guys were black and didn't get the benefit of the doubt. The police did nothing wrong. The Starbucks policy is not wrong. The issue is with the employee. I cannot label that person a racist but it appears to me that race played a part. You can argue with me and I can't produce evidence that would counteract your arguments to your satisfaction. Without having the knowledge of those closer to the situation, I just think it smells bad.
    @UKMustangFan has some good rational arguments as to how this could be a case without any racial intent but merely as the enforcement of store policy, a policy that has its practical value. His arguments began to sway my opinion, but not entirely.

    For those of you looking for near perfect enforcement of the policy on all people at all times and if it is not this becomes a clear example of racism, I don't think what you are looking for is possible. It is the kind of policy that will be enforced more rigorously based on circumstances in the store, the neighborhood, and the whims of the employee at the time. Employees are only human. They also may have their own biases. And I don't think it is a policy that is meant to be enforced at all times.
    It just gives the store the opportunity to ask someone to leave if a person is taking up space when a paying customer needs it. So, it is hard to say all the factors that were in play here. But, again, I fear race played a factor. The amount of time provided to these men as they described it on GMA leads me to conclude this.

    But I have come to the place where I don't think the specifics of this case matter in the big picture. It definitely matters in determining culpability in that specific case for those two men, and that one employee, and justice for all of those directly involved. But for the larger issue of race relations in our country, the specifics matter less. Because the real problem is that our country has a trust problem regarding race.
    @PurplePride92 helped me to understand something I didn't quite get when we were discussing the white guy in Louisville who did NOT get shot by the police and why he did not. I was citing studies that show the police are more likely to shoot a white man than a black man in similar situations and that more unarmed white men are shot than unarmed black men. PP92 was not impressed by the studies being cited. I thought he was being irrational. But then he said that no matter what the studies show, they are based on how the incident is reported in the first place. PP92 said that he and other African-Americans do not trust the way individual incidents are reported because he said many officers will say whatever they have to say in order to avoid scrutiny or consequences for their actions. Therefore, any study could be tainted because it is only as good as the veracity of the original report and he didn't have much faith in that. Those are not his exact words, but as I thought about it, that is how I understood what he is saying.

    It made me think about the history of our country and the engagement of African-Americans with our justice system throughout our history. A history that includes slavery, the Jim Crow south, Bull Connor, racial segregation, the Civil Rights movement and opposition faced during that, and many individual acts and attitudes of racism experienced by a wide cross-section of people even up to today, including police action. With this as background and context, I concluded that PP92 and @TheDeuce do have a rational basis in history and experience to call in question the validity of these studies and doubt whether some racial bias has tainted the study or the report of an incident. I want to believe those things were isolated to our past, isolated incidents in a region, and are NOT the way things are now. I still believe the studies I cited are valid. But I can now see how a rational human being, whose family has come through a history of racism in our country, can rationally question the validity of the data used in the studies I so easily trust. I think more studies of this nature need to be done with a prescribed process of how to obtain honest data.

    But I think the real issue has to do with trust. The African-American community does not trust that they will receive consistent justice when situations arise, like at Starbucks, or in policing, or in hiring, or in you name the issue.

    The way to repair trust is to do the right thing over a long period of time. If it can be shown that our culture has changed regarding racial bias, perhaps the culture of expectation in the African-American community will also change, resulting in a change in the way the races interact with each other in our country.

    This is where each individual situation is important. And the facts surrounding each case is significant and need to be made known. Because, if the way African-Americans are treated does become consistently just and when they are not treated justly the culpable party is held accountable with consequences so that change occurs, trust may be established and we will all be far better off.
    This is one of the greatest posts I have ever read on BGP. I can’t begin to tell you how much this post means to me. I truly appreciate your thoughtful post.

  3. #168
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgrappler View Post
    When I first saw this story my first reaction was this looks like a case where two men are not given the benefit of the doubt because they are African-American. There may be white people in a Starbucks who have been treated similarly. This policy is impossible to enforce consistently because the employee has priorities and their's is to sell product not walk around the tables to police who is purchasing and who is not. So there is bound to be a thousand inconsistencies among stores across the country, within the same store, and even with the same employee. I have worked retail and sometimes you don't have the energy or time to deal with a small infraction of the rules. Sometimes you let it slide. Sometimes you don't. It may have to do with your mood that day.

    So, I look at it and my first reaction is these guys were black and didn't get the benefit of the doubt. The police did nothing wrong. The Starbucks policy is not wrong. The issue is with the employee. I cannot label that person a racist but it appears to me that race played a part. You can argue with me and I can't produce evidence that would counteract your arguments to your satisfaction. Without having the knowledge of those closer to the situation, I just think it smells bad.
    @UKMustangFan has some good rational arguments as to how this could be a case without any racial intent but merely as the enforcement of store policy, a policy that has its practical value. His arguments began to sway my opinion, but not entirely.

    For those of you looking for near perfect enforcement of the policy on all people at all times and if it is not this becomes a clear example of racism, I don't think what you are looking for is possible. It is the kind of policy that will be enforced more rigorously based on circumstances in the store, the neighborhood, and the whims of the employee at the time. Employees are only human. They also may have their own biases. And I don't think it is a policy that is meant to be enforced at all times.
    It just gives the store the opportunity to ask someone to leave if a person is taking up space when a paying customer needs it. So, it is hard to say all the factors that were in play here. But, again, I fear race played a factor. The amount of time provided to these men as they described it on GMA leads me to conclude this.

    But I have come to the place where I don't think the specifics of this case matter in the big picture. It definitely matters in determining culpability in that specific case for those two men, and that one employee, and justice for all of those directly involved. But for the larger issue of race relations in our country, the specifics matter less. Because the real problem is that our country has a trust problem regarding race.
    @PurplePride92 helped me to understand something I didn't quite get when we were discussing the white guy in Louisville who did NOT get shot by the police and why he did not. I was citing studies that show the police are more likely to shoot a white man than a black man in similar situations and that more unarmed white men are shot than unarmed black men. PP92 was not impressed by the studies being cited. I thought he was being irrational. But then he said that no matter what the studies show, they are based on how the incident is reported in the first place. PP92 said that he and other African-Americans do not trust the way individual incidents are reported because he said many officers will say whatever they have to say in order to avoid scrutiny or consequences for their actions. Therefore, any study could be tainted because it is only as good as the veracity of the original report and he didn't have much faith in that. Those are not his exact words, but as I thought about it, that is how I understood what he is saying.

    It made me think about the history of our country and the engagement of African-Americans with our justice system throughout our history. A history that includes slavery, the Jim Crow south, Bull Connor, racial segregation, the Civil Rights movement and opposition faced during that, and many individual acts and attitudes of racism experienced by a wide cross-section of people even up to today, including police action. With this as background and context, I concluded that PP92 and @TheDeuce do have a rational basis in history and experience to call in question the validity of these studies and doubt whether some racial bias has tainted the study or the report of an incident. I want to believe those things were isolated to our past, isolated incidents in a region, and are NOT the way things are now. I still believe the studies I cited are valid. But I can now see how a rational human being, whose family has come through a history of racism in our country, can rationally question the validity of the data used in the studies I so easily trust. I think more studies of this nature need to be done with a prescribed process of how to obtain honest data.

    But I think the real issue has to do with trust. The African-American community does not trust that they will receive consistent justice when situations arise, like at Starbucks, or in policing, or in hiring, or in you name the issue.

    The way to repair trust is to do the right thing over a long period of time. If it can be shown that our culture has changed regarding racial bias, perhaps the culture of expectation in the African-American community will also change, resulting in a change in the way the races interact with each other in our country.

    This is where each individual situation is important. And the facts surrounding each case is significant and need to be made known. Because, if the way African-Americans are treated does become consistently just and when they are not treated justly the culpable party is held accountable with consequences so that change occurs, trust may be established and we will all be far better off.
    Thank you for your honestly and willingness to try to understand a different perspective, instead of immediately dismissing it. We ALL need more of this.

  4. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIPTON BASH View Post
    Listen the Starbucks worker could be the most racist person in the world I have no clue. I want to focus on the fact what else could police do when they are called to a business to remove someone who won't leave. We need to seperate the two.
    I don't see how the police could be blamed at all in this case.

  5. #170
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Parker View Post
    I don't see how the police could be blamed at all in this case.
    I agree, has to be the worst job in America. Responds to a call, aka doing their job and gets scrutinized for it.

  6. #171
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgrappler View Post
    So, I look at it and my first reaction is these guys were black and didn't get the benefit of the doubt. The police did nothing wrong. The Starbucks policy is not wrong. The issue is with the employee. I cannot label that person a racist but it appears to me that race played a part. You can argue with me and I can't produce evidence that would counteract your arguments to your satisfaction. Without having the knowledge of those closer to the situation, I just think it smells bad.
    Again everyone, I have not read any articles about this, I only know I what I have read in this thread but in short there may or may not be an issue with the employee in this case. If the policy/rule/whatever says no purchase, no service, then the employee is following the policy/rule.

    The issue is with Starbucks. What is the policy? Is the policy no purchase, no service? Or is the policy (custom) that Starbucks employees use "common sense" and if something (or someone) becomes an issue the employee can always fall back on the no purchase, no service policy and have anyone removed from Starbucks?

    Starbucks needs to get their act together. Either everyone can use your restrooms or only paying customers can use your restrooms. Furthermore, if only paying customers can use your restrooms then Starbucks has a duty to treat everyone the same meaning they will need to hire extra staff at every Starbucks location to moderate the restrooms. If Starbucks is not willing to do that, and we all know Starbucks is not going to hire the additional help needed to treat everyone the same, then Starbucks is putting their employees in an impossible situation of picking and choosing.

    Hopefully when Starbucks does their training on this issue, the training focuses first and foremost on a clearly defined policy regarding non-paying customers that must be followed.

  7. #172
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Anthony View Post
    I agree, has to be the worst job in America. Responds to a call, aka doing their job and gets scrutinized for it.
    As a Police Officer you know when you walk into a call like this that it is essentially a no win situation that may ultimately result in multiple parties pointing the finger at you.

  8. #173
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    Apparently the elites at Starbucks aren’t as open minded as they portray.

  9. #174
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Anthony View Post
    Apparently the elites at Starbucks aren’t as open minded as they portray.
    What do you mean?

  10. #175
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurplePride92 View Post
    This is one of the greatest posts I have ever read on BGP. I canít begin to tell you how much this post means to me. I truly appreciate your thoughtful post.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
    Thank you for your honestly and willingness to try to understand a different perspective, instead of immediately dismissing it. We ALL need more of this.
    Thank you both for your patient engagement and willingness to wade through dialogue, that at times, must be quite frustrating.

  11. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by theguru View Post
    What do you mean?
    I can’t post it because it’s political but the Washington Post has an article on it (Starbucks.)

  12. #177
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIPTON BASH View Post
    Listen the Starbucks worker could be the most racist person in the world I have no clue. I want to focus on the fact what else could police do when they are called to a business to remove someone who won't leave. We need to seperate the two.
    Is anyone faulting the police in this instance?

  13. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgrappler View Post
    Thank you both for your patient engagement and willingness to wade through dialogue, that at times, must be quite frustrating.
    Understatement of the year.

  14. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by True blue (and gold) View Post
    Is anyone faulting the police in this instance?
    I mean I read through the entire thread before I posted there were a few posts questioning the police.

  15. #180
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    Quote Originally Posted by PurplePride92 View Post
    This is one of the greatest posts I have ever read on BGP. I can’t begin to tell you how much this post means to me. I truly appreciate your thoughtful post.
    I agree entirely. @oldgrappler has shown that you can listen to someone else's perspective and see things that change your mind. You have to be willing to truly hear and be willing to change. Best post in a long, long time!

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