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Over 8,000 Starbucks-owned locations in the U.S. are set to close so that the company can educate its 175,000 employees and address implicit bias, promote inclusion and help prevent discrimination. Well, that is what they are saying, but in reality, they are reinforcing racism by giving special treatment to a particular ethnicity and making criminals into the victims. The CEO of Starbucks, Kevin Johnson said, "I've spent the last few days in Philadelphia with my leadership team listening to the community, learning what we did wrong and the steps we need to take to fix it."
"While this is not limited to Starbucks, we're committed to being a part of the solution. Closing our stores for racial bias training is just one step in a journey that requires dedication from every level of our company and partnerships in our local communities," Johnson said. The executive chairman for Starbucks, Howard Schultz also commented saying, "We will learn from our mistakes and reaffirm our commitment to creating a safe and welcoming environment for every customer."
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The move comes after employees at a Starbucks that was being protested called police when two people, who had not bought anything, were asked to leave but wouldn't. All this was captured on video after the two African-American men asked to use the restroom. They were told the restroom is only for customers and the men sat down instead. They were asked to leave again after they did not make a purchase and one of the men said they were waiting for an acquaintance. When the police arrive to ask the men to leave they refuse and are placed in handcuffs and escorted off the premises.
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The 911 call was just released and the Starbucks manager's conversation with the 911 operator lasts only a few seconds. "Hi, I have two gentlemen at my café that are refusing to make a purchase or leave. I'm at the Starbucks at 18th and Spruce," the Starbucks manager said. The ironic thing is there are plenty of videos of white people being arrested and removed from Starbucks, but no outrage followed any of those videos?
Another factor that must be considered is that Philadelphia consistently ranks higher than the national average in terms of crime, especially violent offenses. In fact, Philadelphia has the highest violent crime rate of the ten American cities with a population greater than 1 million residents. It also has the highest poverty rate out of the ten largest American cities.
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Police in Philadelphia have a tough job, they are consistently faced with violent crime. The murder rate in Philadelphia increased by 20% last year and for the first time since 2007, there were no homicides in the first 5 days of 2018. When it comes to the two men who were removed from Starbucks, black Philadelphia police commissioner Richard Ross said himself there was nothing wrong with how the situation was handled. The two men even refused police orders to leave prompting a supervisor to be called on scene. Ross noted that Starbucks declined to prosecute the two men for trespassing.
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The manager at Starbucks did nothing wrong by calling the police. In fact, Ross also notes that the manager was following company policy and recalls a time that a police officer in full uniform was even denied access to the restroom which is important because it shows Starbucks is consistent in their policy. They had every right to call the police and the Starbucks manager was only following company policy which does not care about race, only whether you are a customer or not. One last video if you've made it this far is an example of the violence police in Philadelphia face.
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