Starbucks may start losing major bucks after two Black men were arrested at a Philadelphia store for sitting while Black on Thursday. A movement to boycott the beverage chain was moving full steam ahead, with more folks joining in on Monday.
T.I., who has been outspoken about injustice, has taken his support for Starbucks off the table, according to TMZ. The rapper has got experience in this area: Tip boycotted Houston’s restaurant in Atlanta last month over previous racist incidents and helped bring in better non-discriminatory practices there.
But Starbucks has racked up a record of offensives involving people of color. Here’s a few of them:
Another Person Of Color Just Got Slapped In The Face
An African-American man was denied the code to use a Starbucks restroom in southern California, a newly surfaced online video revealed on Monday. The customer, who was identified as Brandon Ward in a Twitter post by The Intercept columnist Shaun King, asked an employee why he was denied access to the restroom when a White customer who also had not yet made a purchse was granted access in the Los Angeles-area store.
African Americans Have Been Underrepresented As Starbucks Employees And Customers
When Starbucks launched a “Race Together” campaign to encourage its customers to talk with its baristas about race in March 2015, the idea started a lot of conversation on social media. The initiative also pointed eyes toward the representation of people of color within the Starbucks workforce. Colorlines, which collected data on the chain’s racial demographics and leadership team, reported that only 16 percent of people of color were executives.
Out of nearly 200,000 employees, 40 percent of them were people of color, Fortune reported in 2015.
There’s also information indicating that Starbucks has not been an overwhelming favorite among Black people. Only 27 percent of African-Americans who responded to an October 2008 telephone survey reported that they like Starbucks out of a nationally representative sample of 2,260 adults, a Pew Research Center study published in 2009 revealed.
Whitesplaining About The Philadelphia Incident
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson began an apology tour over the incident Monday.
“Starbucks was built as a company that creates a warm, welcoming environment for all customers. That didn’t happen in this case,” Johnson said on Good Morning America. “I’ve been very focused on understanding what guidelines and what training ever let this happen. What happened was wrong and we will fix it.”
However, T.I. and several others were not buying the apology. It’s clear that actions, like in most cases, speak louder than words.
How big will the #BoycottStarbucks movement get? Time will tell.