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The violent, borderline sexual arrest of a young black woman in a Waffle House restaurant came on the heels of a similarly unjustified pair of arrests at a Starbucks. Yet unlike in Philadelphia, there have been muted calls, if any at all, for a boycott of the breakfast food chain.

In fact, there doesn’t seem to have been a single Waffle House protest even though a company spokesperson said “police intervention was appropriate” for what has been reported as a disagreement over a request for plastic ware.

Meanwhile, the Starbucks CEO, who is White and was apparently mortified at the clear racist treatment his now-former employee gave two Black men, followed the racial blunder damage control playbook to a tee by criticizing the police and apologizing for that arrest.

So why the discrepancy between reactions to each arrest?

Are Black folks so married to the low prices and 24-7 convenience of every Waffle House that we’re unwilling to demand justice in this circumstance but cry foul in other similar ones in businesses that don’t market to communities of color?

No matter how you spin it, there was absolutely no reason for the style in which Chikesia Clemons was arrested at a Waffle House in Saraland, Alabama, last weekend. If police were serious about trying to execute justice, they could have at the very least dispatched a female officer to take Clemons into custody. Instead, they sent in the all-male goon brigade to rough up a young woman and threaten to break her arm if she didn’t comply. How could any self-respecting business defend that? Yet, Waffle House did.

Everybody’s got priorities, but some consistency would be nice; especially when it comes to cases of apparent police brutality against women in particular.


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