Starbucks is facing backlash after 2 black men were arrested in the store — and it reveals one of the chain’s fundamental problems (SBUX)

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson apologized this weekend after a video of two black men being arrested at the coffee chain went viral.
This is not the first time that Starbucks has experienced backlash over its apparent targeting of people of color.
While Starbucks proclaims it has progressive values, one of its core missions depends on creating an appealing and upscale environment that typically excludes certain groups.

Starbucks’ CEO was forced to apologize this weekend after a video of two black men being arrested at a Philadelphia location of the coffee chain went viral.

“Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome — the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong,” Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement. “Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did.”

This is not the first time that Starbucks has faced backlash for apparently targeting and excluding certain groups of people.

In 2016, three Starbucks locations in parts of Los Angeles with large homeless populations closed their bathrooms to customers and non-customers to discourage homeless people from visiting to use the restrooms and free Wi-Fi. In 2007, a woman was thrown out of a Starbucks because management thought she was homeless. And, in 2001, Seattle activists organized a boycott against Starbucks after an African-American man was shot by the police, arguing that the chain’s gentrifying influence contributed to his death.

“While it appears to offer equal access, in reality, it serves the needs of only some,” Temple University professor Bryant Simon writes in his book “Everything but the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks.”

Simon visited more than 400 Starbucks locations while researching the book, which was published in 2009. As he spent hundreds of hours in Starbucks, he realized different customers received different treatment, with the bathroom policy acting as a key example.

Simon writes:

“To use the bolted bathrooms, you had to ask for a key. This seemed to be no problem for people wearing suits and expensive ski jackets or white college professors like myself. We ask for the key, no questions asked. But for the homeless and for people of color, especially unattached men, things aren’t so simple and easy. Several times I have seen African-American men go up to the counter for the key. Giving …read more

Source:: Business Insider

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