Today it’s Starbucks’ turn for caustic opprobrium. It’s their turn to be piñata of the day, because there were more decent customers than others, in the coffeehouse, and a woman was adroit enough to use the most feared weapon in America -a cellphone.
I’m not worried about the two Black men victimized. They are smart and doing well enough to take legal action to redress the wrong. Nor is there any sympathy needed for the Black police chief, who made himself so powerless that I don’t want to imagine the compromised, sectional existence that must be his. So all is well until tomorrow, when the world sees another America within a minute of the electronic upload. Worst if streaming. To come are the rest of the stories and American children are all watching and learning.
If this reads as uncaring, that’s not my intention. This is more about how I cope with institutionalized racism that pervades all life in America, and don’t ever think that the perpetrators and enablers are always White. I know that because of many experiences.
Starbucks would have us believe that firing a member of its staff and sensitivity training are good enough….to get by. Well, Mr. Starbucks, visit any of your stores and let us know if you see what your brand projects. Look the thing that you hatched, in the eyes. It’s not pretty and it’s menacing.
Your corporate culture is who you are. Your staff don’t need sensitivity training, they need leadership and good examples worthy of emulation. Just as nothing happens until something moves, people do what they believe is expected of them. They want to please you and maybe get recognition.
They are probably stunned by the swiftness of what corporate America and many governmental agencies rely on. Go to the most junior employee, publicly fire them and some people are satisfied. The latest script is, “that is not who we are.” I differ.
So my personal philosophy in coping with victimization is this: first, who needs whom; second, is the commodity essential to my comfort, and third, is it be available elsewhere? What cannot be changed from within can be changed from without. Starbucks needs me. I don’t need Starbucks. Problem solved.
Lastly, the employee fired and those remaining have learned something and that something would likely be taken to the next jobs. How, Mr. Starbucks, have you helped?