we need to talk about non-black poc’s anti-blackness

April 17, 2018
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In the wake of several viral instances of racial discrimination at two separate locations, Starbucks Coffee is shutting down all 8,000 of its company-owned United States stores during the afternoon of May 29th to engage employees in “anti-discrimination training”. Because the employees at Starbucks are so racist, apparently, the business must temporarily shut down to remind people that racial stereotypes aren’t real and that black people aren’t the ones threatening public safety. And kudos to Starbucks for doing more than issue an apology.

“Designed to address implicit bias, promote conscious inclusion, prevent discrimination and ensure everyone inside a Starbucks store feels safe and welcome,” the training session comes after the second of two videos documenting racial discrimination at one of its locations. The second video, shot at a Starbucks in L.A. showed a black man, Brandon Ward, confronting a Starbucks employee about being refused the code to enter a public restroom prior to making his purchase. With the reluctant help of a Good White who identified himself as Weston and was given the restroom code prior to making a purchase, Ward tried asking the staff why he was not being treated the same way, but was immediately ordered to leave by what appears to be a NBWOC. “You need to stop recording right now,” the manager tells him. “This is a private business; I am the store manager. I am asking you to leave right now. You are actually not allowed to be here anymore.”

Boy, does that have the scariest ring of a “WHITES ONLY” sign, and worse, from the lips of a person who appears to be anything other than white. Her bizarre, clearly guilty reaction to being comforted about refusing service to a black man was a disappointing, but unsurprising tell that she had, in fact, was discriminating against black customers, specifically.

“And yet, as widespread as anti-Black racism is across non-Black communities of color, so too is the denial that it exists or that we benefit from such racial hierarchies,” writes  Shereen Masoud.

“As non-Black people of color, we tend to deflect from any power that we do have in order to avoid engaging with it at an analytical level — because to acknowledge this power would mean having to grapple with its implications and to admit that we are complicit in the same racist structures that seek to oppress us. It would also mean that we would need to give up this power in the pursuit of justice.”

“I’m not allowed to be in here anymore? Why they so upset with me, Weston? What did I do? I just tried to use the bathroom like you did. Is it my skin color?”