Starbucks: Another Example of Experiences in the Workplace
BY: KIKI N.
Reading time: 4 minutes
As an avid tweeter in the congregation of black twitter, I often see tweets of black men and women speak about how their white coworkers, especially their white women coworkers place themselves in a “my feelings are more important than yours” bubble.
When a non-POC (people/person of color) women feels uncomfortable or does not like a POC’s response, they often seek comfort for the way they feel. Their actions could include
Complaining about the the “attitude” or “email etiquette” of someone, which does not have to be towards a POC, but could be towards anyone.
“Tina is not social and she doesn’t like going out with the rest of the team.”
“I didn't like the way Sandra was talking to me".
These small complaints can have absolutely nothing to do with the job description. These requests non-POC make are to make themselves feel comfortable, but not the POC themselves.
@FeministGriote started a thread about the experiences of Black women and White women in the workplace. She expressed that:
Here are some experiences people on Twitter have expressed.
Gurrrllll..I had a supervisor report me becus I did not “acknowledge” aka speak to her.. I had people walk pass me left n righ n never speak or turn their head until we are in the copier room n mysteriously they know my first middle n last name when they need help loading copier— Chameleon1 (@MsPiggy02) April 17, 2018
This thread speaks to me! As a Black woman I have had alot of experiences in the workplace where I had to censor myself while talking to ww about their bad behaviour in fear of being labelled "aggressive or a bully". Once the tears start the conversation turns into damage control https://t.co/vNU9HPY2LC— Karly Alexa (@karrlssalexa) April 17, 2018
Two black men were arrested Thursday afternoon (April, 12th, 2018) at an Philadelphia Starbucks after the manager called 911 on the men for waiting in the coffee shop without making a purchase.
Rashon Nelson & Donte Robinson were then held in custody for 9 hours before their release with no charges filed.
The men were scheduled a meeting at Starbucks with a real estate developer to discuss possible investment opportunities.
FULL INTERVIEW: "This is something that has been going on for years...everyone is blind to it."— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 19, 2018
Rashon Nelson & Donte Robinson, the 2 black men arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia, speak out exclusively to @RobinRoberts: https://t.co/bIBmMGlwWN pic.twitter.com/IZekmHrWw2
While waiting for their other party, one of the men asked an employee for a bathroom key to use the bathroom. He was denied access to the bathroom, then was asked to leave the coffee shop for not making a purchase.
The men refused to leave. Shortly after, police arrived at the scene and put them in handcuffs.
“What do they get called for? Because they are black guys sitting here meeting? Well what did they do? Someone tell me what they did.” said a witness at the scene.
“They didn't do anything. I saw the entire thing.” replied another witness. “They asked to use the bathroom.”
There are thoughts waiving around this event such as prejudice, racial bias, and discrimination of African Americans while partaking in everyday activities that white people are able to do without being a product of racism. Several people have thoughts on this event, such as “This is an example of how some white people have used their privilege and authority to disadvantage black people in workplaces.”
"Many people do this all the time, even I do it. I even just did it yesterday," said another witness.
This is another situation of a non-POC wanting to feel comfortable--regarding their feelings and neglecting the feelings of POC. This situation can transcend to workplaces all over the world, where the comfortability of a white employee is much more important than a black employee.
The 911 call was an unconscious sign for "help". Help for a non-POC's feelings and pride, disregarding the feelings of the two black men that did absolutely nothing illegal.
Kiki N. works in government. She has a bachelors degree in Sociology. She is interested in the Black women narrative and experience.
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