After footage of two black men being arrested (seemingly for no reason) in a Philadelphia Starbucks went viral on Saturday, the rest of the weekend saw Starbucks issue a series of apologies. Although CEO Kevin Johnson stated his intent to apologize “face-to-face” to the two men, and the manager who called the police has left the company in what Starbucks is calling a “mutual decision,” ongoing protests are occurring outside the store, and trouble continues to brew on social media.
As is often the case with controversial incidents surrounding corporate entities, calls for a boycott (with a #BoycottStarbucks hashtag firing up) have grown louder over the past few days. Pop culture figures are joining the cause with T.I. declaring his belief that “we should reserve our right to stop spending our money in places that don’t respect us equally.” This pronouncement arrived not long before civil rights activist Shaun King posted apparently new footage of a black man being denied a Starbucks bathroom code while a while man received the courtesy, yet as the video indicates, neither man had purchased anything.
Likewise, comic and CNN host Kamau Bell is just one of many who are calling for people to support the boycott by redirecting their coffee money to Black-owned coffee shops.
The hashtag is seeing overwhelming support by most who use it.