Illustration for article titled Watch: Starbucks Involved in Another Racist Incident
Photo: Justin Sullivan (Getty Images)

Warning: The video contained in this post is another example of the criminalization of black skin. I warn that the video may be disturbing to viewers who don’t believe that this type of injustice happens on a regular basis. Sadly, if you are black, then you already know that this type of shit happens every day.


Brandon Ward made the vital mistake of not wanting to bring his coffee into the restroom when visiting a Starbucks in Redondo Beach, Calif. So he asked a barista for the bathroom code. Ward says he was instructed that he couldn’t use the bathroom unless he purchased something.

Then an odd thing happened. Ward noticed that a white man, who also hadn’t purchased anything, was given the code to the restroom. So Ward decided that he was going to ask the man how he was able to retrieve the elusive bathroom code without first making a purchase. Turns out that the man, named Weston, apparently had the appropriate skin color for bathroom access, making the bathroom codes akin to 2018 “For Whites Only” water fountains.


Ward recorded the incident, showing that Weston hadn’t decided what he wanted to eat before needing to use the bathroom. And because ordering coffee and a doughnut and then taking that with you into the bathroom is fucking gross, Weston and Ward walked to the counter to ask a barista about it.

Well, that also turned out to be the wrong move, as the barista became incensed that Ward had decided to record her, and had him escorted out by police.

This came just days after a Starbucks in Philadelphia had two black men arrested as they waited for a friend to join them. On Monday, several dozen protesters packed into the store chanting, “Starbucks coffee is anti-black,” among other slogans.

“No-cop zone, no-cop zone, they know better,” the protesters also chanted. “No good cops in a racist system.”


Clearly, Starbucks has a problem, a race problem. Watch the video that’s been making the rounds on social media:

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

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