BISCUIT HILLS, PENNSYLVANIA — When Susan Carolsen heard the news about a Starbucks in nearby Philadelphia being the scene of an arrest of two young, unarmed, black males for loitering, she says she shook her head. Last Monday evening, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson were arrested for “trespassing” after a white female Starbucks employee called the police to report them loitering at the store. Video of the arrest has gone viral and sparked protests, many pointing out that there were white people in the shop who had not ordered anything and they were not arrested or questioned by employees.
This morning, Robinson and Nelson appeared on Good Morning, America and said that they had the cops called on them within minutes of being at the Starbucks. Mrs. Carolsen told us that at her coffee shop, Good To The Last Drop, she has specific guidelines in place to prevent the same kind of situation from happening in her place of business.
“You know, all I really could do is shake my head, but that’s the kind of treatment you can expect from some big, corporately owned coffee shop,” Carolsen said. “And that’s why at my place we have a strict policy about not just willy nilly calling the cops on any old black people you see. We have standards, we’re artisinal, so we only call the cops on black hipsters.”
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“Don’t get me wrong,” Carolsen continued, “we totally get being scared by someone just because their skin color is different than yours. I mean, what country do we think this is? But you just can’t go around being scared of every single black person; you should have some discerning tastes, for Chrissakes.”
Susan says she trains each of her staff members to look for the “right kind of black person to harass and call the cops on needlessly.”
“If you’re going to be straight-up scared of someone based on only an immutable characteristic such as skin color,” Susan said, “at least make sure the person you’re subjecting to your paranoid racism likes cool bands and buys clothes from the cool shops, know what I mean? Sure, we could just teach our employees that part of coffee shop culture is a hang out vibe, and then show them the many white people doing exactly the same thing, but we’d rather use these moments as ways to help our employees refine their tastes, so we don’t become corporate puppets like the Bucks Bots.”
Some in Susan’s town have told her that they think her policy might not be much better. They say she’s allowing he employees to be racist, whether they know it or not. Susan scoffs as the implication.
“We’re not intentionally racist, just casually and unwittingly,” Susan said. “Does no one get nuance anymore?”