Friar Bijou wrote:
The real problem is that there's more or less zero way to prove that any action which negatively impacts a person of color *wasn't* influenced by some form of racial bias. You can always assume that there's some kind of systemic or hidden or even subconscious racial bias behind *any* negative act. And there's no way to counter that. Which makes it entirely based on whether or not the accusation is made, and not so much any sort of objective analysis of the facts themselves.
The counter to the assumption of racism is to explain why she did what she did, aside from racism. Can you do that?
"Explain" or "speculate". Obviously, we can't explain, because only she can do that, and she's not talking. Almost certainly because there was some sort of NDA agreement when she was fired, specifically so that Starbucks could control the public defense of their brand without her stepping into things. Starbucks is interested only in dealing with a PR problem, and has no interest at all in defending her actions (and in fact, attempting to do so would only make things worse, as the responses to my own posts on this forum prove). They're going to do just what they did: Fall on their sword. Apologize profusely. Donate some money. Make the rounds showing how much they care. Spend time/money on "training". Etc. Because this isn't about proving what happened. It's about repairing their brand.
But that doesn't provide us any sort of accurate assessment of what actually happened. Again, the last thing Starbucks wants to do is litigate the facts in the public forum. They lose if they do that. But since I'm not Starbucks and don't have billions of dollars at stake, I'm perfectly willing to talk more candidly about the more likely actual facts versus the PR narrative.
As to "speculate", I've done plenty of that. There are a host of possible explanations for what may have transpired between when the two men walked in and when she called the police. Most of them do not require that we make any assumptions that are outside the bounds of behavior that occurs pretty commonly in customer service jobs, and which do not have to have anything at all to do with the skin colors of those involved.
There are rude customers. It happens. There are offensive customers. It happens. There are threatening customers. It happens. As I've said repeatedly, I find it almost impossibly unlikely that the two men did absolutely nothing
except be black, and that blackness alone prompted her to call the police. The obvious logic to this is that if that was all it took, she would have a long history of calling the cops on every single black person who'd ever stepped foot in the store. Obviously, there was more to it than that, right?
So, if we accept that there was "more to it", then the only question is whether that "more to it" would have prompted a different response from her if the two men were white versus black. And we simply don't have any evidence to show that this is the case. We can guess. We can assume. But we don't know. And my argument has been, all along, that in the absence of knowing, we should not assume that one specific thing must be the truth. In my experience "bad customers" come in all shapes, sizes, and colors.
The argument that her actions must have been in response to their skin color purely because they were black and got arrested, rests on the completely bizarre assumption that no black person can ever do something which may warrant calling the police. And yeah... that's nuts. Out of the hundreds of thousands of people arrested nationwide for loitering, disturbing the peace, and trespassing each year, some of them are going to be black, right? I mean, just basic statistics tells us that this must be the case. But we're supposed to assume, after the fact, that if the person being arrested is black, that the arrest must be racially motivated?
Sorry. I still don't buy it.