This is exactly the problem, and what I mentioned earlier. If you know the police are automatically going to side with you, then you can give them any old bushlit reasoning. The problem here isn't the cops, that are supposedly just doing their job, but the fact that
racistsanyone granted the authority to do so by the business owner can pull this stunt, until recently, with impunity.
It's not about racists though. That's putting the cart before the horse. It's a base condition of "being in charge" of a business. The consequence, of course, is that if you abuse that authority you may find yourself out of a job.
The only thing that "until recently" applies to is the use of the media to create an assumed narrative to the event in question. And one can make the same "BS" argument in that case. If you know that the media is going to side with your narrative, then you can give them any BS claim about racism you want, and it'll be believed, and reported as such, and the masses who read the media will believe it, and react to it. And it doesn't matter what the truth actually is
. You also know that the business will react in exactly the way Starbucks acted. So the "side" of the barista will never be heard.
That's just as much a problem IMO. I'll repeat something I mentioned earlier, and ask you to do this simple mental test:
Imagine that the two men directly threatened the manager. Told her they would beat her silly if she didn't shut her mouth and let them hang out. Choose whatever threatening and/or offensive language you wish, but for the sake of argument let's assume it's something that you agree would 100% justify the manager calling the cops. Now, imagine everything else played out exactly as it did. Manager calls the cops, reporting exactly what was reported (two men inside the store, were asked to leave, refused to do so, she wants the cops to come remove them). Imagine the cops take exactly the actions we saw on the video. Everything else past the point of calling the cops is exactly the same, we're just assuming that her motivation for asking them to leave and calling the cops was 100% justified.
If the same video of the police interaction went viral, and if the media covered it the exact same way. Would you know the difference? Would you hear the employees side? Or would she be silenced by Starbucks? Would we know any difference? Would the reaction have changed?
My assumption is that no, we'd not be able to detect any difference in terms of how this would play out in the public eye. None of the information about the details we're missing would be made public, so we'd never know them. And in that absence the "it must be racism" assumption would fill that void. Let me be clear, I'm not assuming this was the case, only that we can't assume it *wasn't*. We can't assume anything at all. But, because of the racial assumption, we're actively *not* hearing the full story.
In the absence of an hysterical media reporting "RACISM!!!" at every turn, we'd likely have heard the employees side, right? We'd be able to hear a more balanced version of events and make a decision as to what we believe. But the hysteria itself has shut down any countering facts to that assumptive narrative. For me, this is less about concern about racism, but about whether we're doing a disservice to "the truth" with this process. I tend to not like the idea of social narrative being driven by the equivalent of a mob wielding torches and pitchforks. Let's allow full discourse and see where it leads.
"Until recently" we had that discourse. Now we don't. And no, I don't see that as a good thing at all.