As a journalist, I want to talk to other white people about recent coverage of “Starbucks Racism” incidents.
People of all races are horrified by the reports filling the news of black people targeted by whites for everyday activities. I’m calling it “Starbucks Racism” in this post not because I particularly hate Starbucks. It’s simply that the incident in which police arrested two black men waiting for a third friend at a Philadelphia Starbucks is now infamous. This story ushered in renewed interest in the media in this kind of “casual” but extremely dangerous racism.
There’s a reaction to these Starbucks Racism stories I’ve mostly noticed among white people. It reflects both a misunderstanding of systemic racism and a misunderstanding of how the media works. I’ll paraphrase something I saw on a friend’s wall: “What’s wrong with people? I’m so disgusted at how people act recently.”