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Things can never be what they seem for us…

By now many have heard about the fiasco that has, yet again, given vision to the visionless and created outrage (real or fake) and disbelief! While I am not personally surprised by the actual events, I am elated by the responses. The discrimination exuded by that specific store and that specific manager should not be isolated and attributed to personal choice, but rather to culture. If I were a gambling man, I would bet that 100% of patrons have witnessed other customers sitting at Starbucks using Wi-Fi, studying, reading a book, or waiting for someone, without so much as a free ass water beside them. The discrimination is real!

As I thought about this common situation, I struggled to get a deeper rationale. Racism and prejudice has always been (and will always be) at the heart of situations like this, but in my desire to provide a mindset shift, I wanted to categorize what happened. I landed on benefit of the doubt (BOTD)!

Why aren’t black people ever given the benefit of the doubt? We are tired of the smug looks and muffled rumblings… the distrusting eyes and accompanying actions. Black folks have had enough of “let’s wait for the full story” and “we don’t know what might have happened with those individuals and that particular store in the past.” Those men were there to hold a business meeting. Is that so hard to believe? If so, why? The black population needs to examine this category, understand the underlying prejudices, and make money moves to get our own. Part of that examination should include a reflection on our own habits toward trusting one another and extending the BOTD. When Mikey gives an instruction, but you need Chad to confirm it before you follow it, is that helping or hurting the cause?

Regardless, whether you are walking in a convenience store with a shopping list and money, wearing a hoodie on a windy day, holding a business meeting with stacks of paper all around, running fast while dressed in full track and field gear, or attempting to pick up and return something that someone else had just dropped, things can never be what they seem for us.

So, what’s the good news?

Well for one, nobody died! Secondly, we have endured and persevered for a long time in the face of this poor and unfortunate treatment. Lastly, we are acting! Businesses are choosing their direction and it often isn’t us. This gives way to Black dollars demanding action and responsibility. If a company thinks themselves too big for the Black dollar, so be it… queue in

We deserve to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt! We deserve to be our best advocates! We deserve to own the block! Go where you’re celebrated, not where you’re tolerated! #StayWoke #blkcoffeeco

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