Boycott Starbucks Until…and To Whom Is This Addressed

Let’s see what they do! It’s shaping up! They are discussing failed training practices, they fired the manager. Pressure for a while longer til situation solidifies.

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I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality. There comes a time when silence becomes betrayal.                       

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
The time comes when silence is betrayal. That time has come for us today… …some of us who have already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak.  

 

~ Martin Luther King, Jr. 

 

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I comment on frustration with unnoticed systemic racism, LGBT antagonism, anti-Muslim or anti-Dreamer/immigration structures. My comments are not directed at those who fall into these categories.

The comments are aimed towards those without much personal experience, living in primarily vanilla environments, watching too much mainstream fear-mongering news. I comment regularly, in order to provide a window into a world that some people I know only experience through misleading media stereotypes. Agree with me or not, I hope to provoke fresh thought and consideration. From time to time, in real life, I receive encouragement to continue from a variety of directions.

I am an outlier. My demographic is first generation, Romanian-Russian, poor, self-taught, Buddhist with “mixed race” family.  I’m chuckling.  I share some of my thoughts and feelings.

 

If may write, “Don’t bother staying friends with me if you don’t boycott Starbucks after this.” I am not aiming this at people who currently make a living at Starbucks, or any individual in particular. And honestly, I don’t know what I would really do if I saw a friend at Starbucks. I can’t help but take people one at a time. And each POC must do what they feel is best in relation to racism. No advice.

 

In other words, I didn’t mean “Don’t bother staying friends with me if you don’t boycott Starbucks.” any more than I would mean, “Oh, I am gonna kill him.” if my husband forgot a necessary chore.

 

I WILL boycott Starbucks until I am satisfied with their response. This incident hit me hard. My son and my daughter-in-law have spent many many days in and outside Philadelphia working on projects or theses, or waiting to meet someone for a business meeting.  This TERRIFIED me. I have one son. What if he wasn’t able to be perfectly quiet in the face of such treatment? What if the friend doesn’t show up? This could be any day of any week. C’mon, now.

 

Who can afford to go to Fourbucks, anyway? But for real, I do think there is a toolbox that we use to deal with corporations and boycotts are one of the few meaningful ways the public can express disapproval.

 

For good or for ill, I couldn’t shun or be mean, regardless. Express my thoughts and emotions? Yes. But I take people one at a time, as they appear in front of me and I strive to battle any preconceptions based on appearance, accent, etc –  much to the frustrations of some of my friends who see things more cut and dried. Always have been this way and probably always will.
From time to time, I use my FB page to help more sheltered people to understand what it might FEEL like to be a parent of a person of color, a Muslim, or Dreamer or someone who identifies as LGBT. I know from personal experience, that not everyone is so “lucky” as these two young men. Some people lose life savings, years of their lives, or their very lives.  Every day.

I will never stop making this case. I want more people who are considered “white” to do the same. I do. That’s real.

 

When terrible injustices become public, some goodhearted white folks have the view that it has nothing to do with them. I’ve been face to face with them and they assume my understanding. I confront that right then.

 

Consciously, or not they know well that their children might come to harm by making a mistake, but certainly not for a pack of candy or pencils being mistaken for guns, or for defending themselves, if attacked, or for changing lanes and failing to signal, or for being big and dark-skinned and scaring an unconsciously racist teacher, or for being lost and asking someone for help, or yes, for dressing to match their gender and being harassed and then murdered.
They don’t have to worry that someday someone will appear at their home and inform them that their high school-aged son died by accidentally rolling himself up in a gym mat while looking for his sneaker and that they will never ever see justice and the entire world will forget while they live on.
 I could go back each year, and list incidents that have happened that year that I know my white friends would just plain not believe. Or they would think there must be more to it. (shoulder shrug)  Truly different worlds. So I will never quiet myself until that stops.

 

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