Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Starbucks while Black incident and the Lie to Me show

The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, PA.
Would you like a less academic way to learn about unconscious and conscious racial bias? Were you puzzled by the Philadelphia police commissioner's stance or why some black people appear to have little empathy for other black people's struggle with racism?

I'm thinking now of Commissioner Richard Ross, who is black. He could have been more thoughtful with his comment regarding the Starbucks incident. As it is, he said, his officers "did absolutely nothing wrong,” and that the men who were arrested, Nelson and Robinson, were disrespectful to officers. (Related: Choked for Challenging) I'm sure some see his stance as simply his job, his duty to stand up for his men. 

But what about tone? What about acknowledging that six police officers for two men is a bit much. Ross has since apologized for his handling of the issue.

Of course, I and others wonder about the Starbucks manager who called the police. Her 911 call was brief, and she did not mention the ethnicity of the men. But what's her background, what was her logic, and what will Starbucks do with her?

In any event, if you can find this old episode of Lie to Me, I recommend you watch it. The show's available in Netflix's library, I believe. The episode is about a black fireman who shows disgust for a murdered black fireman who had spoken up about racism in his firehouse. And after you watch it, think about taking the bias test at Project Implicit.

Lagniappe: Remember in 2015 when Starbucks tried to "start a conversation about race" in its shops with its "Race Together" campaign? People hated them for it.

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