Questlove and T.I. rally fans to boycott Starbucks

Celebrities and activists are calling for a boycott of the coffee chain following a racist incident in Philadelphia.

Starbucks

Questlove and T.I are some of the celebrities urging fans to boycott Starbucks in Philadelphia after two black men were arrested  for what the chain claims is trespassing.

The two men, according to reports, had asked to use the restroom, but because they had not bought anything, an employee refused the request. They were eventually asked to leave, and when they declined, the manager on duty called the police, leading to the men being handcuffed and removed from the store for trespassing — an outrageous charge from a business that has staked its identity on being a “third place” where people frequently camp out with their laptops for hours to take advantage of free wifi and public restrooms.

The public outcry in response to the incident was swift and fierce, with numerous high-profile public figures speaking out. While many are vowing to boycott the coffee giant and encouraging others to do so as well — saying that the incident reveals racist policies at the chain — some say Starbucks as a whole shouldn’t be blamed for the actions of one employee, pointing to the chain’s relatively progressive policies on issues like equal pay and tuition reimbursement.

The musician Questlove, actor Wendell Pierce, MSNBC host Joy Ann Reid, and former NAACP president Cornell Brooks are the latest to cite this incidence as example of pervasive racism in America.

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