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Tracy Jan @TracyJan
, 13 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Starbucks arrests illustrate the "day-to-day opportunity costs of being black in America." The pervasive scrutiny means never letting down their guards while shopping, dining or gathering with friends.…
This vigilance may translate into always asking for a receipt and shopping bag, even as municipalities impose small charges for plastic bags. Or dressing in a collared shirt simply to run weekend errands. Or being mindful not to linger for too long in a store.
Nowhere else in Philadelphia are African Americans more disproportionately stopped by police than in the Center City neighborhood surrounding the Starbucks, two blocks from ritzy Rittenhouse Square, where rents in luxury apartments run as high as $10,000 a month.
While African Americans make up 3 percent of the area’s residents, they account for 67 percent of pedestrian police stops, according to a 2017 analysis by the @ACLU. Most of those stopped were never charged.
But it's not just about Starbucks, or Philadelphia. It's the racial biases pervasive in American life. In Grand Rapids, Mich., African Americans make up 21% of the population but accounted for 59% of commercial trespassing arrests at businesses such as gas stations and bars.
In Georgetown, businesses operated a private messaging app that allowed retailers to alert police officers about people they considered suspicious. Guess who was most often considered suspicious? Read @Terrence_McCoy 2015 story.…
That resulted in at least one wrongful arrest of a black customer at @Zara, a regular shopper who, as a result of racial profiling, told @Terrence_McCoy that he's too scared to return to Georgetown.…
“It raises all kinds of questions. How long can you be on a property? Can you not browse at these stores now? Who gets to determine whether you’re acting as a patron or as a trespasser?” said Jason D. Williamson, senior staff attorney with the @ACLU's Criminal Law Reform Project.
“It goes 2 the judgments that r made not only by the police but by store owners who ratchet up the level of suspicion depending on what you look like.”
Hence, @Starbuck's decision 2 close 8,000 stores 4 "unconscious bias" training. @JenaMcGregor explains.…
Black lawyer in Philly told me he often is ignored by wait staff when he trades in his 3-piece suits for jeans and Timberland boots on weekends. “The employees frequently don’t have the ability to delineate between a homeless person and a black professional when I have on jeans."
“They lack cultural competency. It’s like an invisibility when I’m seeking service, but they see me when they dislike me.”
.@DerrickNAACP on implicit bias: “It’s an ever-present threat to one’s freedom. Our ability to express ourselves freely is drastically hampered by the fact that someone could interpret malicious motives just because we exist or appear a certain way.”
And.... here's another incident. This time in DC's Wharf. This is how police, who have no choice but to respond when businesses call for their help, should handle these situations.…
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