Musings 4 minute read

Dear Black Person Who Went to Starbucks This Morning…Why? 


Dear Black Person Who Went to Starbucks This Morning,

Why? No, this isn’t a hypothetical “why.”  This is a genuine “I want to understand, get inside your head…why.”  The thought of taking my Black ass, to spend my green money on some brown, designer, bean water makes me feel pre-vomit yellow because the way the Starbucks manager handled my Brothas has had me red-faced angry.


I realize, however, that I could be missing some vital information or failing to understand your perspective.  So, I took the time to consider how you may be feeling. I tried to consider the reasons behind your decision to go to Starbucks this morning.

Reason #1 You are Addicted  You need coffee more than unhappily married men need PornHub or Gator needed that crack. First thing that calls you in the morning: the toilet. Second, that coffee. You don’t feel right until you feel the warmth of that Caramel Macchiato running through your brains. You simply couldn’t help yo’self. It be callin’ you.

Reason #2 You are a creature of habit.  You do things because that’s the way you have always done them. You brush your teeth at 7:23. You kiss your wife on the cheek at 7:28. You walk out the door at 7:29, as you yell, “have a nice day” to your kids. You pull up at Starbucks exactly at 7:42 where they know you and know your order; and you really like that–it comforts you.

Reason #3 You have overcome.  You recognize that Blacks have issues; but not Blacks like you. You are different. You have overcome; and you can’t be bothered with this nonsense.  Why were those Black men having a meeting in Starbucks anyway?  You have meetings in your office.  And their appearance was a bit “threatening.” One had facial hair-for goodness sake! Any Black man knows that you do not wear facial hair if you don’t want to frighten White people. And the one with braids should be ashamed of himself. Braids scream hoodlum. Did you see how they were dressed? A Black man should always be the best dressed in the room  You are assured to never have any police trouble if you adhere to a strict preppy-wardrobe and close, neat haircuts. Had you been in Starbucks, you would have been uncomfortable too. You’ve worked hard to be accepted by this country; and you are happy to be where you are.

Reason #4 You just Can’t be bothered The Starbucks is 5 minutes from where you work and the Black-owned shop is 20 minutes away. The shop 8 minutes away owned by a nice Puerto Rican lady doesn’t have the banana bread you love; and while the coffee is good at the gas station, the lines are always long.  You care about your people; but aren’t willing to be inconvenienced for it.

Reason #5 You Are Suffering from Extreme Blackaustion You are tired…damn near hopeless. Everyday it seems as if Black folks are getting abused in some way or another. Ain’t no use of boycotting Starbucks because it won’t change a thing. Starbucks will still be in business and another company will do something inappropriate within a month. So why should you suffer and go without your favorite coffee?  We, Black folks, just need to accept that this is how things are going to be for us in America. Ain’t no use fighting it. Best thing to do is just get what you can get–and you gonna get yo coffee.

My Brotha, my Sista, I’ve really tried to understand your thinking; but I hope that you come to understand that we are doomed if we don’t push these companies to put anti-racism trainings and policies in place. That overpriced, designer  bean water can’t be that damn good.

My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more


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