DOSSIER SPÉCIAL DIXIÈME ANNIVERSAIRE 2009-2018

  Dix ans en Amérique : États Unis 

 

Esfandyar Sadrieh, Nayla Osseiran, élèves au Lycée Rochambeau, Washington DC

 

 

Injustice raciale: Une épidémie américaine!

Rashon Nelson et Donte Robinson, deux Africains-américains, attendaient dans un Starbucks à Philadelphie quand ils se sont fait arrêter par la police sans raison valide (la police ayant été appelé par un salarié de l’enseigne). Ce n’est pas la première fois que ce type d’incidents se déroule aux États-Unis. En réaction, et face au tollé qu’il a provoqué, Starbucks a décidé de proposer une formation d’une journée à ses vendeurs (l’ensemble des Starbucks restant fermés), pour éviter la répétition d’événements de cette nature.

 

Racial injustice, an american epidemic!   Arrest of Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson in a Philadelphia located  Starbucks

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, who were friends since the 4th grade, were waiting patiently and unnoticeably at Starbucks in Philadelphia for a business meeting. After asking them if they needed help, a worker at the coffee shop called the police when they had not bought anything and they were soonly arrested.

The arrest of these two african american men in a Starbucks located in Philadelphia arose controversy in the United States about racial profiling that has been seen before. Soon after the incident, the company closed 8000 of its stores around the country to train the staff on avoiding racial bias. The white Democratic mayor, Jim Kenney, said what happened at the Starbucks “appears to exemplify what racial discrimination looks like in 2018”. The black police commissioner, Richard Ross, said in a Facebook post that the arresting officers “did absolutely nothing wrong” adding that Nelson and Robinson were disrespectful to the officers.

 

This event was not the first time an incident of this magnitude has occurred. Racial bias is one the biggest problems in the United States. Many businesses around the states have owned up to having had staff behave inappropriately towards african americans and other races. However, this episode is the first time it had happened in a company of this size in recent years.

The video of the two individuals surfaced around the internet and the event made national headlines. This was another reminder to the people about the discrimination that people of color go through on a daily basis. These kinds of acts occur in many different situations such as the murders of young black males such as Philando Castile by white police officers.

 

Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson got into contact with different news outlets such as the Associated Press and they did their first interview since the marking experience. By consequence, this incident became a political scandal.

 

Robinson was worried about his loved ones and how the afternoon had taken such a drastic turn as he was put in jail. Nelson was worried if he would make it home alive, fear and anxiety were overtaking them as they just faced racial injustice.

 

This event sparked a change in Starbucks’ company, the hiring standards changed and they realized they needed to diversify the staff in order broaden their horizons and to have the different cultures of the new people influence the staff and influence the stores environments.

 

The two victims wanted to take advantage of this matter and use their voices to positively impact the community. The men ask aid the city of Philadelphia. To donate 200,000 dollars to a program for high school students seeking to become business entrepreneurs. The two also took part in the training that was provided by Starbucks when dealing with racial biases. Starbucks also offered to help Robinson and Nelson take courses to finish and obtain their Bachelor’s degree.

The city of Philadelphia has also called upon the individuals to take part in programs that promote equality and eliminate racial bias.

 

This incident is just one of many that affects the United States as a nation , 13,4%, of the population (statistics from the U.S. census) to feel unsafe around law authorities or even in public areas in general. Taking place in such major coffee shop chain, it caused Starbucks and the victims to try to make change. Multiple celebrities spoke up and gave their opinions and publicized this recurring issue of racial bias.

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