T.I. is livid over how a Starbucks employee called the cops on two black men for no good reason. Until the coffee chain does something to end the ‘disrespect,’ he thinks everyone should boycott them!
Don’t expect to see T.I., 37, ordering a Macchiato anytime soon. After the arrest of two African-American men in a Philadelphia Starbucks sparked protests and outrage, Tip thinks it’s time to hit the coffee giant where it hurts: the wallet! “We should reserve our right to stop spending out money at places that don’t respect us equally, you know what I’m saying?” T.I. told TMZ as he was leaving LAX on April 15. “Until they have made some progressive steps to let us know how they plan to rectifying the situation, I don’t see no other answer.”
“I think that if there’s one thing that America has shown us,” he added. ”It’s that there are two ways that you can get their attention: the loss of life, and the loss of finances. … Too much has been left undone when it comes to us being treating equally and fairly in this country. I don’t have nothing personally against Starbucks. … The greater good of all, man, is my priority.”
Tip has a right to be angry. Two men were arrested inside a Philadelphia Starbucks on April 12, per the New York Post, after an employee called 911 to report the two for “trespassing.” The men reportedly had refused to leave after being told they couldn’t use the bathroom without making a purchase, a violation of the company’s policy. However, the two men – whose names have not been released – were actually meeting a real estate developer named Andrew Yafee to discuss investment opportunities, according to the Washington Post.
The arrest was captured on video, which went viral. It’s been viewed more than 8 million times. In the footage, Andrew can be heard complaining to the police. “Why would they be asked to leave? Does anybody else think this is ridiculous?” he asks people nearby. “It’s absolute discrimination.” The men were released eight hours afterward, when the district attorney found no evidence of a crime.
Protesters swarmed the Starbucks in question on April 15, holding signs that read “Boycott Racist Starbucks” and “#Enough Shame On You Starbucks.” The CEO of the company, Kevin Johnson, apologized and said he wanted to meet with the men to offer a face-to-face apology. T.I. doesn’t think that will be enough.
“Just an apology isn’t going to get it,” the rapper told TMZ. “Every time we’ve been slighted, every time we’ve been disrespected, every time we’ve been devalued, every time we’ve been disregarded, it’s always been just a tweet or an apology. ‘ooh, it’s cool.’ No, there needs to be real action taken.”