Philadelphia Starbucks Settlement: Respectability and the Inadequacy of a Symbolic Dollar and a Grant

Nelson and Robinson know how to behave, and for that reason they are being depicted as exceptional negroes. Emphasis is continually being put of the fact that they were at Starbucks for a business meeting, as if that somehow matters. They could’ve been there doing nothing more than using the wifi, and their arrest would’ve still been unjust. Doing nothing wrong isn’t enough, however. If you don’t want to be blamed for your own mistreatment, you have to do enough things right as well. So these two men who look like thugs are “business partners” who were waiting to start a business meeting. It makes them more palatable to the masses, and it's easier for folks jumping on the “woke” bandwagon to get behind them.

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