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Monday PlayGround-up: Starbucks accused of racial discrimination following viral video of two black men arrested

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A video showing two black men being handcuffed and marched out of a Philadelphia chain went viral over the weekend, prompting calls for a boycott of the company

Anna Freeman

16 Abril 2018 13:24

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Racial bias & Starbucks PR disaster

Starbucks is ‘racist’ and capitalism is evil - shocked? The coffee giant became embroiled in a scandal over the weekend after a video showing two black men being arrested in a Philadelphia chain for seemingly no reason at all went viral. Starbucks employees have been accused of racial bias and discrimination for calling the police because two black men were waiting in the establishment without ordering anything. They were reportedly waiting for a friend to arrive. Starbucks chief executive Kevin Johnson said the video was ‘hard to watch’ and that the actions taken were ‘wrong’. However, it didn’t stop residents in Philadelphia protesting outside Starbucks and calling for a boycott of the company.

LGBT rights & Chinese censorship

Chinese social media users gained a rare win against the country’s omnipresent censors after the popular site Weibo reversed its decision to ban all content ‘related to homosexuality’. Sina Weibo said on Friday that for the next three months it would be removing comics and videos ‘with pornographic implications, promoting bloody violence, or related to homosexuality’. The decision prompted public outcry, with the site’s community members fighting back with pictures of their partners, rainbow emojis, and with hashtags #iamgay and #iamgaynotapervert. Weibo responded to the flood of criticism by saying it will only focus on eliminating pornography and violence, not gay content. ‘Thank you everyone for the discussion and your suggestions,’ it said in a statement on its microblog account. China’s online spaces have come under increasing censorship from the government in recent months, therefore this can be seen as a victory for both LGBT rights and freedom of information.

Beyoncé’s Coachella show & black power

The world is still reeling from one of the most iconic, female-turbocharged, and black power performances to ever grace any world stage. Beyoncé took to the stage at Coachella on Saturday night and delivered one of the most memorable performances the queen of pop has ever offered to us undeserving mortals. Her set played on the theme of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), so Beyoncé performed with an HBCU marching band, covered Nina Simone’s ‘Lilac Wine,’ and sang the black national anthem, ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’. She also had a dance-off with her sister Solange, duetted with her husband Jay-Z, and reunited with her old band, Destiny’s Child. So, really, what more could you want in life? We are not worthy.

A post shared by Beyoncé (@beyonce) on

Comey interview & Trump’s lacking morality

Former FBI director James Comey is saying what we’re all thinking: Donald Trump is ‘morally unfit to be president’ and he treats women like ‘pieces of meat’. Comey gave his first major television interview to ABC News since he was fired by President Trump last year, in which he said the president constantly lies and may have obstructed justice. ‘I don't buy this stuff about him being mentally incompetent or early stages of dementia,’ Comey told ABC's 20/20 programme on Sunday night. ‘I don't think he's medically unfit to be president. I think he's morally unfit to be president. Our president must embody respect and adhere to the values that are at the core of this country. The most important being truth. This president is not able to do that.’

Surf’s up & shark attack

Everyone’s worst fears about being attacked by a great white shark came true today for two men today after they were attacked while surfing on the same stretch of beach in Australia. A 37-year-old man was bitten on the lower leg at Cobblestones beach in Gracetown, near the Margaret River Pro surfing tournament, just before 8am and managed to bodysurf back to shore. A second man in his 40s was bitten while surfing off Lefthanders beach at about 2.30pm, and was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

A post shared by Sam Roberts (@ohsnap_perth) on

Canada’s liberals & legalising drugs

A push to transform archaic drug laws is sweeping liberal political parties around the world. And with just months left before Canada becomes the first country in the G7 to fully legalise marijuana, members of the country’s Liberal party, led federally by Justin Trudeau, are calling on their government to now decriminalise the possession and consumption of all illicit drugs. The move comes amid a growing opioid crisis in Canada (and America), which claimed the lives of roughly 4,000 people last year, with hopes that legalisation will slash the harmful black market of buying and selling dangerous drugs.

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