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Thread: White privelege v. 452

  1. #11
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    The McDonald's in Stockton, CA had locked bathrooms. For us, simple Midwesterners, it was one of the stranger occurrences in CA.
    at a job interview recently I was in a different part of town stopping at a coffee house and I asked while buying something (etiquette) if I could use the restroom and what I needed to do to do so. I was literally blown away when they said: just walk right in. What? No code? No key? I was in shock, thinking: things are really different in this part of town. I mean it actually took me by surprise.

    So yea I think who really thinks coffee house restrooms are open to everyone and yes if you ask they probably will give you the key or the code, even if you don't make a purchase (but then this depends - it's easy if you look middle class like me).
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

  2. #12
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I'm with ANM. It's courtesy to buy a small cup of coffee or SOMETHING in return for the business allowing you to use their rest room. I don't think businesses should have to post a Customers Only sign.

    As for this white privilege incident, I think it's an example of what happens every day if you're black, but we can't experience it if we're white. So, we can assume a) that there was a legitimate reason for the manager to call the police--i.e., they really WERE being disruptive in some way--but that never came out of either the article or the police chief's statement or b) there was discrimination involved. If the manager was treating those guys differently because they happened to be black, she shouldn't be in the position of manager.

    For the record, if I were waiting for a friend in Starbucks and taking up table space, I'd also buy a small coffee just because I'm taking up a table that could go to a real patron. If I didn't plan on buying something, I'd wait for my friend in the car.
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  3. #13
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    It will be interesting to see whether this was just a rare one-time event of if we're about to have a new "me too" moment where thousands of black people recount similar stories. Hopefully this really is just one manager making one bad decision.

    Personally waiting in the car is not always an option because 1) as often as not I haven't driven to get to there, and 2) I don't always know the person I'm meeting. I regularly have to meet new people in the course of my work.

  4. #14
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    My parents lived hand to mouth and my brother had bladder issues, so my mother knew where every bathroom in every store was. If she had to buy something every time they would have gone bankrupt. Not everyone can afford Starbucks prices, or maybe the guys wanted to wait and order coffee when the person they were meeting with arrived, rather than buy two cups.

    What"s the alternative? Pee in the street? That's real great for public hygiene. And try doing that as a woman, especially if you're not wearing a skirt. Pee in your pants and walk around smelling like urine? With an aging population there will be fewer and fewer people who can hold it. Already I carry around spare underwear in case I sneeze too hard. A little consideration of people's biological needs would be helpful, instead of trying to arrest our way out of this problem.

    When you gotta go you gotta go.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Simplemind's Avatar
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    Keeping a restroom clean and pristine (the way we would all like it) comes at a cost. I would never enter a restaurant to use their bathroom and not at least buy a beverage. We have a large homeless population and they will take over bathrooms and become aggressive about it. I don't believe it is a public right to have access to a private bathroom. If they want to offer it, lovely. I also had the kid who wanted the bathroom in almost every establishment we entered. Luckily we were in each with the intention to make a purchase.

  6. #16
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Yesterday I went to Hardees to use their wifi. I stood inside until establishng that their wifi worked, and when that was clear, I bought coffee and sat down to use wifi and drink the coffee. The place was empty.

    I will admit to having used restrooms at mcdonalds without buying something, but that was only occasional use, I dont like to do it.

    If the establishment asks you to leave because you havent purchased something, you either leave or you purchase something.

  7. #17
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    I own several pieces of commercial real estate in town. They have bathrooms in shared hallway spaces that the public could in theory use. When I bought them, against the advice of other property owners in the village, I made the restrooms open and unlocked. That idea lasted about a year. The cost of keeping them clean and useable was insane, and the public treated the restrooms dreadfully.

    There is not a single business in our small village with restrooms available to casual users at this point. Every effort to establish one has ended in disaster. The County stepped up to the plate a few years back and build a $250k palace of a public bathroom on our town green, designed to withstand a prison riot. It too is a disaster.

  8. #18
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    I am mentoring 4 college students and I did not know what they looked like. We met at Starbucks and I sat down without buying anything until they arrived and then I bought everyone coffee. It seems to me to be a fairly normal thing to wait for the person you are meeting.

  9. #19
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post

    As for this white privilege incident, I think it's an example of what happens every day if you're black, but we can't experience it if we're white.
    Just ran into this article in the NYT, Dear White America, which relates to my comment and also to the OPs topic

    Donít tell me about how many black friends you have. Donít tell me that you are married to someone of color. Donít tell me that you voted for Obama. Donít tell me that Iím the racist. Donít tell me that you donít see color. Donít tell me that Iím blaming whites for everything. To do so is to hide yet again. You may have never used the N-word in your life, you may hate the K.K.K., but that does not mean that you donít harbor racism and benefit from racism. After all, you are part of a system that allows you to walk into stores where you are not followed, where you get to go for a bank loan and your skin does not count against you, where you donít need to engage in ďthe talkĒ that black people and people of color must tell their children when they are confronted by white police officers.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  10. #20
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Yes--that blather about being a "post-racial society" is just an excuse to sweep the problem aside; it's a very real one for people of color.

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