Things to Do in the Newly Free Bathrooms at Starbucks

Starbucks image via Shutterstock

Last month a couple of guys got kicked out of a Starbucks in Philly, and it proved that Starbucks is racist. Why? Because the two gentlemen are African-American. That’s how it works: If something bad happens to a black person, it’s always due to racism. There is no other possible explanation. Ever. That’s why it’s called racism. Duh!


If you haven’t witnessed this epoch-shaking injustice, here it is. Come see the racism inherent in the system:

Just try telling me we still don’t live in Emmett Till’s America. Yeah, right.

Now Starbucks is trying to make us forget about their obvious systemic racism by throwing out pathetic half-measures, like establishing a $200,000 “young entrepreneur program” (that’s the price of, what, 100 Starbucks lattes?) and making every single one of their employees undergo “mandatory bias training.” Um, maybe if you guys weren’t all so biased, you wouldn’t need mandatory training to not be biased? #smdh

But at least one of Starbucks’ new initiatives has the potential to accomplish the most important goal of all: benefiting me personally. Josh Delk, The Hill:

Starbucks is changing its companywide bathroom use policy after two men were arrested in one of the company’s locations in Philadelphia last month.

The coffee shop chain will now allow anyone to use the restroom at Starbucks locations even if they are not paying customers…


“We don’t want to become a public bathroom,” [Starbucks executive chairman Howard] Schultz said. “But we’re going to make the right decision a hundred percent of the time and give people the key, because we don’t want anyone at Starbucks to feel as if we are not giving access to you to the bathroom because you are ‘less than.’ We want you to be ‘more than.’ “

In that case, I’m more than happy to take advantage of this opportunity!

I’m grateful to Howard Schultz for enabling positive social change via universal bathroom access, and I plan to make the most of it. Here are a few things I plan to do in the bathrooms at the 17 Starbucks locations nearest me, whether I end up buying anything or not:

  • Grab a nap. Being a victim of social injustice — as I’ve just declared myself to be, for whatever reason I please — is exhausting. I can’t stay woke all the time. Sometimes I just need a place to lay my head for a few minutes, or hours. A Starbucks bathroom is the perfect place to turn out the lights, curl up on the floor, and catch a few winks. And yes, I can hear you knocking, racist!
  • Set up a satellite office. Starbucks and I agree that I shouldn’t be “less than,” but rather “more than.” And part of being “more than” is being successful in business. There are any number of money-making schemes I could run out of the bathroom at Starbucks. I might write a novel. Start my own call center. Dispense pharmaceuticals on a freelance basis. Provide, um, personal services… whatever! I need space to do it, and Starbucks can and will give me that space.
  • Anything else I damn well feel like. It’s none of your beeswax, Starbucks. Quit acting like you own the place.

None of this will make Starbucks any less racist, of course. Racism will never go away as long as white people are allowed to exist. But whether you’re black, transracial (like me), female, transgender (like me), or otherwise part of a protected class, you can take advantage of Starbucks’ half-hearted attempt at reparations. Starbucks is yours, anytime you want. Do with it as you will.

Just make sure to wash your hands when you’re done.

(Hat tip: Mairead McArdle)


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