The city of Philadelphia has settled with Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, the two black men arrested at Starbucks back in April for simply failing to order something while waiting for a third person to arrive for a business meeting. The settlement? They get $1. It is a symbolic settlement because what they really got out of the deal is the city’s pledge of $200, 000 towards launching a program for young entrepreneurs.
“We thought long and hard about it and we feel like this is the best way to see that change that we want to see, ” said Donte Robinson, one of the men arrested. “It’s not a right-now thing that’s good for right now, but I feel like we will see the true change over time.”
The entrepreneur program will be for Philadelphia public high school students. Donte and Rashon approached the office of Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney about creating the $200, 000 grant and will serve on the committee to help establish the grant and award it.
“I am pleased to have resolved the potential claims agains the City in this productive manner,” Mayor Kenney wrote to HuffPost. “This was an incident that evoked a lot of pain in our City, pain that would’ve resurfaced over and over again in protracted litigation, which presents significant legal risks and high financial and emotional costs for everyone involved.”
Remember how (mostly white) critics accused the two black men who were arrested at Starbucks of staging the whole thing, just to sue and make some quick cash? They just settled with the city of Philadelphia for $1 each.
In other words, it was never about the money. pic.twitter.com/r3Tx4s33xP
— Muhammad Lila (@MuhammadLila) May 2, 2018
After the arrest of the the two gentlemen went viral on social media, Starbucks announced it is planning to close more than 8,000 of its store locations on May 29 for racial bias training.