By Karen AttiahIsn’t it time that the full might of the state was brought down on the real threat: convenience-store managers, mom-and-pop restaurants, and school officials?
Karen Attiah is The Post’s global opinions editor.
… What the Starbucks incident has in common with the lynchings of the past — as well as the police brutality and mass incarceration of the present — is the basic fact that black people in America can be physically eliminated at any time, in any place, for little reason — whether that means being kicked out of stores, suspended from school, priced out of their neighborhoods, locked up in jail or put in the grave. …
Starbucks will do what it needs to do to protect its brand. But what is America doing to protect its own citizens of color? Who will train Americans to stop calling the cops on their unarmed black neighbors? Who will train school officials not to use police force on black kids just for being kids? Who will train the convenience-store managers? The mom-and-pop restaurants? And how can we up the social and legal costs for people who make life-threatening decisions by calling the police on peaceful black people?
So as long as a black person isn’t brandishing, say, an AR-15, they are legally and morally entitled to be wherever they feel like. It’s like how the Zeroth Amendment says that undocumented workers can idle in the United States and citizens can’t do anything about it. The Negative First Amendment says blacks, as long as they aren’t armed, can be anywhere they want for as long as they want, and just because you happen to own the property they are on, you can’t do anything about it, because you are white.