Former Bloomsburg University Student’s Arrest Sparks Conversation on Campus

BLOOMSBURG UNIVERSITY, Pa. -- Rashon Nelson and his friend Donte Robinson were there for a business meeting, but what unfolded inside that Philadelphia Starbucks has launched protests and cries for change.

A white Starbucks manager said the men were not buying anything and so she called the police last Thursday.

Cell phone video showed the two black men being arrested.

"As soon as they approached us they just said we had to leave, there was no question of you know, is there a problem here, between you guys and the manager, what's going on here,” said Nelson.

Nelson was a student at Bloomsburg University until 2016, majoring in finance.

What happened to him and his friend has sparked conversations on campus.

"There needs to be some sort of change and it starts at Starbucks but it needs to go everywhere else, I mean it's just absolutely ridiculous that that happened,” said Ethan Henschel, a student at Bloomsburg University.

"It's only when things like this happen that we get stirred up about it again, but it's as prevalent as it is in that Starbucks as it is anywhere else in the state,” said student Jeremiah Olivo.

Starbucks announced this week it will close 8,000 stores for an afternoon next month for racial-bias training.

The company's CEO apologized to Robinson and Nelson.

The men are reportedly speaking with Starbucks officials about change.

"It's not just a black people thing, this is a people thing and that's exactly what we want to see out of this and that’s true change, so put action into place and start using your words."

"It's nice to see that they're working with the Starbucks crews instead of you know fighting, it's nice to see that they're taking the higher road to make progress,” said Bloomsburg University student Rianna Daughtry.

"I hope it's going to be a conversation starter, I want to say that like with everything that has been happening, nothing has changed so far so hopefully this will change something,” said student Liana Amadeo.

13 comments

  • Jill Friedman

    A lot of these posts miss the point. A store or restaurant can have any policy they choose but it has to apply to everyone. This Starbucks manager had separate policies for black and white people. White people were allowed to linger for hours without buying anything, and wait for the people they’re meeting before ordering while the manager called the police on the black men only 2 minutes after they arrived. White people were allowed to use the restroom without purchasing anything, while the black man who asked was not. This kind of discrimination is actually illegal. The rules need to be posted and apply to everyone equally.

  • J (@ds18301)

    We see how you just drool, revel and delight in your r**cism (have to do that to not get blocked by WNEP) which is is just oozing off the screen and how you create your own narrative in spite of the fact that everyone involved has told a different story than your made-up nonsense. (It’s the Fox “News” way)…. So don’t tell me you have never arrived at a restaurant before a friend arrived and sat down to wait before ordering with no expectation of being hauled off in handcuffs. If you can’t see we live in a world where unarmed black men are, nearly on a daily basis, shot in the back by police while a white mass-murderer like Dylan Roof is somehow apprehended without a shot in spite of his resistance, then you are just not paying attention. If you can’t understand the stories on these very pages of white rapists, child molesters, white-collar criminals who steal hundreds of thousands from the elderly being given a pass while a black kid who steals a carton of cigarettes gets 20 years, then you’ll never see white privilege. Don’t twist my words: there are plenty of crimes committed by black people. There’s plenty of black trash — no question. But you don’t have to look any farther than this site to see hundreds of disgusting crimes committed by white trash. (But oh yeah — you’ll comment that their crimes are likely drug-related so we don’t “blame” their race) Try judging people by their character. Why don’t you try and smile and say “good morning” to a person of color instead of giving that sneer of hatred. You might find you enjoy your own life a little more and make the world a slightly better place.

  • Shifty Biscuits

    LOITERING! What I find hysterical is Star Bucks is a Liberal company, ran by Liberal workers, supported by Liberal customers and they’re accused of racism! Too funny! Now get to your racial sensitive training classes you racists pigs! Hahaha!

  • Rusty Knyffe

    Starbuck’s, of all places, is NOT the venue to stage some sort of racial b.s. This incident has been MISREPORTED by all of the media which has taken that route to support the men who were arrested, rather than delving into some serious investigation and seeing – literally and actually SEEING – what precipitated this whole thing.

    The men were asked, repeatedly, to leave the establishment. The recording that is being shared with the media was taken by one of the men, NOT the video surveillance of the store or any other witnesses who were there.

    These men are parasites and this whole thing has become an abhorrent indication of what is so desperately wrong with our society, today.

    • Rusty Knyffe

      And, I have to really face-palm, here. Is this what Bloomsburg is teaching their students? Wonderful. Just wonderful.

    • jsrant

      They could of said we arre waiting for someone but let us buy a coffee while we wait. Sorry for any inconvenience but no. The cops wouldn’t of been called if these guys didn’t add to the problem.

  • Richie Fish

    45 years ago my parents owned a luncheonette. I worked there when I was a kid, and thru high school. And if you came in and took up a seat, you should be ordering something, anything. The chairs and stools were for people spending money. You can not take up space and not buy something, you are using space that a paying customer needs to use. This is not about any color other than the color of money. Would you walk into the Texas Roadhouse and just sit down, without ordering something? And better yet, hold a business meeting there??? C’mon now, please. I don’t think they should have been cuffed and arrested, escorted out makes more sense. If you just want to sit and hang out, go to a public park.

    • jsrant

      Your 100% right. Tables and chairs in any restaurant are for paying customers. That’s how owners make there money. Hold your meeting someplace else. Even if you were waiting you could of purchased something. I know I would be pissed if I needed a table to eat at and I saw people just sitting there taking up space. No consideration on the two men either.

    • Rusty Knyffe

      The police arrived and, because of BLM retaliation concerns, did not lay hands on either of these men until they had to remove them, bodily, from the establishment AFTER asking these men to remove themselves, repeatedly. The manager did the right thing. The police did the right thing. The young men did not do the right thing and saw it only as an opportunity to ram home their sense of entitlement. My god, what a world it has become when the manager of a store tells someone to leave the establishment and the person (or, people) DON’T.

      What has happened to dignity, respect, and recognition of authority?????

      • jsrant

        Why is it the manager the bad guy just because he followed company policies? I wouldn’t want to work for a company that didn’t back me as their manager. Your hired to keep control of the business not just employees but customers as well. This whole incidence is just bulls**t.

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