A comedian and author who goes by the Twitter handle Hotep Jesus engaged in some performance art at a local Starbucks store in the aftermath of the racism controversy surrounding the coffee shop chain and walked out of the establishment with a free cup of coffee.
Starbucks is closing all of its 8,000 stores on the afternoon of May 29 to provide racial-bias education training to its approximately 175,000 employees after an incident in a Philadelphia store last Thursday. There, a Starbucks manager told two black men that the store bathroom was only for paying customers. She called cops when they refused to leave, and responding officers arrested them for trespassing.
Charges were later dropped, but the controversy made national headlines as well as prompted protests outside the coffee shop in question. Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz said that the incident was embarrassing, shameful, and reprehensible and that the upcoming diversity training is only the beginning of policy changes at the company, Axios reported. Starbucks issued a statement of apology for what happened, and CEO Kevin Johnson apologized in person to the two men, CBS News reported.
In a cell phone video embedded below, a convincing Hotep Jesus (Bryan Sharpe) approached a friendly barista and said, “I heard y’all was racist so I came to get my free coffee.”
The prankster added, “I have to get my reparations for being black in America.”
“‘Is that a real thing? I mean, I’ll give it to you. I saw that on my Twitter last night,’ said the barista, who makes pleasant conversation with Sharpe throughout the exchange,” the Washington Post reported.
Bryan Sharpe also praised the barista for providing great customer service for the complimentary Starbucks coffee that he received.
Watch the video of the Hotep Jesus Starbucks prank below and draw your own conclusions.
Sharpe explained to Ingraham Angle host Laura Ingraham last night on the Fox News Channel what he had in mind with his impromptu prank.
“I am sick and tired of liberals using black people and making us look like victims, making us look soft with their liberal dogma. It is disgusting. The other thing I hate about liberals is, if you are a black man…in America, they will not hand you a microphone unless you follow the liberal narrative. And I said, ‘you know what, I bet if I go into Starbucks and I follow a liberal narrative, I’ll make the news.’ And voila, here I am.”
Back in 2015, Starbucks employees were being urged to have a chat with customers about race relations in America. Baristas interested in opening the race-based dialogue were asked to hand-write the slogan “Race Together” on coffee cups served to their customers. After a substantial social media backlash, Starbucks abandoned the corporate initiative, however.