In the same city where a Starbucks employee last year called police on black men for sitting quietly, two men in Islamic dress walked into a different Starbucks store for a drink.
Niquel Johnson paid for three drinks in Philadelphia on Sunday, and in typical Starbucks fashion, an employee asked for his name. Johnson, 40, told them “Aziz,” his Islamic name pronounced ah-zeez. He has used it for 25 years – and “countless” times at that particular store.
But three unusual things happened on this occasion, he said. When his order was ready, a staffer announced them by drink type, not his name.
The second unusual part was the employee wrote his name as “ISIS” – the acronym for the Islamic terror group – in the printout attached to all three drinks.
Johnson didn’t even realize it until later, when a friend pointed it out at a bookstore.
“I was shocked and angry. I felt it was discrimination,” Johnson told The Washington Post on Friday.
The third unusual part: Four days later, after the story hit social media and a reporter tweeted about it, Starbucks called Johnson to claim the company had already rectified the situation in conversation with Johnson’s niece – a person Johnson says doesn’t exist.
It is not the first time the global chain has faced accusations of racism and discrimination in a Philadelphia store. Last year, an employee called police on two black men sitting in a downtown location, and they were led away in handcuffs