Why can’t Black men get paid, too?

On May 3, the Chicago Tribune said this of the Starbucks incident in an editorial:

“When we started reading this sentence in Thursday’s Tribune, “Two black men arrested for sitting at a Philadelphia Starbucks without ordering anything …” we figured we knew how it would end. That the men, entrepreneurs Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, had filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Philadelphia and Starbucks for this injustice. Or that they were cruising the talk show circuit to air grievances and star in rallies.

“We were mistaken.

“Instead, that sentence ended with an unexpected — and profoundly welcome — twist: Nelson and Robinson settled with Philadelphia for $1 each. No zeros.”

The Chicago Tribune is being racist, because they are not writing editorials about how “profoundly unwelcome” actress Ashley Judd’s approach is because she is doing exactly the opposite of what these two Black men are doing.

She and many other women have filed multimillion-dollar  lawsuits against the men that had violated them — and jumped into what the Chicago Tribune calls “America’s gimme-gimme litigation-wild system.” These women are also “cruising the talk-show circuit to air grievance and star in rallies.”

Why are only the Black men seen as “gimme-gimme” if they filed a lawsuit, or seen as opportunistic if they went on talk shows? Why must only the Black men be expected to settle for a dollar? They are victims just as the women are.

We need some answers from the Chicago Tribune editorial board.


Frank Erickson lives in Minneapolis.