Once again, a Philadelphia Starbucks coffee shop is being accused of bigotry.
Sunday after leaving work, Philadelphia resident Abdul Aziz Johnson stopped at a Chestnut Hill Starbucks on Germantown Avenue with two friends and ordered three iced drinks, according to Jacob Bender, the executive director of CAIR-Philadelphia, the local chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations.
Johnson gave his name as “Aziz,” but only after the men walked to a nearby bookstore did they notice the receipt attached to their cups, where customers’ names are printed. It said “ISIS.”
That night, Johnson’s wife posted on Facebook a photo of one of the cups.
“This happened tonight to my husband and another brother . .... Starbucks, Chestnut Hill,” read the post at 10:44 p.m., Aug. 25.
In a press release, Bender asked, “Was this an innocent mistake, or a sick joke associating Mr. Aziz and his friends, who were wearing traditional Muslim clothing, with the extremist group responsible for tens of thousands of deaths in Iraq and Syria, thus perpetuating the lie that Muslims are uniquely prone to violent behavior and terrorism?”
Timothy Welbeck, the lawyer representing Johnson, met with his client on Wednesday, who said he has ordered from this Starbucks before and no other barista had any problem with his name. The barista, like Johnson, was African American, Welbeck said.
Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges said, “After investigating, we don’t believe this was a case of discrimination or profiling. The customer approached and provided the name Aziz. The barista mistakenly spelled it incorrectly. We have connected with Mr. Johnson and apologized for this regrettable mistake.”
Bender hoped Starbucks would "institute a course of anti-bigotry and diversity training within their company since this is the second time an event like this has happened.”
Bender was referring to the April 2018 incident at a Rittenhouse Starbucks when two young African American men were handcuffed because they said they were waiting to meet someone and had not ordered anything.