Author Bryan Sharpe, who goes by the handle “Hotep Jesus”, posted a video of the stunt on Twitter on Monday in the wake of a racism backlash embroiling the coffee chain following the arrest of two black men in a Philadelphia store.
“I heard y’all was racist, so I came to get my free coffee,” Sharpe says to the cashier in the video. “I heard you guys don’t like black people. So I wanted to get my Starbucks reparations voucher.”
The female cashier replies: “Is that a real thing? I mean, I’ll give it to you. Yeah I saw that on my Twitter last night, I was like, ‘What the f**k?’”
Sharpe confirms that “it’s a real thing”. “I need a free coffee,” he says. “That’s what I’m talking about. This is justice. I gotta get my reparations for being black in America. Black lives matter.”
The cashier agrees as she makes his coffee. “Black lives do matter,” she says.
As he leaves, he tells his 46,000 followers: “You gotta get your free coffee out here, you gotta get your Starbucks reparations, man. This is how we do. Black lives matter, baby.”
He later tweeted: “Black privilege gets me free coffee. I love racism. Only in America. Don’t forget to get your free coffee today if you black.”
Starbucks, which has in the past been criticised by conservatives for its vocal support of left-wing issues, has been plunged into crisis after video of the arrest went viral over the weekend, causing widespread outrage and sparking calls for boycotts.
Staff at the store called police after the men, who were waiting for a meeting with real estate developer Andrew Yaffe, didn’t order anything and refused to leave when asked.
“Hi, I have two gentlemen in my cafe that are refusing to make a purchase or leave,” an employee is heard saying in a 911 recording later released by Philadelphia police. The video shows several police officers quietly talking to the men, who after a few minutes are led outside in handcuffs.
The following day, dozens of Black Lives Matter protesters carrying signs that read “Boycott Racist Starbucks” and “#Enough, Shame On You Starbucks” stormed into the outlet demanding to confront the “racist manager”.