posted by gut
You don't lock your bathrooms unless you have a problem with it becoming a public restroom. If a white guy is told he has to buy something to use the restroom, then that's the end of it. This guy may have very likely thought it was because he was black, and then became a big enough nuisance that police had to be called.
It didn't appear that they were being belligerent in any of the videos I've seen floating around, but of course, I can see circumstances requiring police in that case.
I was actually speaking more to the police. It naturally isn't as though the police have committed to arresting anyone upon arrival, though it's actually kinda funny to imagine an officer on patrol going, "Ugh. Sonofabitch, I swear if I have to drive over there to handle this, SOMEBODY's getting arrested."
Obviously, it doesn't work that way.
Truth be told, I don't think this was a matter of conscious racism. I really don't think that happens much. At least not openly. Devoid of any media, I would just see this as general incompetence.
posted by gut
I don't know what really happened and I doubt we ever will. Maybe it was racism and the guy did nothing to escalate matters....but I don't think I would and I seriously doubt many cashier's making $9 an hour wouldn't just give you the code the second time you ask for, like, about 12 different reasons. Now, if I tell you the bathroom is for paying customers and you call me a racist, then we might have a problem (although I probably still just give you the code rather than deal with that bullshit). Although, for you're typical snowflake barista, calling them a racist is fighting words.
Given your (not necessarily inaccurate) assessment of a typical barista, I could see one having a bad day being willing to die on that hill. Were that to be the case, and the barista felt like dying on that hill because righteousness or rules or some shit, this might be one of those rare circumstances in which employers would prefer the employee give less of a shit than they do.
It's certainly not the norm, but it happens.