CHARLOTTE, NC -- Dozens of Republicans staged a sit-in at a Charlotte Starbucks, after they say a customer was mocked by baristas for wearing a Donald Trump t-shirt.
About 50 people from several local GOP groups came in to the Dilworth Starbucks on East Boulevard Saturday to order coffee and initiate positive conversation.
“She was just wearing a Trump t-shirt coming to get a cup of coffee and was ridiculed and mocked,” said Brittany Adams, member of the Mecklenburg Young Republicans.
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She’s referring to a Charlotte woman who was wearing a Donald Trump shirt when she ordered a coffee from the Dilworth Starbucks earlier in June.
But the customer claimed that on her cup, instead of her name, an employee had mockingly written “Build A Wall.”
“I didn't think it was the end of the world,” said Chris O’Shea with Carolinas for Trump. “But it was just one of many of these little tiny pieces that all add up to much bigger problem.”
Starbucks issued an apology to the customer, who felt she was being mocked by the baristas.
“We wanted to show that we're not going to be bullied,” said Brian Talbert, a President Trump supporter who founded the pro-LGBT GOP group ‘Deplorable Pride.’
“We're not going to be vilified or persecuted for our choice in who we chose as our leader,” he said.
This weekend, support for the wronged customer came in the form of dozens of coffee orders.
“It was just a positive environment,” stressed Keisha Limburger, a local Republican activist.
Charlotte-based supporters of President Trump swarmed the Starbucks location over the weekend, placing orders, and engaging everyone they could in what they hope was constructive conversation.
“Let's all come together let's focus on the issues that matter,” said Daniel Herrera, a city council candidate who also attended the protest. “Because the only way we can move forward together is if we’re unified.”
A Starbucks corporate spokesperson said the cup joke was a “poor judgment call,” and added they were actually pleased with the sit-in, saying:
The civil engagement and peaceful discourse that ultimately took place in our store on Saturday was the best possible outcome for everyone. This experience has served as a reminder of the power of human connection, and we look forward to continued conversation and welcoming everyone into our store.
“It takes a bigger person to rise above it all and reach out and shake somebody's hand and quite honestly turn the other cheek,” said grassroots activist and sit-in organizer Sean Kilbane.
“Through that debate and discussion is where we truly find strength.”
A Starbucks spokesperson tells WCNC corporate has discussed the cup incident with employees, but would not say if anyone was fired.