General Question

rockfan's avatar

A local coffee shop in my city is giving a free cup of coffee to anyone who is Asian or Asian-American. How do you feel about this?

Asked by rockfan (12723points) 2 weeks ago from iPhone

And what is the legality of it? I know their hearts are in the right place, but I can’t help but feel uncomfortable about it.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

19 Answers

rockfan's avatar

Update: I discovered that it’s actually a customer “paying it forward” to 5 customers that are Asian or Asian American, and its first come, first serve. It’s not the store doing it as an official giveaway. My apologies.

elbanditoroso's avatar

They can do what they want, private company.

I wonder – if I owned a coffee shop – if I could do the same thing and give white people free coffee and charge everyone else.

How can it be illegal? My barber shop gives a 10% discount to people over 65. Kroger gives 5% off to shoppers over 55. Many restaurants let kids under 10 eat for free. How can a store be prevented from treating one customer subset differently?

AK's avatar

It is a little weird to be honest. Why would the person only pay it forward to Asians? Why not all people? That way, they’d get more people paying forward, which I suppose is the purpose of this exercise. And would I qualify for a free cuppa? I’m Asian but am not called that when I’m in the US….I’m called Indian….so, I’d feel a little weird and left out if I were to come to your coffee joint.

gondwanalon's avatar

It doesn’t bother me if other people want to give stuff away to other select people. No matter how bizarre their motives. Whatever rattles your cage.

gorillapaws's avatar

@gondwanalon “It doesn’t bother me if other people want to give stuff away to other select people…”

So if a restaurant gave free dessert to all races except black people, you would be cool with that?

gondwanalon's avatar

@gorillapaws Not my monkeys. Not my circus. It’s a private business and if the owner is that stupid then he/she won’t be in business for long.

rockfan's avatar

Well that’s a terrible choice of words….

Demosthenes's avatar

Ass-kissing has always been a part of marketing. Ass-kissing the media’s “victim of the week” is a good way to get attention. I’m Hispanic and gay but I’d find it awkward to get identity-based free merchandise. But that’s just me…

jca2's avatar

I don’t know if it’s still legal to do so, but bars and clubs used to have “Ladies Night” where ladies drink for a reduced price and maybe have no admission fee. It might violate some gender laws now.

JLeslie's avatar

It’s customers not the store. Read the first answer by the OP.

I think it’s a little odd to specify what group of people gets a pay it forward coffee, BUT when I heard about the Asian attacks and saw someone on a restaurant review Facebook group here say they wouldn’t eat at Chinese restaurants because of covid I went right out that weekend and bought Chinese take-out! Lol. Wonton soup, egg rolls, curry chicken, pork lo mein, and Szechuan pork. It was all delicious. So, I guess it’s not much different, but I do think it’s different.

I’m ok with it, but I would find it odd to get a free coffee because I’m Jewish. It’s like calling attention to me being Jewish in the coffee shop. I know my husband feels more vulnerable being Mexican the last few years and I wonder how he would feel being recognized as Mexican in a public place and being given a free coffee for it? Rather than just being another customer. I think people prefer to blend in and be accepted as just another American, or another person in America.

sadiesayit's avatar

I think, given the context, it sounds like it’s a small gesture from someone who means well. I don’t know if the gesture has its intended effect or not—whether it feels like a small act of kindness or whether it feels like being singled out—so I’d want to defer to the perspective of AAPI or people of other racial/ethnic minorities.

I definitely wouldn’t feel the same if someone was paying forward five drinks for only white people—again, because of context.

Darth_Algar's avatar

Why would I care?

rockfan's avatar

Why bother clicking on the question?

doyendroll's avatar

What if I identify as being part of that socio-cultural group and I wasn’t permitted to receive a free coffee, would you be doubly uncomfortable about the legality or would that equal it out for you?

Darth_Algar's avatar


You asked how we felt about it. That’s how I feel.

gorillapaws's avatar

@gondwanalon ”...if the owner is that stupid then he/she won’t be in business for long.”

History would disagree. There were many successful racist businesses before the civil rights movement. It’s why we HAD the civil rights movement.

katiesunrise's avatar

Cops, teachers, healthcare workers and veterans get free coffee for their sacrifices. Asian Americans are hurting right now. Give them a cup of coffee ffs.

Response moderated (Spam)
SnipSnip's avatar

It’s goofy.

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