Rosa Parks II

At our local McDonalds, "students," i.e. high school students, are only allowed to sit in designated areas of the restaurant. It so happens that almost all of these students are African American. Presumably, the policy exists to create spaces for people to sit and eat out of range of boisterous kids. It's not an explicitly racist policy (the designation is for students, not for black students), but it's racist in its impact and in its implications: that black "youth" constitute an undesirable population from which other customers need to be protected. Why not instead have a "quiet" seating area and a "noisy" seating area? What if a high school kid herself wants to sit in a quiet space? Do they enforce the rule against anyone who looks like they might be under 18 (including white college students)? On Wednesday a fifteen-year-old honor student decided she was going to pay for her meal and sit in a non-student-designated space. The security guard on duty called the police. The police came and handcuffed her and took her away in a paddy wagon. When her mother came to get her at the police station they refused to release her, instead insisting on humiliating her by taking her back to school in the paddy wagon. I'm trying to understand what law she could have been breaking. Any ideas?


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