Black men have consistently been insulted and disrespected by police officers and civilians in this nation. Sadly, the trend continues. On the heels of the most recent Starbucks arrest of two Black men who were found to have done nothing wrong, motivational speaker and author Johnny Wimbrey was recently asked to leave an establishment. He believes this was due to racism.
Wimbrey and his wife visited Sambuca 360 in Plano, Texas. Upon entering, they chose their own table, ordered drinks and proceeded to order dinner. The general manager came to the table and propositioned them with drinks in order for them to leave the table where they were sitting. Mr. Wimbrey respectfully declined. In a video (below), the manager is seen speaking with another man. He then approaches Mr. Wimbrey and asks him to leave because he didn’t like him. After refusing to leave again, the manager sent a bouncer to the table. They began having a discussion and the police were called. Mr. Wimbrey and his wife decided to leave and as they are walking out, the police rushed in.
In this instance, no one was arrested; however, Mr. Wimbrey recorded the ordeal. The video has gone viral.
We spoke with Mr. Wimbrey about his experience.
How did this make you feel, especially in the presence of your wife?
I needed to calm my wife down. I leaned over to my wife and said chill because if anybody touches you tonight I’m going to jail. It was on the ride home when what happened really started setting in. He was trying to get me jacked up by the police. He knew that if I didn’t leave eventually the police would come in and take me down. This jerk who manages a bar at a restaurant has the power to take anyone down.
I realized this is bigger than me. This is bigger than how I feel. How many people who have been in a similar situation don’t have the resources I have. It really started to weigh on me to the point where I realized this is how I stay alive. I stayed alive because I kept my cool. I didn’t find myself face down saying I can’t breathe because I stayed calm. I want to use this experience to show people how to stay alive.
Why do you think Black men keep getting attacked?
There has been this invisible permission slip given to any person with power who has the ability to call the police. They know we are going to be taken down. It’s a permission slip to abuse.
What do you want to happen?
There should be something implemented that when the police are falsely called that person should be held accountable. There should be something in place that when an establishment calls the police on a customer, then they should be held accountable if nothing happens. There needs to be accountability.
How do you stay motivated and motivate others after something like this happens?
I have taught people around the world how to turn a mess into a message. If I didn’t turn this mess into a message, then I would be a hypocrite. If I’m going to teach that on stage, I have to be that off stage.
Take a look a the ordeal below.