The company said on its website that events have already been held in Oakland, Los Angeles, St. Louis, New York and Chicago, but that baristas can also use the campaign as an opportunity “to begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive society — one conversation at a time.”
Here’s what one Starbucks partner said at a recent event:
“The current state of racism in our country is almost like humidity at times. You can’t see it, but you feel it.”
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said baristas don’t have to start such conversations with customers if they don’t feel comfortable, but what about the customer? When I order a hot chocolate, why should I have to be asked to comment on the assertion that racism is “like humidity” in America?
The funny thing is, there is a good chance that any young Starbucks employee who starts lecturing customers will have his or her race-mosaic influenced by rapper Azealia Banks, who said in this month’s Playboy that she always talks about the issue because “y’all motherf***ers still owe me reparations!”
Here’s more from her interview, courtesy of US Weekly:
“I hate everything about this country. Like, I hate fat white Americans. All the people who are crunched into the middle of America, the real fat and meat of America, are these racist conservative white people who live on their farms. Those little teenage girls who work at Kmart and have a racist grandma — that’s really America.”
It’s good to know that the rapper who became a millionaire in the United States “hates” the country that made her rich and that she “hates” the people who put food on her table, but I digress.
The point is that the conversation Starbucks wants to have with its customers is a one-way street. Want proof? Its senior vice president of communications, Corey duBrowa, deleted his Twitter account the moment backlash started coming his way.
Business Insider reported Tuesday:
“I was personally attacked through my Twitter account around midnight last night and the tweets represented a distraction from the respectful conversation we are trying to start around Race Together,” duBrowa said. “I’ll be back on Twitter soon.”
Welcome to Twitter, Mr. Starbucks Vice President of Communications. Indeed, if you tell loyal customers that they may be prompted to talk about how allegedly racist the U.S. is — when all they wanted was a hot beverage on a cold morning — then you might get angry feedback. Just a thought.
The idea that the U.S. needs to have a conversation on race is laughable because, quite frankly, it’s the conversation that never ends.
Perhaps Starbucks should just give Azealia Banks her “reparations” so she can find something else to complain about. If that’s too much money, then perhaps an extended trip to territory controlled by Boko Haram will do. My guess is that Ms. Banks will spend one day as a sex slave before her perception of white farmers changes.