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“Let’s talk about race!” – your Starbucks barista

“Let’s talk about race!” – your Starbucks barista

Would you like room for social justice in your coffee?

Race Together.

If you find those words gracing your morning cup of joe, it’s because Starbucks launched a new initiative yesterday. CEO Howard Schultz is encouraging baristas (or ‘Partners’ as Starbucks calls their employees) to initiate conversations about race with their customers.

Citing Ferguson and New York, Schultz decided to join the race conversation, “we at Starbucks should be willing to talk about these issues in America,” Schultz said. “Not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are.”

After holding forums in select cities like Oakland, St. Louis, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City, partners began voluntarily writing ‘Race Together’ on cups, according to a statement released Monday. Now, Starbucks is taking the campaign nationwide. Special ‘Race Together’ stickers will be provided to baristas, who may place the provocative stickers on beverages, as a way to engage customers in friendly discourse about race.

“It is an opportunity to begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive society – one conversation at a time,” Schultz said.

Schultz’s efforts seem noble, but might be viewed as more legitimate were his reasons for entering the contentious race arena not predicated on blatant falsehoods and astroturfed race hustling.

To be fair, conservative ideology has bled into the turbulent world of corporate advocacy, though with marked distinction and with significantly less prevalence. Chick-fil-a President and CEO, Dan Cathy, got a chance to tussle with the gay rights mafia (which must be separated from advocacy groups working in earnest) a few years ago when his sentiments on same sex marriage made their way into the public. Enduring intense public backlash, Cathy later said Chick-fil-a had no place in culture wars.

The views Cathy expressed were his personal opinions, completely unlike the corporate campaign thrust upon unsuspecting java-lovers by Starbucks. Chick-fil-a employees weren’t instructed to engage customers on marriage equality nor were “let’s talk about your views on heteronormative sex” stickers placed on boxes of waffle fries.

The public typically responds well to powerful figures with large microphones who champion their values, and each side has their folk heroes. But being confronted with politicized discussion (and currently the topic of race is certainly politicized) while engaging in the sacred morning ritual of caffeination? Not only is it wholly unnecessary but it ventures into naiveté and borders on cruel.

While change must begin somewhere, and honest conversations must be had, are well meaning platitudes, forcing unsolicited political discourse on consumers who voluntarily frequent your establishment is probably not the best way to effect change.

Personally, I prefer my coffee sans social justice.

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“baristas . . . to initiate conversations about race with their customers.”

Translation: Another one of the endless stupid and just plain ill-advised ideas coming from the Left.

Prediction: More than one barista will be covered in that nice hot coffee just a moment ago handed to a customer.

So, what will we talk about? Will we be comfortable talking about 40+ years of preferential treatment or my “white privilege”? Could we talk about collective differences or how conservative ideas lift the individual? Coming from Starbucks, I can imagine that there will be no “conversation”.

I ALWAYS seek out a dreadlock sporting, tattooed product of white suburbia for my interesting conversations on a plethora of world problems!

Respond with “Free coffee IS social justice! Free coffee for the masses! Make the corporate exploiter pay!” See if you can get this chant going with the other customers. Lots of laughs for all.

buckeyeminuteman | March 17, 2015 at 9:13 am

White Privilege = being held responsible for the actions of your ancestors by people who take no responsibility for the actions of their children

nordic_prince | March 17, 2015 at 9:18 am

Too bad I don’t drink coffee. Now I can’t boycott Starbucks 🙁

“CEO Howard Schultz is encouraging baristas (or ‘Partners’ as Starbucks calls their employees) to initiate conversations about race with their customers.”

Yes, barista…Let’s have a conversation about…why Howard Schultz has never opened a Starbucks in the Section 8 neighborhoods of Harlem, South Bronx or Bed Stuy Brooklyn…and why most of Schultz’s Starbucks are concentrated in Wall St., Midtown, Upper East and West side.

    MarkS in reply to Aucturian. | March 17, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Once you start down the path of exposing Liberal hypocrisy you will find that it is a road without end.

    Followed by:

    *sip* *spit* Excuse me barista, I’d like a refund. The “race together” crap you wrote on my double-tall-soy-triple-chocolate-white-chai-mocha-latte has left a bad taste in my mouth.

The only Starbuck barista I know is an ex-Army sniper of my generation who holds view very like my own.

Hey. It’s Texas.

I’m not one to drop into a coffee shop, but it would almost be worth it just for this experience. I’ve lived and worked overseas for most of my life, on four continents in eight different countries alongside 40+ nationalities.

Yes, I’m very curious to hear what some teenager or twenty-something barista has to tell me about race.

“Large coffee, cream and sugar with a some STFU on the side.” Will that work at Starbucks? Despite being raised in the Northwest, I do not speak coffee. When I was growing up, coffee was not the center of life that it now is in that area – that was Boeing’s and timber’s job. I have always maintained that the only reason that coffee took off in the Northwest was that all the californicator transplants needed a crutch to handle the weather.

“Good morning! You’re a barista at Starbucks! You’re not smart enough to tell me how to live my life! Thanks! Bye!”

*apols. Kathy Shaidle 🙂

You’ve got to be kidding me.

So, will the “partners” be indoctrinated on the racist/PC talking points they need to push on the customers, or do they only hire little prog robots to begin with?

Empress Trudy | March 17, 2015 at 11:17 am

The only race I want to talk about is the race to pour my coffee into my cup and stuff a lid on it, snowflake.

ugottabekiddinme | March 17, 2015 at 12:04 pm

Well, well. Yet another liberal circle-jerk. May they yack away at each other. I’ll make my own damn coffee.

““It is an opportunity to begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive society – one conversation at a time,” Schultz said.

“Fuck you,” responded Fen.

    JoAnne in reply to Fen. | March 17, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Please. Grandmothers here. No need to use that kind of language. Stretch your brain, I’m sure you can come up with something more interesting than the “F” bomb.

      I have noticed swear words becoming more prevalent in comments and even in posts here. One post, I still had the kiddie-filter on and it was blocked because the post itself had full four-letter-words in it. It’s not just grandmothers who don’t appreciate being hit with f-bombs all over the place! Coarseness has a coarsening effect. If it can be avoided, it should be. At least that’s my philosophy.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to JoAnne. | March 18, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Public discourse is full of reproductive, incestuous, and excretory references; it’s not just the comments sections of websites. The coarse language I overhear virtually everywhere is appalling. Combine this with the slovenly dress, piercings, prodigious numbers of tattoos, and I wonder where my country went.

      And for those of you who say “it’s just words!”: do you talk like that to your mother or your aunt? Do you address the women at work in that fashion? I thought not.

      A vulgar mouth is connected to a weak mind that is trying to express itself.

you give me a cup of coffee and I’ll give you a cup of shut the hell up.

MouseTheLuckyDog | March 17, 2015 at 12:11 pm

Well they have one advantage. “Don’t antagonize the people that serve your food,”

Another reason to despise Starbucks besides their battery-acid coffee.

Why is race singular?

“Race Together” seems like a racial supremacist statement: this one race should be unified, acting together as one.

If it’s supposed to be a message of interracial harmony, shouldn’t it be “Races Together” or perhaps “Human Together”?

    Gremlin1974 in reply to clintack. | March 17, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    I was just thinking; “Go in and pretend its an actual challenge. “Where are we gonna race to? Will it be on foot, bikes, or cars?”

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Gremlin1974. | March 18, 2015 at 11:37 am

      Or, pull up to the drive-through window with an old hotrod. Rev the motor a couple of times, then say “wanna race?!?”

Really? You want to have a conversation while I’m standing here at the register? Sure, have you got an hour or so?

Henry Hawkins | March 17, 2015 at 1:26 pm

I think Starbucks should announce a new program:

“Starbucks will no longer serve coffee (black) without cream (white) as part of our Product Integration Program!”

Can I cut ahead in line and claim my white privelege?

Wait a minute!!! Is this the same Starbucks that couldn’t wait to go mute as soon as the 2A sh*t hit the fan?

Just wait til they have the first riot in the store.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to JoAnne. | March 18, 2015 at 11:39 am

    One or two scenes like one sees at Upchuck n Cheese, with the videos going viral on YouTube or WSHH, and Starbucks will go into an unstoppable spiral downward.

Looks like they came to their senses and pulled it:

“A Starbucks executive just deleted his Twitter account after backlash over the company’s new ‘race together’ campaign”

Read more:

    #Starbucks's @coreydu wanted to talk about race so much he deleted his account after people started talking to him about it. #RaceTogether— Brianna Leigh (@raininblack) March 17, 2015

    LOL. #RaceAlone it is, I guess!

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Amy in FL. | March 17, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      Now he is saying its because he was “attacked” last night on his twitter account and it was distracting from the kind of conversation they were trying to have, whatever that means.

      So I am sure the folks at Twitchy will be able to find those tweets that attacked him. I think I will go ask.

        Henry Hawkins in reply to Gremlin1974. | March 17, 2015 at 9:05 pm


        The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Gremlin1974. | March 18, 2015 at 11:41 am

        Translation: the conversation did not go the way he assumed it would go. He assumed every Starbucks patron is a Prius driver with a Coexist sticker on the bumper. One look at the drive-through windows of SBux stores outside of SF or Seattle will prove that assumption false.

Insufficiently Sensitive | March 17, 2015 at 2:45 pm

CEO Howard Schultz is encouraging baristas (or ‘Partners’ as Starbucks calls their employees) to initiate conversations about race with their customers.

The Seattle Times ran a fawning first-page ‘news’ story yesterday on Howard Schultz and this posturing for ‘social justice’ – and they cooed over how this is a lovely new direction for capitalism to take.

Anything makes the first page, as long as the Times can make it a campaign ad for its leftist Editors’ point of view.

It was certainly the first time in years they’ve said anything positive in connection with capitalism. While meanwhile, the paper is visibly on the rocks financially, providing less news and more opinion where the news we pay for should appear. Lousy capitalists themselves, the Editors wish for more fashionable businesses to follow their dubious lead.

Yes barista can you tell me why blacks and Hispanics dislike each other so much?

Yes barista can you tell me why there is more black on black crime than white on black crime?

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to audax. | March 18, 2015 at 11:48 am

    Oh, and, barista: why is it that I cannot ask a real estate agent to find me a house in a “safe” neighborhood without placing his license in jeopardy, but the Mexicans can move into Inglewood and Compton and openly practice harassment and ethnic cleansing, and not a word is said about it?

Let’s not. Racial emphasis encourages racial division.
That may be what the appointed minority leaders want, but it is counterproductive for society and individuals.

So let’s pretend for a minute that I work at Starbucks.

The “anointed one” near the top wants me to initiate conversation about race with the customers.

Will they promise not to fire me for my “somewhat” politically incorrect opinions?
Or do they expect me to defend points of view that I disagree with?
Isn’t that against the law?
Isn’t that workplace discrimination based on political opinions?

Oh, boy!!
If it was MY business, that idiot and his “brilliant” idea would both be shown the door. Yesterday.

Not that I have even been into one of these crap shops since their less than stellar response to defend their customers 2nd amendment rights, but should I ever experience some sort of mental laps and end up in one of their stores and should I receive a cup with such a sticker on it, which you know you will because someone will be putting them on all the cups so they don’t have to worry about it while actually selling coffee, I will hand it back and ask for a less bigoted and political cup. Since in my life the only race problem I have seen is the race grievance industry constantly trying to blame me for being born white.

Don’t do starbucks, however for those who do – try starting off your conversation about black slaveowners and let us know how it goes.

Anthony Johnson (b. c. 1600 – d. 1670) was an Angolan who achieved freedom in the early 17th century Colony of Virginia, where he became one of the first black property owners and slaveholders. Held as an indentured servant in 1621, he earned his freedom after several years, which was accompanied by a grant of land. He later became a successful tobacco farmer. Notably, he is recognized for attaining great wealth after having been an indentured servant.
When Anthony Johnson was released from servitude, he was legally recognized as a “free Negro.” He developed a successful farm. In 1651 he owned 250 acres, and the services of four white and one black indentured servants. In 1653, John Casor, a black indentured servant whose contract Johnson appeared to have bought in the early 1640s, approached Captain Goldsmith, claiming his indenture had expired seven years earlier and that he was being held illegally by Johnson. A neighbor, Robert Parker, intervened and persuaded Johnson to free Casor.

What will happen is AFTER the drink is served, every clown in the world will subject the barista to highly racist joke for sticking their nose where it doesn’t belong.

Shame on Starbucks for putting their employees on the butt of this stupid idea.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Andy. | March 18, 2015 at 11:51 am

    I addressed that very point in a paper-and-postage letter I sent to their customer service address.