“I’m actually black”
This might be the most deliciously awkward thing I’ve ever witnessed on cable news. Although Lawrence O’Donnell pretending to be a Boston southie and challenging Tag Romney to a fight is still at the top of that list.
Yesterday, MSNBC’s Chris Hayes discussed Starbucks’ disastrous social justice campaign — ‘Race Together.’ Meant to encourage baristas to engage customers in conversations about race, ‘Race Together’ received an overwhelming amount of criticism from both the left and right.
Hayes brought guests Nancy Giles of CBS Sunday Morning, and culture commentator and DJ, Jay Smooth to share their thoughts on Starbucks’ latest social endeavor. Smooth is the founder of the longest running hip-hop radio show in New York City.
“I agree, the intentions seem noble and I want to keep an open mind,” said Smooth talking about ‘Race Together’, “but I think there’s this strange fixation on “conversation” when it comes to race that you don’t see with other issues that we want to take seriously. I think it’s telling that when Howard Schultz wanted to help veterans, he didn’t just tell people to have conversations about how much they like veterans, he committed to a plan of action to help veterans… He talked about being inspired by what happened in Ferguson and other places, but if you look at the DOJ report on Ferguson, it does not describe issues that can be addressed by increasing the number of chats in coffee shops. We’re talking about institutional, systemic issues.”
Conversation ensued, then Hayes played a previously recorded clip of Smooth discussing the best way to discuss race.
After watching the clip, Nancy Giles turns to Smooth, begins gyrating her shoulders and says, “I can’t help but tease Jay about the kinda like, brotha way he was trying to talk, like “hey” with the rap music in the background and like, down with people.”
“Well, I’m a rap guy,” says Smooth smiling.
“But it’s another interesting, funny thing about race,” Giles goes on, “like, there would be some people who feel that you co-opted something like that and other people might feel “well that’s his background and that’s really cool, too” these are conversations that are really interesting.”
“It’s also interesting because I’m actually black, but you assumed otherwise. And this is the sort of awkwardness you can look forward to at Starbucks.”
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