Thomas Gallatin / July 15, 2022

Starbucks Forced to Face Reality of Growing Crime

Leftist social policies have fueled an increase in violent crime, especially in Democrat-run cities.

In a bit of a case of “you reap what you sow,” Starbucks recently announced the closure of 16 of its stores in six different cities. Normally, such an announcement would not seem significant given the regularity that Starbucks closes and opens stores; last year the company closed and opened over 400 stores. However, in the case of these 16 stores, the reason for the closures makes the news significant.

A Starbucks spokesman explained, “We are closing stores in some locations that have experienced a high volume of challenging incidents that make it difficult to create a safe and welcoming environment.” The term “challenging incidents” is polite speak for dangerous, criminal, and violent situations.

In a letter to Starbucks employees, Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, senior vice presidents of U.S. operations, wrote: “You’re … seeing firsthand the challenges facing our communities — personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, and more. With stores in thousands of communities across the country, we know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too. We read every incident report you file — it’s a lot.”

Even more enlightening are the locations of the 16 stores slated for shuttering. Six of them are in Starbucks’s home town of Seattle, six are in Los Angeles, two are in Portland, and there is one each in Philadelphia and Washington, DC. These are all longtime Democrat-run cities that have increasingly embraced the ideology of the radical Left. These are some of America’s “wokest” cities.

Adding to the irony is CEO Howard Schultz’s recent statement indicating that Starbucks’s infamous open-bathroom policy may also be on the chopping block. “There is an issue of, just, safety in our stores, in terms of people coming in who use our stores as a public bathroom,” Schultz argued. “We have to provide a safe environment for our people and our customers. The mental health crisis in the country is severe, acute, and getting worse. We have to harden our stores and provide safety for our people. I don’t know if we can keep our bathrooms open.”

This is the same Schultz who back in 2018 shut down all of his stores across the country for a day of racial sensitivity training following an incident in which a couple of black men who had purchased nothing and were loitering in a Philadelphia Starbucks were asked to leave by the store manager. This was Starbucks doing its part to address “systemic racism.” And as predictable as the morning sunrise, it has been nothing but an opportunity to be exploited by the nefarious.

Starbucks is famous for pushing “social justice” politics. It has embraced and supported leftist politicians and their radical agendas like “defund the police.” It’s looking like those chickens are now coming home to roost.

And Starbucks isn’t the only franchise having to close stores due to the problem of rising violent crime. 7-Eleven’s corporate headquarters has called on all Los Angeles-area stores to temporary close following a string of robberies and murders at several 7-Eleven locations across the city.

This is yet another example of why wise leaders insist on acting in accordance with sober facts rather than engaging in knee-jerk reactions and emotionally laden hyperbole and calling it virtuous.

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