Remember When Starbucks Just Served Overpriced, Bitter Coffee?
If you are in the mood for a five-dollar cup of coffee that tastes burnt, you’ll have to go somewhere else this afternoon. Starbucks will be closed.
More than 8,000 shops are shuttering for an afternoon of racial bias training — an ill-conceived attempt to restore Starbucks’ tarnished liberal image.
Last month, two black men were arrested in Philadelphia after they refused to leave one of the coffee chain’s stores. The men, who had not purchased so much as a latte, were taking up space meant for paying customers.
Starbucks had every right to ask those men to either order a beverage or leave the shop. It’s a place of business, not a public park.
Nevertheless, the social justice warriors pounced, accusing the folks who wear the green aprons of racial profiling and discrimination.
Instead of standing its ground, Starbucks threw its baristas under the roaster and offered a profuse apology.
“Regretfully, our practices and training led to a bad outcome — the basis for the call to the Philadelphia police department was wrong,” CEO Kevin Johnson wrote in a meandering mea culpa. “Our store manager never intended for these men to be arrested and this should never have escalated as it did.”
Starbucks vowed to treat every customer with “respect and dignity” – even if they don’t purchase a five-dollar cup of their bitter java.
Today’s anti-bias training features appearances by company executives along with the rapper named “Common.” Baristas will be encouraged to “open up about implicit biases and stereotypes in encountering people of color, gender or other identities.”
Starbucks has no one to blame for this fiasco but itself.
For decades it’s been using its stores to promote social justice, but now it’s come back to bite it in the coffee bean.
Remember back in 2015 when it ordered its baristas to strike up conversations about race relations with customers?
“So that’s one venti Veranda Blend Blonde Roast with extra cream. May I have your name, sir?”
“Yes, thank you. It’s Todd.”
“So, Tom, I’m curious — do you have a problem with Dark Roast?”
“My name is Todd. Wait. What?”
“And Ted, based on your defensive posture, I’m sensing some privilege, too. We can help with that.”
From that day forward I began brewing Community Coffee. The beans are roasted by a family owned company based in Louisiana. It’s a good cup of coffee, it doesn’t cost five bucks and, best of all, the company has no political agenda.
There’s a lesson we can all learn from this Starbucks debacle. When a coffee house serves up a piping hot cup of politics, well, it’s going to end up frothing everybody’s latte.