Starbucks’ Push to Make Baristas Talk About Race is a Disaster Waiting to Happen

By Jenée Desmond-Harris. Starbucks has launched an initiative to encourage its employees and customers to have conversations about race.

CEO Howard Schultz has given baristas at 12,000 Starbucks locations the option to write the words “Race Together” on customers’ cups and begin discussions about race relations.

The initiative is a partnership with USA Today. Full-page ads in the New York Times and USA Today this week have advertisements supporting the Race Together initiative, and USA Today will include an insert with materials on race designed to spark the desired discussions and a hashtag — #RaceTogether — to publicly share results. According to Starbucks, the plan will be further detailed during Starbucks’ 2015 annual shareholders meeting in Seattle on Wednesday.

According to Starbucks, the Race Together initiative is an outgrowth of the discussion forums the company held in response to the outcry over racially biased policing after Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner’s in Staten Island, New York.

It appears to be a reflection of Schultz’s sincere distress over the pain and hostility that often underlies national headlines and controversies related to race and racism. While there is no shortage of tweets making light of the potential pitfalls of the effort, it would be unfair not to note that Race Together is probably an honest attempt on his part to make America better. (Read more from “Starbucks’ Push to Make Baristas Talk About Race Sounds Like It Could Be Disastrous” HERE)

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Starbucks Strikes Up Hot Debate with Two Words They are Serving Up on Their Coffee Cups

By Kyle Becker. Starbucks has hit the next stage of business activism by encouraging baristas to strike up a conversation about race.


How are they going about broaching this delicate subject? By writing “race together” on their coffee cups.

Racial matters are certainly part of a national conversation that Americans should be having with one another.

The issue lies in this case whether or not it’s appropriate for a business to drop a charged conversation about race on customers without being solicited to do so. People go to Starbucks presumably for the coffee – not to be accosted with political issues. (Read more from this story HERE)

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  • jimbo124816

    What a wonderful idea it is, to discuss race relations with the girl who makes your morning coffee. Next thing will be getting financial advice from your Taxi driver.

    I was just discussing my heart surgery with the counter person at McDonalds while ordering my breakfast. She suggested that I wait for a while, to see if it will heal itself. She was also confident that the mole on my nose is not cancerous, so I feel much better about it now.
    .

    • Kent2012

      the girl from Monterey cooking the burgers might give you some good advice about any urological concerns that you might have…and if the load of crap that we are watching take place in our beloved USA causes you grief, the manager is skilled in brain surgery…

  • Oldckat

    I live just a few blocks from a Starbucks and pass by it fairly often. I have yet to see a black person sitting out on the sidewalk at a table with their laptop probably playing solitary trying to make people that don’t matter think they are doing something important.

  • GailWilcox

    Starbucks is a sold out government parasite who have no space for anyone who might disagree.

  • SteveMacko

    The last thing I want to do when I go to a restaurant is have someone talk politics to me, especially when I don’t agree with their political viewpoint. That is something that would make me want to leave and never return. Heck, I might even be mad enough to stiff the server on the bill

  • Whupass

    Justgimmeaneffencuppajoeandshaddup!