Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Starbucks "Encourages" Baristas To Discuss Race Relations; What Can Go Wrong?!

Good Lord, I swear that Starbucks is doing everything in it's immeasurable power to discourage me from remaining a customer.
Really, I mean I don't care that there about 50 Starbucks in my hometown of Pasadena, California. For if the latest attempt at feasting on a festering social issue as race relations by having baristas write a message, "Race Together" and encourage customers to discuss their views on race relations continues, many customers will finally say enough is enough with the fricken social activism.
OK, OK, I get it. Starbucks' CEO, Howard Schultz, is a big liberal. And this is not his first foray into using Starbucks not just to make a buck but to do so on the back of controversial issues.
One thing we can all agree on is that race relations in the United States is at the lowest it has been in my 50 years of God's Green Earth.
Blacks against Whites.
Whites against Blacks.
Hispanics against Blacks.
Blacks against Hispanics.
Whites against Hispanics.
Hispanics against Whites.
And so on, and so on and so on.
So Mr. Schultz seems to think that if his mostly White, hipster crew of baristas (also known as coffee makers for the regular folks) just write a smarmy, sentimental message of "Race Together" and encourage people to talk about their "race journey" then he is in for a rude awakening.
Picture this scenario.
Some Black gal steps into a Starbucks in Urbanville, USA. Let's say her name is Azelia Banks. You know who she is, right? She is a a rapper. In an interview with Playboy magazine, she made it clear what she hates about the United States. It's us eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll WHITE Americans! Here is the inflammatory comment:

"I hate everything about this country,"Like, I hate fat white Americans. All the people who are crunched into the middle of America, the real fat and meat of America, are these racist conservative white people who live on their farms. Those little teenage girls who work at Kmart and have a racist grandma -- that's really America."

Yeah, so Miss Banks steps into the Starbucks and makes her request. The young, White hipster with his beard and horned-rimmed glasses gets her order, probably all wrong, and writes the requisite "Race Together". Miss Banks reads it and, well I'm sure there will be an intellectual discourse that probably would include the police department of Urbanville, USA. And probably see the hipster dude carted off to jail for his trouble.
Somehow, I see this happening all across the United States. Not necessarily angry, but with many customers saying that their views on race relations are not the business of some barista at Starbucks.
You know what those customers care about? The barista getting their order right. They don't care if said barista is name the race group. The average customer is shopping their for a specific service.
COFFEE. And COFFEE related products. Maybe some FOOD to go with that.
The average customer is not going there for discussion on current events with a server and fancy title. Really, we are not.
I like Starbucks coffee. Yeah, so sue me. And I just want to get a large coffee most of the time when I partake going there. Maybe I want a  large Frappacino. Oh, and since I am a simple guy, it's small, medium and large. Not Tall, Venti and whatever large is. I don't care who provided the coffee. I don't care if it is "fair trade", free trade or whatever. I do not care what Starbucks does in the community. I don't care what cause their management thinks I should care about.
I am there for a product. I am there to use the free wi-fi while I am enjoying me drink. If I have time to stick around.
It is so pretentious  people like Mr. Schultz to use his angst and self-flagellation about race relations to all but force employees to start a "conversation" with someone on race relations.
What would happen if a Black employee wanted to start a race conversation with a seemingly nice White guy? What if it turned out that he was the local chair of the Ku Klux Klan and used this tender moment to explain to said Black employee why he and all Blacks are sub-human and if he had his way, they would all be shipped back to the African continent.
How about an Asian employee starting the conversation with a tatted-out, shaved head Hispanic customer? Yeah, somehow I don't think it would go all that well as there is already resentment in the area I live among non-Asians about their seemingly strong economic power over other race groups including Whites and, and ethnic Jews.
Oh, that would also be an awesome conversation. Any group suggesting that Jews have unfair advantages and that really, they control everything.
Do you see how such an idea is so bad? Do you, Mr. Schultz?
There is a place and time for any discussion. But not in such a way at a business that depends on goodwill to all people. All potential customers. To bring up such a alienating issue is beyond asking for trouble.
If this goes as well as I expect it will, Starbucks may lose a lot of customers. Customers that they should be listening to and not disrespecting.
What can go wrong with a Starbucks barista wanting to discuss race relations? Everything and anything.

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