Daily Reads: Coffee Talk

Unless you live under a rock, you’ve heard of Starbucks’ new initiative to have their servers (I refuse to call them baristas) start conversations about race with their customers. This is a terrific example of the road to hell being paved with good intentions. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz means well, but this campaign is beyond tone deaf. Starbucks has already received a barrage of criticism, so I could have picked any number of articles to share as a Daily Read, but this one by Terrell Jermaine Starr on Alternet stuck with me. Starr points out what should have been obvious to Starbucks: racial inequality is not going to be solved during a chat over coffee. Obviously, Starbucks knows this; but to even position this campaign as helpful reveals just how little CEO Schultz and his staff seem to understand about the depth and breadth of this country’s racial problems. Starr addresses those problems from his perspective as a Black man, and because I have no desire to summarize and potentially coopt what he puts so well, I will leave it to his words to explain it. Let me just add, obviously and cynically, that as well-meaning as Starbucks may be, this is just another example of brandwashing.

Dear Starbucks: Black People Do Not Need to Participate in #RaceTogether

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