SECTIONS
What would you like to know?
Share this Story

Starbucks unites races behind mocking #RaceTogether

Rebecca Bracken is a news and views writer.






Is there a polite way to decline breaking down race relations with your local barista?

Who gives the Starbucks barista the name "Race Together"? Let's not complicate things, joker, just keep it movin'. This coffee run has already taken far too long.

That was my first reaction to Starbucks' attempt to cure America's racism forever.

In case you haven't heard about Starbucks' new #RaceTogether campaign yet, here's how it works — and I'll try to keep the eye-rolling to a bare minimum.

Baristas across the nation will write "Race Together" on coffee cups instead of the standard misspelled customer names. Then the barista will engage you in a conversation about race.

Oh please, no.

Now, before we start taking swipes at the effort, let's take a quick sec to applaud Starbucks and its CEO, Howard Schultz, for taking a stand and doing what they can to bring the communities they serve closer together. It's so ambitious it's kind of funny. But then again, so is selling people daily $6 cups of coffee. So there's that.

The campaign, according to Schultz, is a reaction to the recent deaths of black men at the hands of law enforcement in Ferguson, New York City and Oakland.

"We at Starbucks should be willing to talk about these issues in America," Schultz said. "Not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are."

It's earnest and a lovely sentiment, but no one is going to Starbucks to talk about race relations. Aren't the lines already long enough? Now we have to wait for McKenna to break down Selma?

Predictably, social media cynics are having a field day with #RaceTogether

Howard Schultz is getting his fair share of flack too

And how exactly will baristas determine who needs a good racism talk?

Also, there are no Starbucks in Ferguson

And just in case we needed further evidence that this is a fairly glib reaction to a hugely complicated problem in America, here is video from MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes, where a guest has to remind the other guest that he's black while they discuss #RaceTogether. It's a little awkward, and I don't think adding a barista to the mix would have helped matters.

More on race relations in America

Samuel L. Jackson challenges celebs to sing about 'racist police' (VIDEO)
The Mamafesto: Why race and class matter when it comes to parenting
#MLKDay: 20 Stirring celebrity perspectives on racial equality today

Tagged in
Comments
Follow Us

SheKnows Media ‐ Beauty and Style

Hot
New in Living
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!