They could have started with "make eye contact with your barista."

Howard Schultz writes "Race Together" on a cup, presumably misspelling it. (Starbucks)


This country is in desperate need of an active dialogue about race. And what better place for that dialogue to begin than in line at Starbucks? Actually, any other place would be better.

That seems to be the consensus on the Internet today, after Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announced the company's new "Race Together" campaign. It was launched with full-page ads in The New York Times and USA Today, which is a partner in the campaign. Here's the one from the Times:

Good luck not getting that ink on your fingers. (Starbucks)

And here's the one from USA Today.

For the last time, I didn't order human! (Starbucks)

Starbucks employees, called "partners" in their corporate lingo, are being encouraged to write the phrase "Race Together" on customers' cups to indicate that they're willing to engage in a dialogue. The company is also providing conversation starters, like “In the past year, I have been to the home of someone of a different race ___ times." This is exactly what our divided society needs: Mad Libs.

Twitter, naturally, has jumped on this story like piranhas in a feeding frenzy:

Sources: The Washington Post | Starbucks