Now imagine this conversation between a barista and someone late for work.
(The magic starts at 4:00 and hits its peak at around 5:20.)
Last night, MSNBC's All In with Chris Hayes (a show whose reported death was apparently exaggerated) did a segment on Starbucks' new "Race Together" campaign encouraging employees to engage customers in a dialogue about race. The guests included the host of CBS Sunday Morning, Nancy Giles, and popular YouTube personality and writer Jay Smooth. As much as this discussion was MSNBC at its MSNBC-est, it was going great until (at about the 4:00 mark) Hayes played a clip from Smooth's hit 2008 video "How To Tell Someone They Sound Racist:"
Right after playing the clip, it seems like all is well as the three of them agree that the Department of Justice's report on the Ferguson police department was a model of straightforward honesty on this topic—but Nancy was not about to move on from a very important topic: Jay Smooth sounded very black in his video, or as Giles put it,
If we're going to start a conversation about race, I'd like to point out that "Hey" is a pretty neutral word. Jay tried to move on, saying simply
I think, as a completely clueless observer, that Jay may have been politely attempting not to have the conversation about race that was now becoming inevitable and might potentially embarrass a well-respected news host (Giles, not Hayes). Nevertheless, Giles pressed on:
Having dug a hole for herself, Smooth was left with no option but to gently push her in:
At which point, a Starbucks employee somewhere probably thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about how in America, a latte is always a coffee even if it's almost entirely milk. Which is a stupid and offensive analogy. That's why we don't effing talk to Starbucks employees about race. In conclusion:
*Not actual dialogue, just the subtext.