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:
Starbucks pays Ethiopian farmers pennies for coffee beans. They turn around and charge $10 for grande latte. #ExploitTogether #RaceTogether
— Uber ObamaBot (@NewaHailu) March 17, 2015
y'all realize there are no coloured hands in the press photos right @Starbucks #RaceTogether pic.twitter.com/Epd9knTYfz
— black power alt bro (@vidalwuu) March 17, 2015
A Starbucks barista just called me the N-word. Why Starbucks why?
— Neal Brennan (@nealbrennan) March 17, 2015
These are all good points. What do you think? Is Starbucks being noble here, or is this campaign misguided? Let me know your thoughts, so we can get a dialogue going! Just kidding, I don't want to know. I'm just going to keep on believing what I do already and accept the status quo. It's worked this far.