3/24/15 Coffee Talk


Occasionally, I’ll have a conversation with someone over a cup of coffee. We pick the topic.

I don’t want to be lectured to.  And not by a 19-year old barista who’s busy balancing full-time work and school schedules.

Yet, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz requested employees engage customers in a discussion on race. The biggest victims caught in the middle are those young, overworked Starbucks employees who feel compelled to please their CEO but, whose vast cultural experiences came from the pages of vampire and dystopian novels.

Admittedly, I was curious what was behind this.  So, I visited the Starbucks website.  And found this photo line-up of the company’s leadership team.

My, it’s really, really white.  And very, very male.

Now, I don’t believe in political correctness.  Or quotas.  So, I could care less if Starbucks executives were all white, black, purple, or chartreuse.

Then I checked to see if Starbucks was leading by example.

Ferguson, Missouri has been in the news.  So I checked Starbuck’s online store locator.  No Starbucks in Ferguson.

2015 is the 50th anniversary of the Selma march.  But no Starbucks in Selma.

So, I went all-out and checked the neighborhoods of Compton and Harlem.  500,000 people.  Only seven Starbucks.  My Volvo-driving, yoga pants-wearing, rather white community of 39,000 has more stores. Nine.

Starbucks should stick to selling extravagantly-priced coffee.

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