Starbucks SBUX 0.36% CEO Howard Schultz has never shied away from involving his company in controversial debates, whether those debates are about same-sex marriage, or gun control, or U.S. government gridlock.Conservatives make a mistake when they respond to things like this by complaining that they only want their damn coffee. I can understand why they do it though. "Conservatives" are right-liberals who agree with left-liberals about the goal, but like to impotently grumble about how the left-liberals are moving too quickly. Reactionaries, in contrast, can introduce some 100% pure, grade A crimethink into an unsuspecting barista's day.
But the executive, who oversees a coffee empire with 4,700 U.S. stores, has now taken on arguably the most polarizing political debate in the United States: race relations.
Starbucks published a full page ad in the New York Times on Sunday — a stark, black, page with a tiny caption “Shall We Overcome?” in the middle, and the words “RaceTogether” with the company logo, on the bottom right. The ad, along with a similar one on Monday in USA Today, is part of an initiative launched this week by the coffee store chain to stimulate conversation and debate about the race in America by getting employees to engage with customers about the perennially hot button subject.
"Did you know that African-Americans are disproportionately locked up by our prison-industrial complex?"
"That's because blacks commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime."
"Oh... uh... well, did you know that the enormous gap between African-Americans and whites in education is because African-American schools are so severely underfunded?"
"No they're not. The gap cannot and will not be closed because blacks have an average IQ one standard deviation below the average IQ of whites."
"Uhhhh... have a good day sir, bye!"
I bet I can reduce their entire staff to tears. I foresee many excellent opportunities for black knighting here.