It's sparkling clear that the last thing Americans want to admit is that racism is alive and well in America. S, what's there to talk about?
Starbucks baristas will no longer write “Race Together” on customers' cups, ending a visible component of the company's diversity and racial inequality campaign that sparked widespread criticism in the week since it took effect.
The campaign didn't sit well with some Starbucks customers. Many voiced on social media and elsewhere that they didn't want a debate with their brew.
At a Starbucks in Pittsfield Township, Mich., near Ann Arbor, two customers said Sunday they didn't think a coffee shop was the right place for race relations dialogue.
Ninette Musili, a junior bio-molecular science major at the University of Michigan, said the campaign seemed to her like an insincere publicity stunt that wasn't executed properly.
Like many who criticized Starbucks, she goes to the shops either before class or later in the day to study. At neither time does she want to discuss race relations.
“Most people come to Starbucks for coffee,” said Musili, who is 19 and black. “Race is an uncomfortable thing to bring up, especially in a Starbucks.”
She said such discussions are important, and that Starbucks should have set aside time during the evenings for race discussions and invited people to attend.
Another customer, Shane Mulholland, 46, of Ann Arbor, also said Starbucks isn't the venue to talk about race.
“They're here for coffee. They're not here to push their political agenda,” he said. “I even contemplated not coming here because of it.”
He said Starbucks should remain neutral on such topics because it's an established brand, rather than risk alienating customers. “There are other ways you can go about doing things to stimulate interest in what you're doing,” said Mulholland, who is white and runs an edible mushroom-growing business. “They must be doing so well they don't have to worry about losing customers over that,” he said.
The campaign, he said, didn't start any discussions about race with him.
Discussions about race are necessary, but getting a message about it on a coffee cup is silly, Stephanie Nelson, 45, said at a Starbucks in Seattle, the chain's home.