Today we live in a society constantly buffeted by waves of hysteria, and that’s just what’s coming from corporate America. And the panicked plutocrats are unable to formulate a proportionate response, something that was routine 25 years ago.
In 1993 four children contracted E. coli and died after eating a ‘Monster Burger’ at Jack in the Box. In response, Jack in the Box suspended hamburger sales, but kept the stores open for the rest of its product line while corporate dealt with the emergency.
In 2018 Starbucks is accused of “racism” after two black men are arrested without incident and later released without charges. This time in a frenzied response, Starbucks’ corporate introduces “Try Our Competitors Day!” on May 29th when all stores will be closed and employees required to attend a one day re-education camp. No word on whether customers will be reimbursed for coffee purchased from Dunkin Donuts on the 29th.
Disbelief was my first reaction upon reading about this latest bigotry brouhaha. I assumed it was a typo. Instead of ‘Cracker Barrel’ someone mistakenly typed ‘Starbucks’ into the Online Racial Incident template. Why Starbucks is more conscious of racism than Rachel Dolezal! Forty percent of its workforce is a minority of some kind.
Accusing Starbucks of racism is like accusing 7/11 of banning turbans inside the store.
This is the first instance of Starbucks joining the system-wide shutdown trend, but not the first time Starbucks has signaled its virtue. Earlier, in a hysterical over-reaction to Ferguson and Black Lives Matter, corporate chairman Howard Schultz wanted a “frank conversation on race” and instructed baristas to write “Race Together” on the customer’s coffee cup. It became such a farce the idea was quickly dropped.
Starbucks will probably pattern its shutdown on the model established by Chipotle. The illegal sanctuary and restaurant shut down for employee training after repeated outbreaks of customer diarrhea. The Chipotle workforce was told that here in the US everyone washes their hands after a bathroom trip. At the Starbuck’s session I’m assuming employees will learn that here in the US everyone is a racist.
Schultz and Starbucks are so fearful of being accused of ‘privilege.’ If it weren’t for the unfortunate social connotations, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Schultz ordered his white employees to wear blackface just to atone.
And make no mistake, atonement for Starbucks is coming and the company may not survive.
After the shutdown session no employee with a rating of IV or higher on the Fitzpatrick skin tone scale will call the cops on a minority ‘customer’ for any offense. Minority managers can see which way the wind blows, too. Soon this will escalate to refusing to call the cops for any ‘customer’ for any offense short of murder. They’ll see what happened to the manager in Philadelphia - fired and scapegoated - listen to the moralizing by Schultz and will conclude Starbucks is now Times Square circa 1988.
I’ve never liked the pretentiousness that permeates Starbucks. I’m secure in my manhood. I don’t require coffee to be extra-strong and extra-bitter to prove my toughness like the beta males and alpha-females that frequent the bistro. I predict their brand commitment will erode quickly as Starbucks goes from an upscale coffee bistro to a San Francisco public library.
Schultz’s stores will now function as the concession stand in a homeless encampment.
Already the American Mirror reports a black man who calls himself “Hotep Jesus” waltzed into a Starbucks and demanded free coffee reparations, “I heard you guys don’t like black people, so I came to get my Starbucks reparations voucher.” And he got it.
KTLA had a story about a Southern California Starbucks. A man reposted a video - made in January - where he contends he was denied the code to the bathroom because he was black. This won’t be a problem when homeless move in, they are very flexible when it comes to bowel movements.
After the staff undergoes Schultz’ “unconscious bias training” store rules will go out the window. I’m sure a handful of customers will cling to their ‘white privilege’ and place an order, assuming they can make their way past the shopping carts, backpacks, discarded syringes and Hefty lawn and leaf bags. Getting their order is something else entirely. Hearing their name called over the random shouts, boom boxes and urgent entreaties from panhandlers may prove quite the challenge.
Conservatives and Christians won’t have to worry about boycotting Starbucks ever again. Corporate will have driven off all the business without our assistance.
I’m going to enjoy watching the feeding frenzy. It’s going to be fun. And God help the clueless employee that puts the brownies on the bottom row of the display case and the corn muffins on top.
Michael Shannon is a commentator and public relations consultant, and is the author of “A Conservative Christian’s Guidebook for Living in Secular Times.” He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.