Liberal rip-off business Starbucks, which made its money opening stores in only affluent neighborhoods (aka redlining), all but cried recently when one of its stores in Philadelphia had two African-American, non-paying customers arrested.
The situation got heated when the men were arrested, but thank goodness a quick- thinking Starbucks regular was able to calm everyone with the soothing sounds of a nearby Kenny G CD.
The incident illustrated the heightened racial divide of the last decade. White people couldn't believe that black people can't use the restroom and sit in a Starbucks as long as they like. And black people learned how much whites are willing to pay for a cup of coffee. At $9 per cup of some fancy latte drink, Starbucks stores are so white they look like a Brigham Young University study hall — except they sell caffeine.
Many Starbucks customers who saw the incident got angry. And imagine how much it takes to anger customers who regularly pay $8 for coffee they have to go fix up themselves and which they could make at home for 50 cents.
Starbucks capitulated quickly, I am sure, paying off the two guys and saying it was closing 8,000 stores for racial sensitivity training. 8,000 stores! That's like three blocks' worth of Starbucks in Manhattan. Where will white people without offices sit all day?
Now baristas at 8,000 Starbucks stores, who have nose-rings, ironic tattoos and $50k in student loan debt from their gender studies degrees, get to be lectured on race so they can then lecture customers on race. That is the mission statement of Starbucks: overcharge for coffee while lecturing customers that they are racist. It is called the "Insult to Injury" program.
Starbucks has always been leftist-politically active. Management said they were going to hire 10,000 refugees when Trump instigated his ban on travelers from terrorist countries. Imagine how they would misspell names on their coffee cups. They have a hard time with American names. A friend of mine told his Starbucks barista that his name was "Marc with a C." The guy promptly wrote "Cark" on his cup. The good news is I have heard of guys who cannot remember a date's name the next morning taking her to Starbucks so she has to say her name again as a reminder.
I thought Starbucks solved the racism problem a few years ago when it launched the "Race Together" campaign. Remember that stellar program where baristas wrote provocative statements on cups to "start a conversation" on race relations? That way they could give customers the condescending stink-eye if they thought the customers were racist. This I know for sure: If anyone wants to start a "conversation" with you about race, he is doing two things — calling you a racist and presuming to be morally superior to you so he can lecture you on the matter.
It hit the right tone for the Starbucks core customer who is too busy to make his own coffee at home in the morning yet still has time to listen to a state college psych major barista opine on race en route to work.
Starbucks is a political action committee that happens to serve overpriced coffee. They seemed like hypocrites when the Philadelphia incident happened. You'd expect this at Cracker Barrel; racism is right there in the name. But to be fair, Starbucks is not a waiting room for people to waste time. It's a place to finish a term paper or resumé. It is a place you meet someone you don't quite trust in your home or from whom you are buying something sketchy on Craigslist.
There will be a cost to Starbucks. In addition to lecturing employees of 8,000-plus stores on race, it plans to open more stores in inner-city and lower middle class neighborhoods. Brilliant idea — now people in impoverished neighborhoods can have a store rob them for a change. And what better temptation would there be than the opportunity to buy $10 latte mochas every morning so they can become poor again?
Contact Ron Hart at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.