Well, that went by quick. After only a few days and a whole lot of controversy, Starbucks has canceled their #RaceTogether initiative.
In a move that literally everyone could see coming, the coffee company has learned a valuable lesson: standing in line for coffee is not the best time to promote a dialogue about race in America. And forcing your employees (sorry, “partners”) to write “Race Together” on every coffee cup served is a big ol’ waste of time.
Not that baristas were actually doing it. As journalists quick found out, basically none of the employees (sorry, “partners”) were taking the time to write “Race Together” on customers’ orders. And why would they? Would you want to have an open and honest conversation on the deep, complicated topic of race with someone before they’ve even had coffee?
But don’t worry, if you really want to discuss America’s checkered history of racial injustice, and how those scars still affect people’s lives today, you totally can! Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz says they’re just phasing out the “Race Together” on coffee cups things. You’re barista totally wants to engage with you about the racial climate in America today while they’re whipping up your frappuccino.