We all know that a trip to Starbucks is a great pick-me-up. A great, overpriced, foul-tasting pick-me-up. But soon, you’ll be getting something a little extra with your grande half-caf skinny mocha and your revolting “pastry”: racial enlightenment!
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.
Beginning on Monday, Starbucks baristas will have the option as they serve customers to hand cups on which they’ve handwritten the words “Race Together” and start a discussion about race…
Cognizant of what a powder keg the issue of race is, Starbucks says its baristas will be under no obligation to engage with customers on the topic. The goal is simply to foster discussion and an exchange of ideas.
This is why I like my coffee like I like my women: cheap, easy, and quiet.
So, you can look forward to conversations like this:
Customer: Yeah, let me get a tall iced coffee, please.
Barista: Want anything in that?
C: Nah, just black.
B: You got it. Hey, speaking of the color black, how about that racism, huh?
B: It’s bad, right?
C: Oh. Yeah! Yeah, of course. Racism, yuck. Not good.
B: I’m glad you agree. Just look at what happened to Michael Brown, right?
C: The guy in Ferguson?
B: Is there some other Michael Brown I should know about?
C: No, no. It’s just that, um…
B: It’s just that what?
C: Well, didn’t they just get done saying that the whole “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” thing never happened? Didn’t he attack that cop? No offense.
B: Why does that matter? Are you saying racism doesn’t exist?
C: Huh? No.
B: Are you a racism denier?
C: What? I don’t even know what that is.
B: I’m not hearing a “No.”
C: No! No. I’m not that thing you just said, whatever it is. Please. I’m a good person.
B: [LONG PAUSE] Wellllllll, I guess that’s alright, then.
C: I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything by it.
B: I’ll let it go. This time.
C: Am I free to leave? I miss my family.
B: Just remember what we talked about today.
C: Yes, sir. Thank you, sir. It won’t happen again, sir. [SLAPS $10 ON COUNTER, FLEES]
And that, my friends, is how you end racism.