The Mirror

A WARNING TO STARBUCKS BARISTAS: Don’t Bug Black Anchor Gwen Ifill Before Her Morning Java

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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PBS “NewsHour” anchor Gwen Ifill isn’t hot on Starbucks race talk idea.

But not for the reasons she thinks you might think.

Earlier in the week, when Starbucks took the nation by storm by saying that baristas would now be holding sidebar discussions with customers about the volatile subject of race, everybody had their reactions.

And this was Ifill’s:

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Ifill says about 400 people misinterpreted her tweet. Hey, it happens.

“What I found most interesting was the people behind the tweets — black, white, other — who for their own reasons felt Starbucks might be going a step too far,” she wrote in a first-person account. “That’s actually not quite the interpretation I intended.”

She calls the Starbucks idea “flawed” and “under-caffeined” and “black and white.” All in all, Ifill thinks a conversation about race needs to be thoughtful and not so “fleeting.”

Except she then cites NPR’s Race Card Project, which invites people to talk about race in six words.

Um, is six words fleeting?

She also cites a “conversation” they’ve launched on the PBS website.

Just so Ifill knows, I could have conversed with my black barista for an hour the other day if I wanted to. The morning was slow. Things were quiet. He answered every question I had and didn’t rush me through my latte.

Whatever the case, Ifill doesn’t want you bugging her before her morning coffee.

But just in case I’ve misinterpreted her like 400 others, read her explanation here.