Starbucks is in hot water after two black men were arrested for loitering at a Philadelphia franchise over the weekend.
The two men were reportedly asked to leave the local Starbucks when they didn’t purchase anything, a request they allegedly refused. Then police were called and hauled them out in handcuffs.
What might have just been a zealous enforcement of the company’s loitering policies has now turned into a racial firestorm for one of the most liberal corporations in America. In an attempt to save face, Starbucks announced Monday it would require all employees to undergo “unconscious bias” training and will be closing several of its stores on May 29 to conduct this anti-racist initiative.
Regardless of whether the Philly branch was right to enforce its anti-loitering policy, one can’t help but notice Starbucks being hoisted on its own petard — especially in a context that highlights the hypocrisy of its yuppie clientele.
In 2015, Starbucks unveiled the “Race Together” campaign, which encouraged its baristas to have woke conversations about race with customers. Just the thing paying customers want to hear about it before receiving their latte!
Starbucks dropped the idea after much mockery in the media, but that didn’t quell the company’s interest in promoting woke causes. Last year, Business Insider praised the coffee giant for alienating Trump supporters with its fervent liberalism, claiming it was great for its brand.
Now brand experts are saying Starbucks needs to do more to distance itself from racism.
The dissonance between the omnipresent franchise’s virtue signaling and this week’s controversy mirrors how the urban elite treats racial matters. Walking around D.C.’s upscale neighborhoods, you’ll find a plethora of yard signs in favor of progressive racial causes — million dollar houses sporting Black Lives Matter signs and warnings that racism is a sin.
What you won’t find are many non-white faces. The city that went 93 percent for Hillary Clinton is also one of the most segregated locales in the country. So are other liberal hubs like Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia, the home of the “racist” Starbucks branch.
While these cities boast of their wonderful diversity, their local wealthy white liberals don’t actually live around the diversity. That fact does nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of urban elites for diversity and progressive racial causes. Who says virtue signaling requires practicing what you preach?
The Philly Starbucks manager maybe had a legitimate reason for wanting the loiterers out of the store, but it unintentionally echoed the residential segregation enabled by many of its customers.
As Starbucks loses some of its woke luster, it’s important to remember the company’s not alone in failing to live up to the expectations of left-wing activists. So does the urban elite.