#Starbucks should have remembered this, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Now that can be taken a lot of ways, just the same as everything is subject to one’s personal interpretation, but to damn them for even trying to make a dent in the issue of racial discrimination is just plain dumb. So they printed some stuff on cups, #RaceTogether, and encourage their baristas to discuss the issue, (which may have been a bit too much, let the baristas talk about whatever they want, chupacabras say), big deal. Give them kudos for wading into those croc infested waters we call racial discrimination. One can’t say anything intelligent on the issue without facing the firing squad these days, ask Chris Rock. #Starbucks is in the hot seat now, but who’s to blame? Much as we like to single out a scapegoat, truth is we are all in this together and the beverage vendor is not to fault.
Racial tensions have reached an absurd level in this country and perhaps even globally. When a subject reaches such volatility it is dangerous to discuss it, that’s an absurd level, and maybe truly time to walk away from those who can’t simply talk things over without foaming at the mouth. Is it race that has led to cops shooting some of our youth? You betcha, predjudice contributes but maybe even more causative is the fact that the police face an overwhelmingly armed populace due to gun worship and the reverence for violence as a solution we, as a human race, employ. It is wrong to foster a ‘Shoot first, ask questions later” culture, but who wouldn’t be a little trigger happy with a target painted on their back. (side note: Read This)
Racial discrimination is hardwired into us both culturally and biologically, Ask a physician or a biologist if there is a difference between the races and, if they are being honest, they’ll say “Darn Tootin.” Some races have more or less pigment in their skin, some have a tendency to be afflicted more my certain diseases, some show different physical characteristics than others and the genetic makeup is distinctly different. But, again honestly, those differences are insignificant. Our DNA is about 99.99999% similar, one’s coloration can vary depending upon how much time they spend in the sun or whether or not they have silver poisoning. Most of the friction between races is cultural in nature.
Grow up seeing only one type of face among friends and family, you may exhibit anxiety when a new face appears. Dependent upon the reactions of those faces you trust to the new face, your reaction will be either pro, con or indifferent. And that built up lifetime of experiences determines the rest of your life time of experiences, to a degree.
Just as travel is anathema to prejudice, so is exposure to other cultures and races, to a degree. An American who visits France and expects all the menus to be written in English is in for a rude surprise. Only an open mind, and critical thinking can alter ones preconceptions. Expect others to be surly and conniving, you get what you came for, expect them to be warm and open hearted, well the odds just got better for both of you.
#Starbucks likely didn’t step lightly into this fiasco. It wasn’t because some marketing genius penciled out a 1.4% profit increase and commensurate increase in favorability. It was likely a corporate culture trying to make the world a little bit better place, which all corporations should do, like their policy to improve the lives of their staff by helping pay for an education. To make them a pariah for trying shows us all how culturally far we still have to go.