#racetogether What do you think about Starbucks’ initiative?

I think this interesting and a great start from a Global company to encourage conversation about what is often times a taboo topic. What do you all think?

Salon

TUESDAY, MAR 17, 2015 10:30 AM CDT
Starbucks’ cringe-inducing #RaceTogether campaign has caused a Twitter firestorm
JOANNA ROTHKOPF

race_together

(Credit: Starbucks Corporation)

In an article published Monday evening, USA Today reporter Bruce Horovitz wrote: “Starbucks, in partnership with USA TODAY, is about to tackle the issue of race in America.” Thank goodness someone is finally getting around to it!

The article outlines a new program called “Race Together,” which will encourage baristas at 12,000 Starbucks locations to “spark customer conversation on the topic of race” by writing #RaceTogether on coffee cups. as well as by providing a “Race Together” newspaper supplement co-written by the coffee corporation and USA Today. The supplement will feature some hot button “conversation starters” that will help compel commuters to tackle the difficult subject of racism before 9 a.m.
“If a customer asks you what this is, try to engage in a discussion that we have problems in this country in regards to race,” said Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in a video distributed to baristas across the country. “We believe that we are better than this, and we believe that our country is better than this.”
Half-assed efforts at creating the appearance of a corporate social conscience are suspect at best. It’s even worse when the corporation, which is often a harbinger of gentrification, is so clearly seizing upon a moment of national tension, violence and anger to promote itself.
Here are some of the best tweets mocking the campaign:

. should matter to @Starbucks : Coffee and sugar were 2 of the 3 drugs (w/tobacco) that started this mess in the first place.

At least Starbucks’ campaign succeeded in one small way…

Joanna Rothkopf is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on science, health and society. Follow @JoannaRothkopf or email jrothkopf@salon.com.

MORE JOANNA ROTHKOPF.

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