A Starbucks Senior Executive found his politically correct Race Together campaign was silly; twitter let him know.
If you think “race” is invoked for non-racial reasons all too often in this country, then the Starbucks campaign can only irritate you. And if you think there are deep racial problems in this country, then the Starbucks campaign can still only irritate you. And if you are a Barista being ordered to write “race together” on Starbucks cups, then the campaign can only irritate you.
In this case, social media came to the rescue.
CNN Money reports, “Starbucks exec back on Twitter after #RaceTogether backlash.”
Not everyone wants to discuss race relations while ordering their morning coffee, it seems.
That’s the lesson Starbucks learned Tuesday after a torrent of Internet backlash was aimed at its new #RaceTogether campaign, which the coffee chain hoped would initiate a nationwide discussion of racial issues.
Corey duBrowa, the company’s Senior Vice President of Global Communications, was personally attacked amid a storm of angry tweets. The executive deleted his Twitter account Monday night, only to rejoin the service less than 24 hours later.
“Last night I felt personally attacked in a cascade of negativity,” duBrowa said in a post on Medium. “I got overwhelmed by the volume and tenor of the discussion, and I reacted.”
Well, why was duBrowa surprised by the “torrent”? His company is supposed to be earning money by serving to customers a tasty beverage in a comfortable environment. People go to his establishments to relax and perhaps use the wifi to pretend that they are working while they surf Facebook on their laptops. Image and environment are obviously a huge part of Starbuck’s appeal and business model.
What kind of idiot would think it was a good strategy to inject debates about racial issues into such a setting? The coffee is already overpriced, so it made no sense to push a big negative on customers who are shelling out big bucks.
Nevertheless, the big honcho himself, CEO Howard Schultz, supported this campaign.
You might get an idea of Schultz’s sense of grandeur from the video posted at CNBC. I’ll be surprised if Starbucks stays afloat if this is how much grasp the leadership has on reality:
In some cities, baristas started writing “Race Together” on customers’ cups to stimulate conversation.
It didn’t go over so well.
Some social media users lashed out, claiming that picking up coffee during a morning commute wasn’t the time or place to have this kind conversation.
“I understand the initial backlash because you’re taking someone’s most pleasant experience of the day and running it smack into one of the most unpleasant conversations a person can be confronted with,” said Mark Irion, the president of Levick public relations firms.
But he applauded Starbucks for the effort and expects the backlash to taper off.
The reaction “proves that it’s a conversation we need to have,” Irion said.
No, Irion is wrong. The conversation may or may not be needed. But all the reaction really proves is that no one likes to pay good money to be bullied with their morning coffee. The whole thing was silly. Furthermore, the story alleges that the subject of “racial inequality is often taboo in corporate America.” That claim is absurd. The fraudulent nature of homosexual “marriage” is a real taboo in corporate America. This was the opposite of a taboo.