Starbucks: Racism BAD, Not Racism GOOD

For anyone who has been in a cave lately or just has a strict ‘No American News’ policy then you might not have heard about all the bad racism that has been happening over there lately. No, not the police shooting of the unarmed black man Stephon Clark, who was laid still, responding to instructions, and nope, I’m not talking about the murder lawful killing of black man Arthur McAfee Jr. by a Harrison County Deputy either. I’m not even talking about the police killing yesterday of Diante Yarber. OK, the US has its issues.

What I am actually talking about here is the brown sugar water coffee chain ‘Starbucks’. That is because in Philadelphia this week a Starbucks employee decided to call the police because… Two guys were waiting for a friend. Look, if someone doesn’t crack down on all these people waiting for friends then who will? I mean, what kind of world do we want to live in where people can just wait for friends? You will end up with people stood here there and everywhere – chaos, utter chaos. Get them locked up!

And that is what the Police department in Philadelphia did. They walked right in there and arrested those guys waiting for a friend criminals – ‘This ain’t no bus stahp!’. The police didn’t say that, but I think it really adds something to the article. The police correctly identified that this Starbucks was not a bus stop but what they didn’t quite identify was that arresting people for waiting in a coffee shop was the equivalent of trying to open your car door with an AGM-114 Hellfire missile.

OK, so they were called out to an ‘incident’ – I get it. The bit I don’t get is at what point in history did these police officers become arresting droids?  I   M U S T   A R R E S T   E V E R Y T H I N G. Where is their sense of professionalism, mediation, understanding and community spirit. I couldn’t type that last one without laughing. This is where things get tricky. You see, from Starbucks to the police officers you have to check their motives for their actions. Why did they want these two particular guys out of the ‘cawfee’ shop?

Were the actions of the two men out of the ordinary? No. Were the guys in any way aggressive? No. Were they attempting to unscrew all the furniture and rebuild them into a grown-up fort? Unfortunately no. Were they shouting anti-coffee slogans while wearing ‘Dunkin’ Donuts Rulez’ T-shirts? No. Did they move all the tables, chairs and customers out of the way to begin an impromptu pilates class? No. Did they break any laws? No. Are they black? Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner winner chicken dinner!

Whilst this does appear to be the answer, it can only be found through some tedious deduction as neither the police nor Starbucks said they took this action because they were black. Then again why would they? That would be racist and racism is bad – we all know that, duh.


In response to this lovely day in 2018, Starbucks has decided that they need to teach their (126,000) staff how not to be racist – boardroom included. One can only imagine the lesson plan of such a class, and the wonders it must behold.

Lesson 1: Don’t be racist.

Lesson 2: Getting the brown people arrested will reduce our margins. Stop doing that.

Lesson 3: Don’t stop not being racist.

Lesson 4: Racism is bad.

Lesson 5: Sell coffee and expensive fake homemade preservative dense food to the brown people as well, hastagsalesopportunity.

Lesson 6: Still keep doing Lesson 1.

Lesson 7: Keep underpaying coffee bean growers in a non-racist way. 

Lesson 8: Not racism is gooder than racism, be that one.

Lesson 9: Pretend to take this seriously until the media go away.

The fact of the matter is, if you have now privatised so much of your society that it is down to Starbucks to teach people how not be a racist then I think I’ll have a Latte please, and I’ll put a dollar in the ‘Admonish White Guilt’ jar for good luck. Because where do we go from here? Should we get every US police department to sign up at their nearest Starbucks branch for the next course? Why not charge extra for ‘Advanced Non-Racist’ courses? Maybe the White House can get the cheaper, but more convenient, remote access Starbucks ‘Racism is So Bad’ program. I mean, why not? They will have a few dollars to spare once their plan to end the ‘Dreamers’ program is shut down.

Starbucks should be training their staff to understand coffee bean production, its smells, tastes and roasting processes. They should be sending staff to catering schools and to foreign countries to meet growers. Maybe they should even get their staff to look into the environmental effects of handing out millions of disposable cups every day.

I don’t know the answers but I do think if racism is leaking out into your police departments, your movie theatres, your prison systems, your schools, your resumes, your colleges, your government and your coffee shops, maybe it is time to look past Starbucks. Maybe we shouldn’t put all the burden on them to solve this problem. There is a fundamental problem in American society and it is a racist one. Starbucks should be focusing on coffee and maybe the police should be focusing on people who make unreasonable, wasteful and ultimately racist phone calls. It would be a start.

Oh, and everyone should buy a mirror.

Paul Green




      1. notdonner

        I think the problems with policing are human – I watched a friend turn cynical and sour on people the longer he was out dealing with domestic abuse calls, drug addicts, thieves. And people caught speeding cussing him out. With few anymore actually pleasant toward responders, the job -especially in a good economy, some people who are more brutish. But we DO have cops investigated, fired, prosecuted and imprisoned – and that was in the states Missouri, North Carolina, as not just California and New York


  1. 80smetalman

    Two months ago, when the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl, it made me proud to say that I was born in the City of Brotherly Love, pause for laughter, Philadelphia. This incident has now made me ashamed of that fact.


  2. jkaybay

    Love this post! I laughed, I cried.. Well, I didn’t exactly cry but I share your opinion on many things here. Starbucks actually does a pretty good job on diversity and has taken stances in the past like hiring refugees and “opportunity youth,” but they need to work on prices paid to farmers, and yes the big cup problem. More here on their pros and cons should you want to read my thoughts 😉


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