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In what probably started out as a great idea in the boardroom, proved to be not so great after it was executed and now Starbucks will not require baristas to write “Race Together” on customer’s cups.

Last week when Starbucks announced its “Race Together” campaign, it was met with cynicism and backlash. Many people felt it was an opportunistic endeavor, with would eventually fail. People voiced their concerns about not wanting to discuss race relations with random Starbucks baristas. Who would want to actually?

As of yesterday, Starbucks put an end to part of the campaign that included writing on cups. But the company says it wasn’t because of the backlash.

The cups were always “just the catalyst” for a larger conversation and Starbucks will still hold forum discussions, co-produce special sections in USA Today and put more stores in minority communities as part of the Race Together initiative, according to a company memo from CEO Howard Schultz said.

Maybe this time the company will actually have experts on these forums, instead of millennial baristas.

Image Credits: Starbucks

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  • PrimmestPlum

    I’m not surprised but I’m kind of disappointed. The whole Downtown part of my city is gentrified and I really had mind to have a nice chat about how I felt about it…

    Also, this is why it’s important to have a diverse group of people during a focus group. If there was a Black person on the board and they didn’t speak up (or possibly they did speak up and were ignored or maybe they just didn’t care), this may have been avoided.

  • Mary Burrell

    Folks jonesing for their coffee are hardly in the mood to talk about something like racism. That would just piss them off even more. What were those Starbucks folks thinking?

  • Mary Burrell

    It probably is not such a bad idea and race is something that America needs to have a “Come to Jesus meeting” about this just was not very thought out.

  • [email protected]

    I’m not shocked by this. The good news is that there will be future opportunities where more people will have more thorough conversations on race. One weakness of the Starbucks situation is that the campaign wasn’t well conceived in its composition. Race must be talked about in a comprehensive fashion. One of the best ways to have a great conversation about race is to discuss about economic inequality, discrimination, the black African Diaspora, gentrification, and other real issues that can appeal to a wide spectrum of people. The discussion also needs to talk about solutions not just speak in generalities about race.