Starbucks announced a campaign Monday for its employees to "engage" customers on race relations through conversation, stickers and writing the words "race together" on cups. Chief executive Howard Schultz said in a statement the campaign wasn't a solution but an "opportunity" to re-examine how to create a more empathetic society "one conversation at a time."
The reaction on Twitter wasn't as positive, though. (Is it ever?) Many accused the coffee giant of overzealous and meaningless feel-good liberalism. Here are some of the snarky things people said about the campaign:
Despite our difference all of us -- left or right, black or white -- can agree that this Starbucks race talk idea is really stupid.
— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) March 17, 2015
The only thing worse than Starbucks is discussing sensitive cultural topics with strangers at Starbucks.
— Josh Petri (@joshpetri) March 17, 2015
"Sir, would you like some literature?" pic.twitter.com/BhCn2FRvFv
— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) March 17, 2015
"Iced tea, please" *customer pays, barista slowly makes change* *customer waits anxiously hoping to get change before barista mentions race*
— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) March 17, 2015
Customer: I'll have a venti light roast... Race conscious Starbucks barista: Don't you mean (removes sunglasses) Martin Luther King size?
— Erin Gloria Ryan (@morninggloria) March 17, 2015
Imagining America having an awkward forced conversation about race in Starbucks and heading to McDonald's for an awkward forced hug
— mat (@mat) March 17, 2015
yesterday: talk about Love at McDonalds today: talk about race at starbucks tmrw: psychoanalysis from guy who makes blizzards at dairy queen
— ಠ_ಠ (@MikeIsaac) March 17, 2015
— Venus Envy (@levijkm) March 17, 2015
I go to Chipotle for the literature and Starbucks for the real talk about race
— Brian Thill (@Brian_Thill) March 17, 2015
The only folks happy about Starbucks baristas discussing race with customers are the suits who run it. Feel-good liberalism at its worst.
— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) March 17, 2015
I get what Starbucks is trying to do, but nah. I'm just in there trying to get a caramel macchiato.
— Koko Bangz (@kokofasho) March 17, 2015
if only Selma had just put in a starbucks
— Jessica Misener (@jessmisener) March 17, 2015
Because everything written on a Starbucks cup has to be misspelled, I'm just assuming this campaign is actually about wraiths
— Tim Murphy (@timothypmurphy) March 17, 2015
I think people of color who work at Starbucks confronting white people about race/class as they pay six dollars for a latte seems great.
— Josh Gondelman (@joshgondelman) March 17, 2015