Starbucks’ Racial Bias Training Looks More Like Racial Grievance Training [video]

Starbucks’ Racial Bias Training Looks More Like Racial Grievance Training [video]

Starbucks’ Racial Bias Training Looks More Like Racial Grievance Training [video]

When you were trying to get your afternoon Starbucks caffeine fix on Tuesday, did you wonder where your favorite barista was? At racial bias training of course!

After a well publicized incident in Philadelphia, where two black men who had not purchased anything at the store were asked to leave, but did not, and were subsequently arrested, Starbucks’ leadership decided this was a systemic problem with an urgent need to be addressed pronto. It was so urgent that they decide to shut down all 8,000 stores on May 29, so 175,000 Starbucks’ employees could stew in the problem.

Starbucks has released all materials used in the training, in the hopes that other companies might share them with their own employees, so we can stamp out this thing called RACISM! Unfortunately two attendees of the training did not have much good to say about. In fact, they think it made things worse.

Employees Tina, an 18 year old black female, and Jamie, a 24 year old hispanic male, had this to say about the training:

“It felt like we were off task the entire time because we didn’t reflect on the situation itself,” said Tina, who has worked at Starbucks for a year. “The training materials focused a lot on police brutality, which had nothing to do with the incident that happened.”

According to Jamie, the Starbucks representatives leading the session got close to talking about the arrest of the two black men only when attendees brought it up.

The Focus on Police Brutality Was Upsetting

“The videos of cops knocking people down and fighting people were really disturbing,” Tina explained. “I told them I didn’t like the video and they told me they understood and that I was open to give my opinion.” What does watching videos about police brutality have to do with the situation that happened, Tina said she kept asking herself. “They went too deep into it and missed the point all at the same time.”

“At one point,” said Jamie, “a girl at my table actually had to get up and leave because video after video they showed black people being assaulted by police or black people being verbally assaulted and white people being racially biased toward people of color. It offended her. She left after that.”

The employees were also given personal journals where they answered questions like this:

There were two rounds of questions. The first asked employees to recall the first time something happened to them. The booklet said a possible answer was that these things had never happened:

1. The first time you noticed your racial identity.

2. The first time you noticed how your race affected your beauty standards.

3. The first time you felt your accent impacted people’s perception of your intelligence or competence.

4. The first time you altered your communication style (dialed it up or down) to avoid playing into stereotypes.

5. The first time you had a friend of a different race who regularly visited your home.

6. The first time you felt distracted at work because of external events related to race.

7. The first time you had a senior role model in your organization with a similar racial identity as your own.

8. The first time you went to work with your natural hair without comments or questions from others.

9. The first time you felt your race affected your ability to build a rapport with your manager. 

The second set of questions asked people to rank whether they would find various situations easy or hard to deal with. They were asked to put their answer on a 5-point scale, once for dealing with someone of their own race and once for somebody of a different race.

1. I can talk about race and not make the other person feel threatened.

2. I can comfortably maintain eye contact throughout the conversation and not fear I’m being aggressive.

3. I can talk about race and not make the other person feel threatened.

4. I can comfortably maintain eye contact throughout the conversation and not fear I’m being aggressive.

5. I can use my normal gestures and body language without feeling uncomfortable.

6. I can expect to be respected without having to prove my worth.

7. I can speak with my natural cadence without feeling judged about my intelligence.

8. I can respond to a difficult request directly and not fear my answer will be questioned.

9. I can share my accomplishments without someone assuming that I did not earn them myself.

10. I can talk about my childhood and not expect others to assume I grew up in poverty.

11. I can voice my dissatisfaction with a situation and not be told I’m “too angry.”

Honestly, this looks more like Racial Grievance Training than uncovering the undiscovered depraved seeds of racism that live in white people’s souls. Like, something right out of the never-before-seen clandestine diary of our former Community Agitator in Chief. AmIrite?

Here is a short excerpt from some of the materials – they are about changing the country, because apparently public accommodations are still segregated.

Starbucks consulted with experts and professionals to create the training. I don’t know how much it cost them, but I’m positive my fee would’ve been exponentially less than whatever they paid. All this training required was a review, and maybe a revamp of color-blind standard operating procedures that should be in effect at all of their stores at any given time, as shown below.

Here would be my contribution:

Be polite and treat everyone with fairness.

That’s it. Simple.

The employees are correct, continual stirring of the pot is not productive, but destructive. According to the picture above on Addressing Disruptive Behaviors, the Philadelphia manager who called the cops did not follow the procedures. There was no apparent violence, just a refusal to leave, which did to necessitate a call to 911. However, a store has a right to define loitering, and making a judgment call, the manager felt like their lingering went too far. That’s the only thing that needed to be addressed – unless we don’t know about a systemic treatment at Starbucks of only black loiterers? Is it really that likely that, in a systemic way, Starbucks’ employees would feel the need to eject only blacks or people of color hanging around? There may be some bad apples (highly doubtful at a place where SJWs rule), but one incident does not prove systemic bias. This grandiose statement made by Starbucks, to shut down all stores in a manner sure to loudly signal virtue from the mountain top, has only served to perpetuate a false narrative of, “America is raaacciissssst!”

Starbusks prides itself on being woke, but they are also a business. So their motivation is first, appearing to be the most virtuous leftie in the room, second, making sure not to lose money over this (ironically due to boycott organizers from their own side of the political spectrum), and then third, maybe actually being concerned about legitimate racism. But training people how to become community agitators will only get them more of the same. Starbucks, wake up!

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7 Comments
  • Nina says:

    So basically the Starbucks employees walked away having learned nothing new about how to politely firmly and fairly deal with customers.

    I’d say Starbucks corporation missed the boat entirely on this one.

  • Jim says:

    “Honestly, this looks more like Racial Grievance Training than uncovering the undiscovered depraved seeds of racism that live in white people’s souls.”

    Rather than focusing on the essential ”sameness” of other humans and the basic need to be courteous to all, the questions in the first survey were so loaded with the assumption of difference and prejudice. I’m surprised that there was not a further video or display of Starbuck’s execution chamber for ‘treatment’ of non-conforming staff. [Is the corporate motto of Starbucks ”The floggings will cease when morale improves!”?] However that’s what is to be expected in this day of modern, left-led witch-hunting – and witch-hunters always need to find more witches to justify their own existence and justify their power and authority.

    If you continually tell people they are wrong, bad, even evil, then they will eventually meet that expectation.

  • […] course the real training was more a parody of itself than I think Starbucks would like to […]

  • GWB says:

    Prejudice in public accommodation is deeply rooted in America.
    Well, no, this is the flawed fundamental premise.
    In actuality, most of America could really not care less about someone’s skin color. And what prejudice is out there is primarily driven by the race-mongers – the “deep roots” only go back about 40 years (a decade or more post-CRA).

    Of course, the other flaw in that premise is “public accommodation”. There should be no such thing in our republic. My store/business is MY store/business, not the public’s. Any other arrangement is fascist at best, communist at worst. (Yes, those two are at most arm’s length apart on the political spectrum.)

    It’s sad how twisted the ‘history’ of Jim Crow and the “civil rights movement” has become.

    continual stirring of the pot is not productive
    Oh, I don’t know. Stirring the pot might prevent their coffee from tasting so burned. (I don’t drink it, but that’s what I’ve heard.)

    There may be some bad apples (highly doubtful likely at a place where SJWs rule),
    FIFY. Though I think you meant “bad apples” differently than I did.

    to shut down all stores in a manner sure to loudly signal virtue from the mountain top
    Yep. It’s all about announcing your virtue, not actual virtue. Always. Everywhere.

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