Starbucks Reacts to Racial Bias Claims

Audreanna Dunton, Assistant Business Manager

Starbucks, the popular coffee chain where friends and loved ones can gather together and enjoy their favorite drinks and small bites in their community, have come across some trouble with race.
However, the limits have been tested in recent months when two black men entered a Starbucks cafe in Philadelphia. The men were casually standing in the cafe when a Starbucks employee called the police, resulting in their arrest. The men were taken into custody shortly thereafter.
However this event stands out in the way Starbucks has chosen to respond. Starbucks Coffee Chief Executive, Kevin R. Johnson, stated that on May 29, 8 thousand Starbucks stores will be closed in order to train all 175 thousand employees in racial bias education.
“The actions taken by the specific Starbucks employee was poor but that doesn’t necessarily mean all Starbucks are ‘bad’. I think this is more of a problem with our society as a whole. There are individuals out there who still generalize people based on the color of their skin. As well as there are police who abuse their power, the system is flawed,” said sophomore, Ava Bernhard. Bernhard is an avid Starbucks drinker.
Since the arrest that occurred on April 12, the coffee empire has had a major decline in business due to the amount of backlash and criticism that Starbucks has gotten from the arrest of two, innocent, black businessman.
“I think sadly but truly this is becoming a common part of our culture in America, but it should not. With Trump being our president and people feeling more empowered as racism goes, these occurrences will become more prevalent, similar to those of the black lives matter movement,” said junior Ty Morales.
The incident has given the company time to reflect and re-evaluate what their company represents. In response, Johnson has also apologized, calling the Philadelphia incident “reprehensible” and the action of the employees “not representative of our Starbucks mission and values.”
The diverse student body of Loy Norrix have something to say about this topic.
“I didn’t feel like it was right for them to do that. I still will go back I just won’t go inside,” said junior Samari Lipsey.
Additionally, the plan to shut down the chain for a day will be very costly to the company, but their plan will not be altered.
“Industry bean counters say it’ll take plenty of coffee sales to offset Starbucks’ lost revenue on May 29 as baristas take notes,” as stated in “The New York Times.”
“I feel like it’s racist. I don’t think it’s Starbuck’s fault. I don’t usually go to Starbucks but I’m not going to go now,” stated Willis Johnson, sophomore.
The coffee chain plans to eliminate all bias related to race and ethnicity in order to make the chain a more welcoming place for all coffee and pastry lovers.