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Tags: starbucks | homeless | policy

Starbucks: The New Home for the Homeless

Starbucks: The New Home for the Homeless
Starbucks coffee mugs are for sale inside a Starbucks Coffee shop in Washington, D.C., April 17, 2018, following the company's announcement that they will close more than 8,000 U.S. stores on May 29 to conduct "racial-bias education" following the arrest of two black men in one of its cafes. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Clarence V. McKee By Wednesday, 23 May 2018 12:44 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz just doesn’t seem to know when political correctness goes too far.

Two years ago, in an article in this space entitled “Starbucks’ Racial Frappuccino,” I criticized him for encouraging Starbucks employees to write “Race Together” on coffee cups and engage in a discussion about race with customers. The effort was abandoned in a short time after much ridicule and criticism.

Flash forward to today.

Starbucks has announced that it is adopting what could be called a “come one come all” open door policy. In a statement Saturday, the company said “any person who enters our spaces, including patios, cafes and restrooms, regardless of whether they make a purchase, is considered a customer.”

This comes a month after receiving national criticism and attention for calling the police on two black men in Philadelphia who, while waiting for a business colleague, wanted to use the bathroom without making a purchase. They allegedly refused to leave when asked.

It puts Starbucks’ Managers in an impossible position — let virtually anyone into your restaurants or get fired — and don’t dare call the police.

The policy will apply to the over 8,000 company owned U.S. stores, all of which will be closing on the afternoon of May 29 to give employees anti-bias education — whatever that is. I guess it might be some variation of the failed “Race Together” campaign of two years ago.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the company describes the effort as having “employees go through a training program designed to address potential unconscious racial bias among employees and help ensure that all customers feel welcome.”

Isn’t that special?

How warm, fuzzy, and politically correct!

Imagine, in just one afternoon, Starbucks’ employees can learn all about their unconscious racism. Does this apply to black employees’ subconscious racial bias against white or Hispanic customers? Or, Hispanic employees’ subconscious racism against white and Black customers — and employees as well?

Are white employees going to greet non-white customers with big hugs and hi-five’s and “Yo Bro’s” to make them feel welcome?

I’ll wager that a big percentage of the Starbucks employees will suffer through this racial correctness training while grumbling under their breath and thinking it is merely an exercise to make Schultz and CEO Kevin Jackson feel good and placate their progressive fancy coffee clientele.

In the meantime, Starbucks had better get ready for the deluge of the homeless, drug addicts, or any number of vagrants who prowl urban centers and make the street their homes.

After its announcement prompted such concerns, Starbucks clarified its policy Monday telling The Wall Street Journal “employees now have detailed instructions on what to do if someone is behaving in a disruptive manner, such as smoking, using drugs or alcohol, using restrooms improperly or sleeping.”

How many homeless advocates will tell their flocks to take advantage of the new Starbucks “Open House” policy?

“Don’t sit or camp under the bridge — go to Starbucks. They can’t throw you out even if you don’t buy anything.”

What Starbucks’ Manager would risk being fired by daring to call the police to have a smelly homeless person — especially if black or brown — thrown out after what happened in Philadelphia? After all, they don’t have to buy anything.

Schultz and his politically correct team have now extended an open invitation to social misfits, the mentally deranged, and street dwelling homeless to come to Starbucks and keep warm in the winter and cool in the summer; use the bathroom for a variety of purposes including washing filthy clothes; and, just generally relaxing and coming in out of the elements.

Regardless of the most recent policy statements, let’s see how long it will take some Starbucks bathrooms in major cities to have the fragrance of many of those in Interstate Highway Exit gas stations.

It will be interesting to also see how long Starbucks’ politically and socially liberal patrons will tolerate having to enjoy their Caramel Macchiatos and Strawberry Green Tea Infusions while sitting next to one of the company’s new and not so aromatic non-paying “customers.”

Let’s see how American consumers accept Starbucks as the “new home for the homeless.”

Clarence V. McKee is president of McKee Communications, Inc., a government, political, and media relations consulting firm in Florida. He held several positions in the Reagan administration as well as in the Reagan presidential campaigns. He is a former co-owner of WTVT-TV in Tampa and former president of the Florida Association of Broadcasters. Read more of his reports — Go Here Now.

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Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz just doesn’t seem to know when political correctness goes too far.
starbucks, homeless, policy
Wednesday, 23 May 2018 12:44 PM
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