Trying to disprove Attorney General Eric Holder's assertion that Americans are cowards when it comes to talking about race, USA Today and Starbucks have decided they will start the "conversation" Holder says he wants to have.
Thus, the newspaper reports, "Starbucks, in partnership with USA TODAY, is about to tackle the issue of race in America."
This week, baristas at 12,000 Starbucks locations nationally will try to spark customer conversation on the topic of race by writing two words on customer cups: Race Together. Also, a special "Race Together" newspaper supplement, co-authored by Starbucks and USA TODAY, will appear in USA TODAY print editions beginning Friday, March 20. It also will be distributed at Starbucks stores. [Starbucks, USA TODAY team to tackle racial issues, By Bruce Horovits, March 17, 2015]
If you know anything about this country's never-ending "conversation" about race, you know where this is headed.
"Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is on a mission to encourage Starbucks customers and employees to discuss race, under the firm belief that it's a critical first step toward confronting—and solving—racial issues as a nation. It is scheduled to be a key topic at the java giant's annual meeting on Wednesday."
"Racial diversity is the story of America, our triumphs as well as our faults," says the opening letter to the eight-page supplement and conversation guide, signed by Schultz and Larry Kramer, president and publisher of USA TODAY. "Yet racial inequality is not a topic we readily discuss. It's time to start."
The supplement includes race relations "conversation starters," including one fill-in-the-blank question that simply asks: In the past year, I have been to the home of someone of a different race ___ times." It also encourages readers to tweet responses to questions at #RaceTogether such as: How have your racial views evolved from those of your parents?
In a video that Schultz shared this week with Starbucks baristas, he explains what they should say to customers who ask them about the "Race Together" wording written on their cups. "If a customer asks you what this is, try to engage in a discussion that we have problems in this country in regards to race. And we believe that we are better than this, and we believe our country is better than this."
One wonders how many venturesome baristas will be fired if they dare to bring up such subjects as the racial differences in IQ, the black crime rate or black-on-white crime, including but not limited to such general subjects as Polar Bear hunting, and the Knock-Out Game, and yet more specifically, the Wichita Massacre and the Knoxville Horror.
Then again, looking at the appearance of most Starbucks baristas, one doesn't imagine they would dare discuss subjects, if they even know what they are.