Videos of Police Brutality? Employees Bash Starbucks Bias Training

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On Tuesday, Starbucks took the extraordinary PR step of closing all 8,000 North American stores so that their employees could go through anti-bias training in the wake of a controversy at their Philadelphia coffee shop.

For some reason, because one manager in one store in one city called the cops on two black men (who weren’t, as far as we can know or tell, actual customers of the establishment), the company felt the need to “train” all of their white employees on how to treat minorities. This was political correctness and corporate cowardice at its absolute worst; making things even more hilarious, the training itself was viewed dimly by employees who underwent it. In Philly Mag, two employees who attended the training – one a 24-year-old Hispanic man and the other a 18-year-old black woman – said the whole thing was “ridiculous” and “off the mark.”

“I was really disappointed when I walked out of there because I was expecting so much more,” said 18-year-old black woman, who is called Tina in the story. “It felt like we were off task the entire time because we didn’t reflect on the situation itself. The training materials focused a lot on police brutality, which had nothing to do with the incident that happened.

“The videos of cops knocking people down and fighting people were really disturbing,” Tina continued. “I told them I didn’t like the video and they told me they understood and that I was open to give my opinion.”

The 24-year-old Latino man – called Jamie in the story – said he had a similar experience.

“At one point, 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,” Jamie told Philly Mag. “It offended her. She left after that.”

The two said much of the training focused on black history, including the lunch counter protests of the 1960s, missing whatever lessons might have been learned by the specific incident that triggered the training in the first place. Both said they felt “targeted” as people of color, with training materials geared towards telling them how they should feel as minority members of society. They didn’t appreciate the condescension and they didn’t appreciate the non-diversity of the trainers themselves.

“If you’re having people of color dig into their racial identity, why have non–people of color address us to start things off?” Jamie said. “Not that the white women weren’t credible. But if you’re trying to be sensitive toward us, why would you do that?”

This feels like something Starbucks slapped together in an effort to mollify the Black Lives Matter activists and position themselves as totally “woke” in the Twitter Era. Nothing they did on Tuesday will make one bit of difference to the Black Cause, to the atmosphere in their stores, or to society at large. It was just more divisiveness for the sake of political correctness.