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On Tuesday, Starbucks unveiled their new #RaceTogether campaign. From the press release:
“Each story, each voice, offered insight into the divisive role unconscious bias plays in our society and the role empathy can play to bridge those divides,” said Starbucks chairman and ceo Howard Schultz, in a free USA TODAY newspaper section that will be distributed in Starbucks stores beginning Friday and through the weekend.
The compendium called “Race Together” is the first installment in a year-long effort designed to stimulate conversation, compassion and positive action regarding race in America. The title of the publication mirrors the words Starbucks baristas have been voluntarily writing on cups this week in support of diversity and dialog.
Immediately, Twitter exploded with near-universal disapproval from all sides and points-of-view. By early Tuesday afternoon, Starbucks’ senior vice president of communications deleted his Twitter account. #RaceTogether is looking to be a “New Coke” level of marketing failure.
But that’s not my biggest issue. Yes, Starbucks is a crunchy, socially-conscious company that likes to throw around phrases like “free-trade” and “environmental sustainability,” but really, does anyone pay attention? Patrons walk into a Starbucks, expect to pay $5 for a cup of over-brewed coffee, and either hide behind their laptops for a few hours or leave. This new in-your-face politics is too much even for Starbucks — and seemingly for Starbucks consumers.
Coffee isn’t the only place where politics have been injected recently. The holidays have sadly become a time to push agendas. This past Christmas, for example. Organizing for Action (formerly Obama for America) recommended “Conversation Tips” for pushing Obamacare:
An article in Think Progress How To Talk To Your Tea Party Uncle About Obamacare This Thanksgiving was even rebutted here on Ricochet with How To Talk to Your Progressive Niece about Obamacare This Thanksgiving.
How about sports? Who can forget this picture of the St. Louis Rams entering the field with their hands up during the early days of Ferguson?
Or the MSM’s obsession with Michael Sam, not because of his playing ability, but because he was the first openly gay player drafted in the NFL. Sam was drafted then released by the St. Louis Rams. Then he was picked up and released by the Dallas Cowboys. Today, he’s a contestant on the latest season of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.”
There is a lesson to be learned here: The market usually wins out. Michael Sam didn’t make it in the NFL, and he’s out of the NFL. Obamacare is many Ricochet posts worth of failure. Starbucks is in the middle of an absolute PR nightmare for a program I predict will be cancelled well before its original end date.
Please, unless it’s politics, keep it politics-free.