Next month, 8,000 Starbucks locations will be closed for the day so their employees can be given sensitivity training.
The ostensible reason is to make amends for the fact that that, last week, two Black men were arrested at a Starbucks location in Philadelphia for (gasp!) staying too long without ordering anything, and asking to use its bathroom while doing so.
But is that the real reason for this mass closing? I think not.
I think the real reason is that the ownership of Starbucks is scared out of its collective wits that this will not be seen as the isolated incident it is but, however unfairly, as a definition of Starbucks in general.
And, if so, it will put Starbucks in the same boat with so many other companies that have, for isolated incidents, been unfairly accused of racism in the past; it will make Starbucks anathema to the take-no-prisoners left crowd – which is, in large degree, precisely who Starbucks – smug, sanctimonious, self-superior Starbucks – has always catered to.
In other words, to resurrect an old but fully apropos description, Starbucks is hoist by its own petard.
Enjoy the ride, guys. You’ve certainly earned it.