What Will Come of Starbucks?

In the wake of an incident involving the police being called on two innocent black men by a Starbucks employee, every location of the store will shut down on May 29 for anti-bias training for every employee. This decision, though, has brought people to ask if trainings like this can actually eliminate any bias. While sitting through a couple hours of a company-mandated training might not actually do anything to change the ways of bigoted employees, it does do a couple broader things. First, it makes a statement. A massive, nationwide company is standing up and doing something about racial profiling, and while this might not be much, especially considering police brutality that’s happened outside of Starbucks, it is something. A step. As long as this one-off event isn’t actually a one-off event, as long as other companies and Starbucks itself keep pushing for unbiased spaces and behavior, then there is the chance for actual change to happen. Another thing this does is it introduces accountability. It’s still to be seen if Starbucks will actually follow through on any complaints after these trainings, but these trainings will make it possible for customers or other employees to call out trained employees on their behavior without them being able to say that they hadn’t had that training. This is, as long as it’s enforced, a great step forward for the company. And again, if it is continued by Starbucks and other large companies like it, there is the chance for a larger scale change in how our country operates day-to-day.

One thought on “What Will Come of Starbucks?”

  1. The problem with cultural competency training is that it won’t make a lasting impact because the prejudice is rooted deep in our society. That is why to this day black people get followed around it the store, black men in hoodies get dubbed as thugs, and why if a black person is driving a nice car they are automatically assumed to have stolen it. It is a great first step but Starbucks should also have clear rules that state how much time people can spend there without buying anything so that this misunderstanding doesn’t continue. The good thing is that the manager was fired, which was way more of a punishment than police accused of police brutality get. Even in this incident many people still stand by saying that the men shoulldn.t be loitering as if there weren’t other people loitering who didn’t get arrested.

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