Starbucks Is NOT Supporting Black Lives Matter Movement -- And People Are ANGRY!
Coffee business giant Starbucks is on the receiving end of a massive backlash and boycott Starbucks threats after prohibiting its employees from wearing clothing and accessories that support the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement in the United States.
Since the brutal death of African American George Floyd went viral on social media, protesters have flocked the streets to voice out their frustrations and to fight against racism. Many companies also expressed their support to the movement and vowed to take extra measures in their own businesses to combat racial injustice.
One of the global companies that publicly proclaim their support for the Black Lives Matter movement is the multi-national chain of coffeehouse, Starbucks. On June 4, Starbucks took to their official Twitter account to take a stand to fight racism.
"Black lives matter. We are committed to being a part of change," Starbucks wrote alongside text images detailing how they are participating in the solution.
"We will confront racism to create a more inclusive and just world. We stand in solidarity with our Black partners, customers, and communities. We will not be bystanders."
Black lives matter. We are committed to being a part of change.
You can find educational resources at https://t.co/xSXwaw2vQA. pic.twitter.com/ZxifsW7oeO — Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) June 4, 2020
Later that day, Starbucks added that they are hosting an open forum to talk about racial injustice and give support to one another.
However, it looks like Starbucks' pledge to be "a part of change" does not extend to employees expressing their own support by wearing shirts, pins, and other merchandise that screams "Black Lives Matter."
It is after everybody's favorite coffee shop released an internal memo prohibiting baristas from wearing anything that includes "Black Lives Matter." They insist that it is against the company's dress code policy, as per a BuzzFeed News report.
The management said that wearing clothing and accessories with BLM message could be misunderstood and might incite violence.
Ironically, an employee revealed that this is not the same case in every social movement, as they were required to wear buttons and attires supporting LGBTQ rights as part of the Pride month celebration.
Speaking to BuzzFeed News, a 22-year-old Starbucks barista from Atlanta Calvin Bensen expressed disappointment on the company's response to BLM supporters.
"My skin color incites violence at Starbucks. Should I not come to work? It is silencing, and Starbucks is complicit. Now more than ever, Starbucks needs to stand with us," Bensen said.
Besides Bensen, many employees also expressed their anger at Starbucks, saying that the company is only concerned about preserving its image so customers will not disrupt sales.
A Washington branch manager also said that he feels "muted" by the company's move to prohibit them from visibly showing support at work.
The news caused internet users to flock on Twitter and start a trend calling the public to boycott Starbucks
"Soooo, why are you not allowing employees to rep Black Lives Matter!! Another capitalist trying not to lose our coins," another one added. Read other reactions below:
@Starbucks should never see a black dollar again!#BoycottStarbucks — El Jefe (@MrSpringfieldMA) June 12, 2020
If Starbucks isn’t allowing things that say #BlackLivesMatter or anything along those lines, then they need to change their logo. #BoycottStarbucks pic.twitter.com/b0HpzidNKu — This BITCH (@MireyaaAzelinn) June 11, 2020
Just found out @Starbucks is catering to the comfort of their racist customers by asking their staff not to wear anything in support of @Blklivesmatter so I won’t be visiting them and I’ll be telling EVERYONE I KNOW to boycott them as well. #boycottstarbucks — Katie Mowgli (@KatieMowgli) June 11, 2020
Guess I won’t be buying anything from @Starbucks since they don’t support us. But will force their employees to wear LGBTQ pins. How you support equality for only some groups and not all? #BoycottStarbucks — KING BISHOP (@IAmBishop617) June 11, 2020
April 2018 NEVER FORGET Two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philly for doing nothing but waiting for a friend. & now Starbucks is banning employees from wearing anything in support of black lives? THIS IS INSTITUTIONALIZED RACISM #BoycottStarbucks pic.twitter.com/Ja1I3IdtCg — StanceGrounded (@_SJPeace_) June 11, 2020