March 18, 2015

Starbucks Race Together

Starbucks Race Together?  REALLY?  I am not sure who came up with this idea, that our baristas should talk race relations to customers, but it is crazy.  When I am in that long line with 20 other people trying to get coffee in the morning, when will there be time.  Those baristas would have time for that.  Nor do I have time to teach them about 40 years of slavery and oppression.  I just want then to get my order right and call me by the right name.  Remember my name! 
I read on twitter that people were all up in arms about this.  I can see why.  If we want to improve race relations, corporate America and companies need to hire more people of color.  I frequent about 4 local Starbucks in my town and there are no black people making coffee drinks.  They lets look at our schools and education systems.  Teachers in urban areas are not doing their jobs They are not teaching and African American kids come out of school not prepared for college or the world of work.  I know.  I am a teachers daughter and have seen it first hand  It is a shame that the education levels are not the same. 
Another thing is technology.  Due to income differences, many black families in poor areas do not have access to the internet or computers and so much of education today involves the web and having access.  Then lets look at the prison systems.  They are filled with black men, many innocent. With our advances technology it seems that almost weekly there is a story where DNA is tested with todays technology and an innocent black man has been imprisoned for just about his entire life. 
And there is plenty more.  At work recently my coworkers were discussing their heritage and how to get into the Daughters of the American Revolution.  Joking to all one coworker asked each of us to tell out links to this kind of stuck up organization.  It was  joke Some said they had links, others had no links and when they got to me, what could I say?  I told her my people were slaves and we built this country, so any links DAR was claiming, I was claiming too.  Well, I shut that down quick.  We all went back to our cubes to work.
Can a Starbucks barista address race relations in the 8 to 10 minutes I am waiting for my coffee?  I think not and I am sure that with some of the very realistic answers I could give, it might just be "hashtag awkward!"


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