Starbucks, the coffee chain that everyone loves to hate, launched a new campaign to spark dialogue about race. The idea, promoted by CEO Howard Schultz, is that a Starbucks barista will write “race together” on your mid-morning paper cup of latte and engage you in a conversation about race relations.
The internet thinks the campaign is, well, misguided, to say the least.
Following the Twitterverse backlash, the company’s senior vice president of communications, Corey duBrowa quit the platform. “He took it down after midnight last night after the conversation stopped being productive and started to become a distraction from the respectful conversation we were trying to start about race,” Starbucks spokesperson Linda Mills tells Quartz.
“We knew this wouldn’t be easy. Race relations are not an easy topic to discuss,” she said, adding that “it’s worth the discussion, it’s worth the discomfort.”
On March 20, the company will also release “conversation guides” about race in partnership with USA Today.
Here are some other reactions: