Coffee giant Starbucks this afternoon is closing more than 8,000 of its stores nationwide to provide racial-bias training for its 175,000 workers. The companywide training comes after Starbucks issued a public apology for the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia store. The manager of the store said the men were “trespassing,” even though they were waiting only minutes for a third person to arrive to have a meeting. The men’s arrests, videotaped by customers, went viral, and almost instantly led to protests and calls for boycott. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson called the arrests “reprehensible,” and said they indicated a need for race-bias training for Starbucks employees. The men, meanwhile the men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, have reached an undisclosed settlement with Starbucks, and the company will fund an incubator for young local entrepreneurs.
Leid Stories says the Starbucks defensive in the end will end up using people of color to save its skin.