Starbucks to Manage Concessions for Homeless Encampments

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    Milt Priggee, Oak Harbor, WA

    Today we live in a society constantly buffeted by waves of hysteria and that’s just what’s coming from corporate America. And the panicked plutocrats are unable to formulate a proportionate response, something that was routine 25 years ago.

    In 1993 four children contracted E. coli and died after eating a ‘Monster Burger’ at Jack in the Box. In response, Jack in the Box suspended hamburger sales, but kept the stores open for the rest of its product line while corporate dealt with the emergency.

    Milt Priggee, Oak Harbor, WA

    In 2018 Starbucks is accused of “racism” after two black men are arrested without incident and later released without charges. This time in a frenzied response, Starbucks’ corporate introduces “Try Our Competitors Day!” on May 29th when all stores will be closed and employees required to attend a one day re–education camp. No word on whether customers will be reimbursed for coffee purchased from Dunkin Donuts on the 29th.

    Disbelief was my first reaction upon reading about this latest bigotry brouhaha. I assumed it was a typo. Instead of ‘Cracker Barrel’ someone mistakenly typed ‘Starbucks’ into the Online Racial Incident template. Why Starbucks is more conscious of racism than Rachel Dolezal! Forty percent of its workforce is a minority of some kind.

    Accusing Starbucks of racism is like accusing 7/11 of banning turbans inside the store.

    This is the first instance of Starbucks joining the system–wide shutdown trend, but not the first time Starbucks has signaled its virtue. Earlier, in a hysterical over–reaction to Ferguson and Black Lives Matter, corporate chairman Howard Schultz wanted a “frank conversation on race” and instructed baristas to write “Race Together” on the customer’s coffee cup. It became such a farce the idea was quickly dropped.

    Starbucks will probably pattern its shutdown on the model established by Chipotle. The illegal sanctuary and restaurant shut down for employee training after repeated outbreaks of customer diarrhea. The Chipotle workforce was told that here in the US everyone washes their hands after a bathroom trip. At the Starbuck’s session I’m assuming employees will learn that here in the US everyone is a racist.

    Schultz and Starbucks are so fearful of being accused of ‘privilege.’ If it weren’t for the unfortunate social connotations, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Schultz ordered his white employees to wear blackface just to atone.

    And make no mistake, atonement for Starbucks is coming and the company may not survive.

    After the shutdown session no employee with a rating of IV or higher on the Fitzpatrick skin tone scale will call the cops on a minority ‘customer’ for any offense. Minority managers can see which way the wind blows, too. Soon this will escalate to refusing to call the cops for any ‘customer’ for any offense short of murder. They’ll see what happened to the manager in Philadelphia — fired and scapegoated — listen to the moralizing by Schultz and will conclude Starbucks is now Times Square circa 1988.

    I’ve never liked the pretentiousness that permeates Starbucks. I’m secure in my manhood. I don’t require coffee to be extra–strong and extra–bitter to prove my toughness like the beta males and alpha–females that frequent the bistro. I predict their brand commitment will erode quickly as Starbucks goes from an upscale coffee bistro to a San Francisco public library.

    Schultz’s stores will now function as the concession stand in a homeless encampment.

    Already the American Mirror reports a black man who calls himself “Hotep Jesus” waltzed into a Starbucks and demanded free coffee reparations, “I heard you guys don’t like black people, so I came to get my Starbucks reparations voucher.” And he got it.

    KTLA had a story about a Southern California Starbucks. A man reposted a video — made in January — where he contends he was denied the code to the bathroom because he was black. This won’t be a problem when homeless move in, they are very flexible when it comes to bowel movements.

    After the staff undergoes Schultz’ “unconscious bias training” store rules will go out the window. I’m sure a handful of customers will cling to their ‘white privilege’ and place an order, assuming they can make their way past the shopping carts, backpacks, discarded syringes and Hefty lawn & leaf bags. Getting their order is something else entirely. Hearing their name called over the random shouts, boom boxes and urgent entreaties from panhandlers may prove quite the challenge.

    Conservatives and Christians won’t have to worry about boycotting Starbucks ever again. Corporate will have driven off all the business without our assistance.

    I’m going to enjoy watching the feeding frenzy. It’s going to be fun. And God help the clueless employee that puts the brownies on the bottom row of the display case and the corn muffins on top.

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    Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic, entertaining and funny keynote speaker for corporate, non–profit and governmental organizations. In addition to his speaking and consulting, Shannon is an editorial page columnist for Virginia’s News & Messenger. As consultant to The Israel Project, he has made a number of trips to Israel where he worked closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in their efforts to promote a positive image of Israel. Shannon has also conducted media and message training workshops for MFA and Israeli Defense Forces spokespersons along with representatives of various non–governmental organizations. During the UN Court trial in The Hague, Shannon worked closely with the MFA in its international media outreach. Shannon teaches message development, crisis communication and public relations for The University of Tennessee – Chattanooga Command College, conducts the political advertising and message section of The University of Virginia's Sorenson Institute and he lectures on message development, politics and lobbying for The Police/Fire Labor Institute. He is a regular speaker on political commercials, crisis communication and public relations for Campaigns & Elections magazine. He has also addressed the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, National League of Cities, conducted seminars for Information Management and The University of Arkansas – Little Rock and performed as the keynote speaker for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Shannon’s client list includes SAIC; United National Congress (Trinidad & Tobago); Royal Castle, Ltd.; New Generation Imaging; Dry–Clean Depot; Texas Medical Assn.; American Medical Assn.; American Medical Assn. PAC; Indiana State Police Alliance; Minneapolis Federation of Police; St. Paul Police Federation; Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance; The Peterson Companies; Gleaning for the World; various political candidates and elected officials. The work Shannon has done in the radio and television arena has been recognized for both creativity and effectiveness. He is a multiple first place winner in the American Association of Political Consultants Pollie awards. Shannon won back–to–back first place Silver Microphone awards for radio commercials. He is a three–time winner of the prestigious Gold statue at the Houston International Film Festival. Shannon won first place in the Vision Awards for television. He has also won consecutive Silver Microphone awards for best campaign.

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