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Friday, June 1, 2018

Starbucks kept its word

Por qubano22005

Starbucks is keeping its word. The delicious coffees’ company provided training to more than 8,000 of its branches, some 175,000 employees, after the incident of racism a month ago in one of their places. As announced, the chain of cafeterias would offer a day of training to their workers so that this kind of events would not happen again. Last month in Philadelphia two black people were arrested and handcuffed for "committing the crime" of standing in front of one of the Starbucks coffee shops. The racial prejudices of the establishment manager caused him to call 911, because he did not trust the attitude of those citizens, who apparently had a job interview.

Ironically, the person who appointed the two men affirmed to have previously arranged meeting with them. However, the police officers ignored the statements and kept imprisoned the two citizens for six hours.

The idea of spending a day for this kind of activity was an initiative from the executive director Kevin Johnson, who in a note explained that he spent several days in the city of Pennsylvania, listening "to the community" and "learning" from mistakes. According to the executive, this is just one more step towards a "task that requires dedication at all levels".

Aware of this, Starbucks, one of the most popular coffee chains in the United States, decided to hold training workshops for its employees to eliminate "unconscious prejudices". This could threaten the image of the company. The very same company has admitted police departments and other organizations work with racial stereotypes.

Starbucks in addition to this training announced that workshops on gender and other social issues are also scheduled for their staff. The sessions will include personal reflections, exploration of feelings and mental exercises.

It is very common that this kind of events takes place in the United States, due to the constant bombardment of subliminal and stereotypical messages against minorities particularly since the big stations are controlled by the predominant and supremacist ethnic groups, that is, whites, Americans and middle-high class.

According to the Institute of Perception, a consortium of researchers that advises Starbucks, in the American population there is a high index of unconscious prejudices, which are those in which cultural and contextual knowledge influence their projection regarding different topics such as race. "A common example is to associate blacks with criminal behavior", the specialists said. In statements by the arrested, both held the view that it was natural to be outside a Starbucks establishment without buying anything, just for the sake of having a good time. But apparently, the color of the skin and the social stratum determine to a large extent whether or not it will be a pleasant time for those who sit outside the cafeterias of the franchise.

Since the arrival of Donald Trump to the presidency, the racial manifestations have increased. In addition, there are allegations of racist acts in restaurants and other service businesses. It seems that racial, ethnic and economic biases underlie on most complainants who have no qualms about calling the emergency service.

Other retail chains such as Walmart and Target also have training on racial issues. Meanwhile, Nordstrom has committed to conduct training on racial discrimination after three black teenagers were accused of theft without being real the imputation in one of their establishments.