Tag Archives: post-racial society

Emil Guillermo: Haters will be haters? I’ll have my race conversation VENTI, please; Why racist “micro-aggressions” may necessitate Starbuck’s “micro-engagements.”

I know you’re grumpy in the morning. But is there really any reason for the backlash against a company that for once is trying to exhibit a little corporate responsibility?


When I first heard of CEO Howard Schultz’s idea, I at first was as snarky and as skeptical as the next guy. But his sincere belief of trying to change the country “one cup at a time” with an attempt to engage on race is pretty daring. And right.  When I think of the last racist transgression I encountered, it’s always some passing remark that no one thinks twice about. Except the person of color. They’re called “micro-aggressions.”

They’re really snap judgments. Racist ones.  And people of color experience them all the time. All the time.

How do you cut them off at the pass?

Maybe Starbucks’ “micro-engagements” are the best way?  No one expects you to go deep all the time on race. A little passing acknowledgement of the issue, may slowly nudge us all to a different level in the discourse. It just may build the empathy we should all be seeking. But it starts with conversation. Why wait for the next major race news story? Start with a small positive engagement.

You can always pass. Politely say, “No thanks.” But it’s an opportunity to chat while waiting. Or to chat while sitting at a table.

Go ahead and dis the idea. But that just says something about the “post-racial” society, doesn’t it?

But maybe this is progress. Suddenly, I’m seeing all these odd-coffee mates on the same side. Even The Nation has something negative and snarky to say about this.

Now this is odd: the left and the right on the same side on a race issue?  Are they steaming about not buying SBUX before the split? They might as well talk while having their venti latte.

See how to have a real race conversation in my piece here.


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