A Black, female Starbucks executive is speaking out on racial profiling as another location comes under fire for discrimination.
After the CEO of Starbucks has issued a statement and a video apologizing and taking responsibility for an incident where two Black men were arrested at a Philadelphia Starbuck while waiting for a friend, the Chief Operations Officer is also sharing her thoughts on the matter.
During an interview with NPR, Rosalind Brewer, Starbucks COO, shared her perspective on the incident as both a Starbucks employee and a Black mother.
“Just watching that video was quite painful. As an African American executive myself with a 23-year-old African American son, it was very difficult to watch,” she told NPR.
“The police should not have been called in this situation and this was a teachable moment for all of us,” she said, reiterating the company’s message of corporate accountability. “We take full responsibility to make sure that our company remains great. Good companies acknowledge their mistakes and then make the necessary changes to become a better company.”
Of those changes, Starbucks said the manager who called the police on the Black men in the viral video is “no longer at the store.” And, according to The Washington Post, it appears that the Starbucks location may be temporarily closed.
When the shop does open again, Kevin Hart has some thoughts about what that location in particular needs to focus on to regain customer support.
Hart made it very clear that he does not support a boycott of the coffee chain itself, but he is pushing for the corporation to require better of their managers.
Meanwhile, Starbucks may be in for more trouble from a different location, where a Black male customer claims to have faced discrimination from employees who would not let him use the bathroom.
Starbucks has yet to speak out on this latest incident, but it is a perfect example of Brewer’s assertion that discrimination is company-wide issue to correct.
“It would be easy for us to say that this was a one-employee situation. But I have to tell you, it’s time for us, myself included to just take personal responsibility here and do the best we can to make sure that we do everything that we can,” she said. For instance, unconscious bias training is critical and top of our list. One of the things we want to make sure happens in this situation. We’ll have to move forward from this and learn from it.”
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