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Starbucks Announces Permanent Closure Of Hundreds Of Its Stores

Source: Justin Sullivan / Getty


UPDATE (6/12/2020): 

A day after Buzzfeed broke the news that Starbucks sent a memo to its employees last week spelling out that they couldn’t wear anything at work in support of Black Lives Matter, the popular coffee chain has now reversed its decision.

In addition, according to Yahoo Finance, on Friday, Starbucks also announced that they are designing roughly 250,000 BLM t-shirts and other accessories as well.

“As we talked about earlier this week, we’re designing new t-shirts with the graphic below to demonstrate our allyship and show we stand together in unity,” Starbucks executives wrote in a letter to employees entitled “Standing together against racial injustice.”

The note added: “Until these arrive, we’ve heard you want to show your support, so just be you. Wear your BLM pin or t-shirt. We are so proud of your passionate support of our common humanity. We trust you to do what’s right while never forgetting Starbucks is a welcoming third place where all are treated with dignity and respect.”


ORIGINAL STORY: Starbucks Bans Employees From Wearing Anything Supporting Black Lives Matter (6/11/2020)

In the era where even Republican Senator Mitt Romney is out in the streets yelling “Black Lives Matter,” Nascar is banning the Confederate Flag and even Vogue EIC Anna Wintour is apologizing for mistreating her Black employees, it’s clear that white folks (and their brands) are afraid…very afraid.

And it’s about time.

But it appears that in even in this wave of #blackouttuesday and IG posts standing in solidarity with our lives, displays of public allyship aren’t for everyone (or every corporation). Enter Starbucks, who has banned all of their employees from wearing any paraphernalia or accessories showing support for Black Lives Matter.

According to the internal memo, obtained by BuzzFeed News, workers were reminded last week of the company’s policy against accessories that “advocated a political, religious or personal issue.” Yet, as multiple Starbucks employees pointed out, this policy isn’t enforced when it comes to LGBTQ equality.

“Starbucks LGBTQ+ partners wear LGBTQ+ pins and shirts, that also could incite and create violent experiences amongst partners and customers,” one Black trans employee told BuzzFeed. “We have partners who experienced harassment and transphobia/homophobia for wearing their pins and shirts, and Starbucks still stands behind them.”

In light of this news, people flocked to Twitter to express their feelings about the popular coffee chain’s questionable stance, pointing out that just a few years ago after a racist incident that went viral, the company closed stores to have racial-sensitivity training:

A company spokesperson confirmed the memo’s authenticity to BuzzFeed stressing that their only goal is “to create a safe and welcoming” environment at Starbucks locations.

Adding, “We respect all of our partners’ opinions and beliefs, and encourage them to bring their whole selves to work while adhering to our dress code policy.”

Perhaps, they are afraid that all the Karens will see BLM and flip out.


BEAUTIES: Perhaps this is the perfect time for y’all to find and frequent a local Black-owned coffee shop to get your latte fix instead.


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