Starbucks Prepares to End Racism with '5/29' Racial Bias Training

Protestors demonstrate outside a Starbucks on April 15, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)

I’ll go into a Starbucks if I absolutely need to, like if my home WiFi conks out or I find myself being chased by wolves.* But I really hate the place. The only thing worse than the coffee is everything else. And now I’ve got even less reason to frequent the 17 Starbucks stores within a 5-mile radius of my house, because they’re being turned into tastefully lit homeless shelters whose staff is terrified to kick anybody out because it might go viral.


While I haven’t worked at Starbucks (yet), I can’t imagine it’s a very fun job. Retail sucks to begin with, and then you throw in a bunch of overcaffeinated yuppies and millennials? And now, actual hobos? And that music? Nooooo thank you.

As if all that isn’t dreadful enough, now things are about to get even worse for all those beleaguered baristas. Danielle Wiener-Bronner, CNN Money:

Starbucks has planned an elaborate racial bias training session for its employees.

On Tuesday afternoon, May 29, workers at each location will break into small groups to learn together. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, Chairman Howard Schultz and musician and activist Common will serve as virtual guides. Employees will talk about their own experiences, and watch a film about bias.

Do you want to see a preview of the training video? You’re curious, aren’t you? It’s gotta be exactly what you’re expecting it to be, right?


We’ll now take a quick break so you can get all that cringing out of your system.


Done? Whew. Yeah, all the money in the world can’t buy common sense, but it can buy a guest appearance by rapper and activist Common.

Starbucks is actually branding this indoctrination event as “5/29.” They’re not calling it “Don’t Be a Racist Day” or whatever. It’s just… 5/29. They’re 9/11’ing it. Now there’ll be pre-5/29 thinking and post-5/29 thinking. It’s the day everything changes forever. This is a pivotal moment in human history, brought to you by the Starbucks Corporation.


Prediction: No Starbucks employee in the entire world will be any more or less racist after this struggle session. Any Starbucks employee who is genuinely bigoted — whether it’s against black people, white people, or any other sort of people — will continue to be that way. And the other 99% of the staffers will resent being scolded for things they haven’t done, and/or grateful for a paid day off to dick around watching videos and talking about their feelings. Or at least what they want everybody to think their feelings really are.

How about this: Try making a cup of coffee that doesn’t taste like the runoff after a house fire. Start there, and maybe then work your way up to utterly transforming the nature of modern society. First things first, right?

As Kat Timpf points out, there’s an even less pleasant prospect waiting at your local Starbucks. Worse than homeless dudes shooting up in the bathroom, or being corrected on your pronunciation of “Venti.” Now you’ll have to deal with a bunch of… teenagers.

In the past, they’ve just walked around malls, but now, they finally have a place where they can sit down. They’ll be loud; they’ll be rambunctious; they’ll be talking about Justin Bieber. They’ll be using all of the tables to spin their fidget spinners, and you won’t be able to make it in and out of a store without being in the background of one of their Snapchat videos.


And if a barista tries to kick them out and give you a moment’s peace, it’ll be national news. Starbucks will need to shut down all the stores again for another 5/29, on some date other than 5/29. And nobody will learn anything, and nothing will change. Repeat ad infinitum.

And through it all, Dunkin Donuts will still have better coffee.



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