Starbucks Cut the ADL From Black Lives Matter Anti-Bias Training. Is Anti-Semitism to Blame?
Black Lives Matter activists, not content with Starbucks shutting down locations on May 29 to host an anti-bias training in response to an incident with police in Philadelphia, later pushed the company to drop the nation's most prominent Jewish defense group from that training. On Monday, Starbucks announced it would drop the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), one of America's most well-respected civil rights groups, from the training.
The ADL will still take an advisory role in Starbucks' long-term efforts to combat discrimination, but the group will not help develop the curriculum for Starbucks' mandatory anti-bias training, according to company spokeswoman Jamie Riley. This is peculiar, as the ADL has long taken a stand against police abuse, especially on racial issues.
Riley insisted that Starbucks was not caving to political pressure in dropping ADL from the curriculum. "We are architecting a multi-phase approach to addressing bias," she told POLITICO.
“When Starbucks asked for assistance, we agreed to help,” ADL spokesman Todd Gutnick told POLITICO. “As to whether Starbucks may or may not now want to utilize our expertise, you should ask them."
The Black Lives Matter movement has a long history of anti-Semitism. In 2016, the Movement for Black Lives, an umbrella of BLM-affiliated groups, accused the state of Israel of committing genocide. The ADL supports the state of Israel and a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Cat Brooks, co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project, told ABC News, "You can't be a piece of an anti-bias training when you openly support a racist, oppressive and brutal colonization of Palestine."
Indeed, many liberal activists have accused Israel of being a "white supremacist state," but Lonnie Poindexter, a black radio host who recently spent a week in Israel with a group of 30 African-American pastors, told PJ Media that "nothing could be further from the truth."
"We saw an Ethiopian community, it's really something to see," Poindexter said. He described meeting a group of "IDF [Israeli Defense Force] troops between 20 and 25 years old, all female, with a lieutenant who was a black Ethiopian Jew, with an AK strapped on her back."
Nonetheless, many BLM activists are dead-set against Israel, and against the ADL. Tragically, this seems to stem from anti-Semitism spread by Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the black supremacist group the Nation of Islam. Black Lives Matter joined a March protest in support of Farrakhan in Washington, D.C.
"So you are aware, Starbucks was on a decent track until they enlisted the Anti Defamation League [sic] to build their anti-bias training. The ADL is CONSTANTLY attacking black and brown people," Tamika Mallory, a Woman's March organizer and champion of the Black Lives Matter movement, tweeted. "This is a sign that they are tone deaf and not committed to addressing the concerns of black folks."