News & Politics

What? Starbucks Bans Employees From Supporting Black Lives Matter at Work

Protesters loot and vandalize a Starbucks as they clash with police officers during a protest in downtown Los Angeles, Friday, May 29, 2020. Protests have been erupting all over the country after George Floyd died earlier this week in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)

In a surprising corporate twist, Starbucks, the famous social justice organization that sometimes sells coffee with its endless moralizing, has put out a company-wide announcement that its employees may not wear Black Lives Matter paraphernalia while at work, The Hill reported.

An internal memo sent to Starbucks employees last week specifically warned staffers against wearing accessories or clothes bearing messages in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The memo, obtained by BuzzFeed News, reminds staffers that such messages are prohibited under the company’s policy against accessories that “advocated a political, religious or personal issue.”

Employees who regularly don rainbows for Pride Month are rebelling and complaining to the press that they are being silenced by a big bad corporation. But is that corporation just realizing what some of us knew already about the organization called Black Lives Matter?

A video from a top company executive reportedly sent with the memo warned employees that “agitators who misconstrue the fundamental principles” of the movement could seek to “amplify divisiveness” if the messages are displayed in stores.

“We know your intent is genuine and understand how personal this is for so many of us. This is important and we hear you,” the memo read.

A company spokesperson confirmed the memo’s authenticity to BuzzFeed and said that such messages are prohibited “to create a safe and welcoming” environment at Starbucks locations.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

Could Starbucks be coming to the conclusion that the sentiment, “black lives matter,” which literally no one disagrees with, is decidedly different from the organization, Black Lives Matter, which is a thinly-veiled Marxist political movement? PJ Media’s Stacey Lennox laid out the divisive political nature of the BLM organization and its goals aren’t what anyone would consider mainstream in America.

While the language has been softened a bit, the Black Lives Matter agenda is still explicitly Marxist. They actually call affiliated groups “comrades.” Nothing in what they believe mentions America, rather a global network of black people. Their beliefs are also explicitly separatist, with the goal of communal structures created by and for blacks.

This includes the disruption of “Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.”

It is also militant in its support of the gay and trans black community. From its list of beliefs:

  • We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence.
  • We foster a queer‐affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual (unless s/he or they disclose otherwise).

Blacks have lagged every other demographic group in supporting gay marriage. It just broke 50% last year. According to the Pew Religious Landscape Study, they are also some of the most religiously oriented Americans in terms of belief, participation and the comfort derived from their practice. I somehow doubt that the radical notion of dismantling heterosexuality as the predominant sexual orientation aligns very well with the religious orientation of the entire black population.

The Black Lives Matter organization’s stated goals aren’t even things that most black people want. I hate to get too excited that a company like Starbucks realizes this. Most likely, whoever wrote the memo will be canceled within the week and the stores will send new memos requiring all employees to wear Black Lives Matter tee-shirts as the new uniform. But for the moment, sanity has overcome the mob mentality and I might celebrate its temporary assertion in corporate America with an icy cold Frappuccino.

 

Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo,” and host of The Fringe podcast. Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter