The New Yorker Interviews Two Starbucks Employees Who Took the Training

The New Yorker sends an intrepid reporter to report back on how the StarbucKKKs racism training session went (“What Two Starbucks Employees Made of the Company’s Ant-Bias Training”). He interviews two baristas with the company. They appear to be a representative cross-segment of the avg Starbucks employee and (possibly) customer:

The first, a barista in his sixties, who asked not to be named, described himself as “a white Jewish guy, living in a very blue town in a very blue state,” by which he meant Massachusetts. “I’m fascinated by the idea that all eight thousand stores are getting the same four-hour training,” he said, before heading in to the store where he’s worked for five years, a place mostly patronized, he said, by “older Jewish regulars.”…

The second employee I spoke to was Jaime Prater, a forty-two-year-old Starbucks shift manager in Los Angeles, who identifies as biracial and gay

If places as progressive as this are full of invisible racism, just imagine how risible the rest of the country is.

The Jew Barista appears to have flunked the course:

The barista couldn’t think of an instance, during his Starbucks tenure, when he’d acted with bias, he said…

He added, “Do I know that I have bias? Absolutely. But I’m very conscious and aware of ethical stuff.”

He recalled a phrase repeated often during the training, “Become ‘color brave.’ ” He said, “I still don’t know what that means, exactly, to be honest.”

It means to be a wide open canvas, upon which POCs and corporate HR SJWs shall paint whatever they want.

The Gay Biracial Barista (named Prater) seems to have been more properly conditioned, but then again, he may have an unfair advantage, sorta like SAT questions with a cultural context that favors whites:

“Race is always on my mind, being biracial…”

Prater also acknowledged his own biases, such as when “I might have an issue with Jane Doe Caucasian Lady walking down the street, assuming she’s entitled.”

I’m pretty sure throwing around epithets like ‘Jane Doe Caucasian Lady’ is something the anti-racism class is designed to put an end to. But then again, maybe the opposite is true.

Both baristas feel that heightening their Extrasensory Anti-Bias Perception ought to come with a pay raise:

Prater thought that Starbucks deserved credit for “rolling out the red carpet and spending millions on training technology, paperwork, books, and all of these things.” But he still felt ambivalence, for other reasons. “The lowest-paid workers are taxed with giving the best face of the company, when no loyalty, no guaranteed hours are given to them,” he said. He added, “Even though it’s a really great first step, it’s a big ask for a taxed workforce: to tell people doing five things at once, at the lowest end of the totem pole, to also be extra racially sensitive. It almost seems unfair to me.”

On this, Prater and the barista in Massachusetts agreed. “When you’ve got a line of customers out the door,” the latter said, “how do you deal with whatever incident may be happening in the store at a given moment? It’s all a free-flowing theatrical event you’re trying to manage.”

Indeed! When there’s a long line of irate customers waiting for their triple mocha soy latte, who can be expected to simultaneously gauge when one particular customer you just asked “would you like some room for cream?” took this as an invasive, penetrative, racial slight?

Finally, there was this hoot:

There were transitional segments narrated by the rapper Common. “A number of people said, ‘What’s the deal with Common?’ ” the Massachusetts barista told me. “I know who he is, but I couldn’t tell you anything he’s done.”

I can tell you what he’s done: gotten free P.R.

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