Congratulations, Internet haters! Well done, keepers of the one-true-way-to-talk-about-race!
If we don’t tamp down the backlash against Starbucks “Race Together” campaign, I fear that no major corporation will even try to talk about race again — for maybe 10 or 20 years.
Is that really what we want?
Look, I get it. Asking baristas to hold conversations about race is a lot to demand of already hard-working employees. Not to mention, the topic should probably be called “systematic racism,” not just “race.” And there are legitimate questions about what Starbucks could realistically hope to accomplish, here.
But for crying out loud! In the past 48 hours, racial justice activists have spilled more digital ink criticizing Starbucks for trying to fight racism than they have against other (actually racist) companies. The truth is that we cannot have it both ways. We cannot demand that companies address race, and then attack them when they try.