Why we can’t run from Starbucks’ #RaceTogether campaign

Although over-taken by Starbucks decision to cancel the campaign, good piece by Tabitha Southey on the Starbucks #RaceTogether campaign:

As for the rather precious outcry that people are just trying to get their coffee, and so this is hardly the place for this kind of thing, you can still just get a coffee – but let’s not ignore the long and raucous tradition of discussing politics, philosophy and current affairs in coffee houses.

Coffee houses were once predominantly about discourse and debate and, yes, they too had owners who made money – yet still managed to be hotbeds of sedition. Cheer up, grumpy radicals, the French and American revolutions were both plotted in the Starbucks of their day.

I know that, when I walk down a street in New York with my wonderful sister-in-law, who is black, we’re walking on different streets. I know, of course, that racism is entrenched and systemic – and that I benefit from it every day.

No one’s suggesting that it is a little personal “issue” that can be solved by coffee talks, but we shouldn’t underestimate the power of small stories, of moments of connection, to provoke change.

Small stories are how we organize our world, and I find I can’t laugh for long at anything that encourages us to glimpse down the other’s road.

Why we can’t run from Starbucks’ #RaceTogether campaign – The Globe and Mail.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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