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Starbucks Is Sacrificing Itself On The Altar Of “Political Correctness”
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Starbucks Is Sacrificing Itself On The Altar Of “Political Correctness”

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This liberal corporation is sacrificing itself in order to satisfy “politically correct” liberal dogma that might turn out to even be too extreme for its own base.

Starbucks is turning into an American laughingstock after it announced that it will consider anyone who walks into its doors as a “customer” even if they don’t buy anything. This radical policy was promulgated in response to a recent scandal where two people were suspected of loitering in the store while they were actually waiting for a friend this entire time, with the regrettable incident taking on racial contours when it turned out that the men were African-Americans. The “customers” in question suspected that the store’s staff racially discriminated against them in presuming that they were loitering just because they were black, and the nationwide outrage that erupted in the US’ liberal metropolises scared the company into carrying out mandatory racial bias training for its staff all across the country.

In order to appease the liberal corporation’s activist base and stave off what they feared could be a “Black Lives Matter”-driven boycott, Starbucks unprecedentedly declared that anyone inside of its stores will be regarded as a “customer”, instantly turning thousands of locations across America into community spaces where anybody could potentially do anything. Social media reacted with its characteristic snark and many mocked the company for providing what could amount to free after-school child care, office space, toilets, and wifi, to say nothing of becoming a homeless shelter, illegal immigrant sanctuary, and drug dealing hub if people – as they’re prone to do in the US – take total advantage of this announcement .

Starbucks is already so scared of calling the cops on what its staff believed to be loitering African-Americans that they’re unlikely to initiate a police intervention against anyone who isn’t committing a violent crime inside their premises, meaning that all manner of non-violent misdemeanors and perhaps even felonies (if regular drug dealing inside of the café’s bathrooms occurs) could take place inside of the store with impunity, thereby encouraging an atmosphere that’s the total opposite of the inclusive family-friendly one that the company wants to cultivate. Liberal or not, the average person doesn’t want to be pay to be around annoyances (such as unattended teenagers) – or at worst, social riffraff (drug dealers and the homeless) – if they can help it, and opening Starbucks’ doors to these folks free of charge might eventually hit the company’s profits real hard.

To be clear, there has yet to be any proof as of the publication of this article that anyone has taken advantage of the company’s policy in the manner that was described above (or at least, that their actions went viral on social media), but given the cultural predisposition of most Americans regardless of color or creed to exploit well-intended policies no matter what they are or who’s offering them, it’s probably only a matter of time before this happens to some extent. This will surely weigh heavily on the heads of many potential and possibly even long-term customers who might worry that the pleasant experiences that they used to enjoy at their favorite coffee shop could become a thing of the past under this new policy because all that it usually takes is one bad experience to ruin everything for a customer.

Speculation about the future “clientele” of Starbucks aside (drug dealers, homeless, illegal immigrants, etc.), all of whom could previously spend time inside the store so long as they patronized it but now literally have a free pass to do so whenever and for however long as they please, it’s unavoidable that the company has crossed an unnecessary threshold in order to satisfy the extreme dogma of liberal “political correctness”. In this context, that’s the extreme fear of being boycotted by its own base for “daring” to “prejudge” or “assume” the reason behind why anyone entered their doors and are sitting there for however long they’d like without buying a single thing. Being called “racist” is one of the worst reputational attacks that a company can suffer, but Starbucks is overreacting to the latest scandal and potentially inconveniencing its most loyal customers.

The countless people who went to Starbucks and bought something in order to enjoy the atmosphere and do anything other than only drink coffee (hold meetings, pass time, use the internet, etc.) might feel offended that others can now do this for free after they already spent money in the past to purchase what had hitherto been regarded as a paying privilege. Offense breeds resentment and this could easily translate into people stay away from Starbucks as a result, thus hitting the company’s profit margins and ultimately harming the brand as a whole. Now that it went this far, however, it can’t exactly walk back its new policy without triggering the same riotous reaction from its liberal base that it wanted to avoid in the first place, which puts the company in a classic dilemma where it’s sacrificing itself on the altar of “political correctness” no matter what it does from here on out.

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution. 

Author: Andrew Korybko