Socially loud! Can you hear us?


National Black Justice Coalition: “Boycott Starbucks”


NEW YORKIn response to the leaked memo to Starbucks employees that forbid employees from wearing clothing or accessories that affirmed that Black Lives Matter, David Johns, the Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) released the following statement:

“Boycott Starbucks. It was just two years ago that racism and anti-Blackness at Starbucks led to the arrests of Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson and the closing of 8,000 stores for an afternoon of ‘racial-bias education.’ Starbucks has learned nothing.

“Starbucks continues to coddle white customers and their feelings instead of implementing clear and consistent policies that honor the value of human lives—Black Lives to be specific.

“As a man who is both Black and same gender loving, I find the Starbucks stance on acknowledging only part of my humanity beyond puzzling.  For anyone who is confused, follow me.  Starbucks sells Pride cups and gift cards.  Baristas have been photographed wearing pride pins; however, standing in solidarity with Black lives crosses the line?

“Starbucks has a policy that in practice means that if you are Black and queer you can celebrate the fight for queer justice, liberation, and pride because it isn’t ‘political.’  However, if you’re Black and queer you cannot wear a Black Lives Matter shirt or pin to work because it’s ‘political’ to celebrate the same fight for queer justice, liberation, and pride.

“Celebrating queer liberation is political. Period. Full stop. It always has been and will remain that way until there are no laws protecting discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual identity, gender orientation, and gender expression. 

“To be clear the fight for equality, to not be traumatized by the systems that have been developed to support and enable community, to not be murdered by police officer and then tried in the court of public opinion for the loss of our own life, is political no matter if one uses the symbol of the pride flag, the Black pride flag, or Black lives matter.

“This latest reminder that Starbucks doesn’t value Black dollars or Black lives is added to a growing list of examples of anti-Blackness and is made all the worse because the company just issued a public statement proclaiming to support BLM—the hypocrisy. The lies.”

“It’s worth noting that before hitting send on this release Starbucks released a half hearted apology attempting to walk back their anti-Blackness. Too little. Too late.  Starbucks has issued similar statements before–often after feeling the pressure appropriately applied to companies and citizens enacting anti-Black policies. Starbucks should mute their social media accounts and save the fake apologies while they restructure the C-Suite with talented, diverse leaders who can ensure they don’t continue to make these very public, very problematic, and very preventable mistakes again.  The time for Starbucks to stop faking and to do the work to become anti-racist is now.” 

While boycotting Starbucks here are Black Owned Coffee Shops to support:

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.