It’s easy to tease Starbucks for its response to the despicable behavior of a store manager in Philadelphia weeks ago who called the cops on two men sitting and talking. Two Black men who were promptly cuffed and arrested for the crime of sitting and talking together while Black. Closing thousands of stores for a few hours so employees could got through an “anti-bias training” can be written off as PR. OK, it was that in part, but compare that response to the autocratic owners of the National Football League teams—“Shut up and play ball”—and note the difference. I think Starbucks’ move did something more, and a lot of folks did in fact engage.
1) This is not “the beginning” of the conversation—the conversation about race in this land began in 1492, and took a sharp turn in 1619, another in 1865, and on and on: 1954, 1956, 1968, 2008, 2016, 2017, 2018. So while not the start, the conversation continues, as it should. Join in.
2) Bias, bigotry, stupid and prejudiced thinking and behavior should be discussed, understood, and opposed. But that’s no substitute for working to disrupt and destroy the well-spring of bigotry: the SYSTEM of white supremacy itself.
If you want to be an anti-racist person for real, join the movement against mass incarceration and for prison abolition, against militarized and occupying police forces and for community control of the cops, against school segregation and school closings and for liberatory education as a human right…and on and on.