The coffee chain Starbucks announced Sunday that it would hire 10,000 refugees in the next five years. This spurred an immediate backlash as large numbers of the coffee giant’s customers took to social media to let known their intentions to boycott the company.
Starbucks and its ultra-progressive CEO Howard Schultz dreamed up the refugee-hiring ploy as a response to President Donald Trump’s executive order placing a temporary ban on immigration from seven jihadist-hotbed nations.
A letter from Schultz to Starbucks employees stated:
“We are living in an unprecedented time, one in which we are witness to the conscience of our country, and the promise of the American Dream, being called into question.”
Some of the responses on social media questioned the company’s priorities in hiring foreign refugees when millions of Americans need jobs. One coffee lover posted on Starbucks Facebook page: “Upon hearing about your decision to hire 10000 refugees instead of Americans I will no longer spend any money at Starbucks.”
Some people questioned putting the desire to help refugees from countries that are from hotbeds of terrorism over the security of Americans. One such person tweeted: “When @Starbucks puts refugees before Americans safety
Time for me to #BoycottStarbucks”
Howard Schultz has a long history of mixing left-wing activism with Starbucks’ business. He openly endorsed Hillary Clinton for US president, with some reports indicating he would have been her choice for secretary of labor.
Schultz was the mastermind behind the controversial 2015 Starbucks campaign “Race Together,” which saw baristas write “Race Together” on beverage cups and attempt to engage customers in discussions on race. Needless to say, this push to have strangers discuss the third-rail topic of race at coffee shops didn’t go so well, ending after many tense moments, complaints, and controversy.
As with the Race Together campaign, it is unlikely that Schultz will admit his plan to hire thousands of refugees to be a mistake, no matter how it turns out.
In his Sunday letter to employees, Schultz struck a determined tone:
“I also want to take this opportunity to announce specific actions we are taking to reinforce our belief in our partners around the world and to ensure you are clear that we will neither stand by, nor stand silent, as the uncertainty around the new Administration’s actions grows with each passing day.”
Starbucks is not the only source of coffee around. Folks have plenty of other options. Howard Schultz may find that about half of the American people don’t particularly care for his strident, progressive social stands, and his desire to insert his personal politics into each cup his company sells.
What do you think of the Starbucks program of hiring 10,000 refugees? Share your opinions in the comments section.