Starbucks has decided to exclude the Anti-Defamation League, a group whose mission is to fight anti-Semitism, from assisting with the mandatory anti-bias training scheduled for May 29. The coffee giant made the decision in response to pressure from African-American activists who took issue with ADL’s support of Israel and lack of involvement with the Black Lives Matter movement.
“The ADL is CONSTANTLY attacking black and brown people, said Tamika Mallory, an organizer of the Women’s March, in a tweet. “This is a sign that they are tone deaf and not committed to addressing the concerns of black folks.”
According to a report by Politico, co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project Car Brooks said she supported Mallory’s assessment, stating, “You can’t be a piece of an anti-bias training when you openly support a racist, oppressive and brutal colonization of Palestine.”
Starbucks scheduled the mandatory anti-bias training day in response to the arrest of two black men at a Starbucks in Philadelphia.
The men asked to use the restroom while waiting for a business associate to arrive but had not made a purchase.
Local law enforcement was called to the Starbucks, and the two men were arrested.
Video of the arrest spurred a public backlash, prompting numerous protests and the creation of the #BoycottStarbucks hashtag.
Kevin Johnson, the Starbucks CEO, responded to the incident, calling it “reprehensible, and apologizing for what occurred.
On April 17, the company announced that over 8,000 locations in the US would close so that employees could participate in training designed to present racial bias.
The curriculum was being designed as a joint effort between Starbucks and multiple anti-bias groups, initially including the ADL. While the ADL will remain in an advisory role as part of the company’s long-term goal to fight discrimination, it won’t participate in the development of the curriculum.