Thursday, November 30, 2023

Starbucks Facing Another PR Battle

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Martin Haglin
Martin Haglin
Martin Haglin was born and raised in Conneticut. Martin has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade having contributed to several large publications including the BBC World and CNET. As a journalist for Business News Ledger, Martin covers state news, Finance and human interest stories.

Just two weeks after Starbucks closed thousands of stores in the United States to educate its workers on how to prevent discrimination, a new chapter of racism occurred in one of its stores.

A barista in a store in La Cañada Flintridge, California, gave his client the order and on the receipt he wrote a racial insult.

Pedro, who asked not to be identified by his surname, asked for two coffees and received his order with the word ‘beaner’ (‘frijolero’) in both cups instead of his name, according to the user told NBC4, Telemundo 52.

“It is an offensive word used for Latinos, “he said.

Pedro does not believe that the insult was written by accident because the barista called him by his name once his order was ready.

Starbucks, in an attempt to compensate for what happened, offered Pedro a $ 50 card, but he did not accept it because he considered it an “insult in general.”

In a statement, the coffee chain said it is working to remedy the incident.

This comes at a time when the company is trying to cool tensions after the arrest of two black men in one of its coffee shops in Philadelphia in April, triggering accusations of racial discrimination against the chain.

Three years ago, Starbucks was mocked for trying to start a national conversation about race relations, by asking its employees to write the words “Races Together” in the coffee cups. The initiative, although it went badly, corresponded to the established efforts of the company to project a progressive and inclusive image.

Today, the fact that an employee calls a Mexican bean-cook returns to tarnish the name of the company.

‘Beaner’ is a derogatory term used in the United States to refer to Mexicans, similar to the term “gringo” used by Spanish speakers to refer to Americans.

It has its origin in that in Mexican food, beans (in English) are very common.

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