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The 10 Starbucks questions about race that everyone doesn't want to talk about

Would you want to talk about these 10 questions over coffee?

We at Starbucks should be willing to talk about these issues in America. Not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are. ... [I]t is an opportunity to begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive society — one conversation at a time." — Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

In the winter of 2015, Starbucks launched a campaign called #RaceTogether.

They hoped it would help to build a more open dialogue about racial tensions in the United States.


So why did #RaceTogether draw so much anger and confusion?

You decide.

Here are the questions that were suggested to baristas:

My parents had __ friends of a different race.

I have __ friends of a different race.

My children have __ friends of a different race.

__ members of a different race live on my block or apartment building.

I most often talk to someone of another race:

__ at work

__ at church

__ at home

__ shopping

__ at school

In my Facebook stream, __% are of a different race.


In the past year, I have been to the home of someone of a different race __ times.

In the past year, someone of a different race has been in my home __ times.

At work, we have managers of __ different races.

In the past year, I have eaten a meal with someone of a different race __ times.

What do you think?

Was Starbucks setting a good example or just ignoring the larger nonconversation-based systems that keep racism alive and as problematic as ever?

Here's what some folks on the street in NYC have to say:

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


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