Tuesday, September 6

STARBUCKS' "THE WAY I SEE IT" CAMPAIGN

I'm not a Starbucks customer. Oh, I'm an inveterate coffeee drinker (3-4 big mugs a day), but even when I traveled a lot on business I avoided their high-priced brand and the inevitable long lines at their airport venues. For awhile, my wife would buy Starbucks' coffee beans at Sam's Club and we'd use them in our fresh-ground coffee maker, but Starbucks was just too high in caffeine octane to suit her, so we switched.

I bore you with this prelude, because my younger brother just called me from an airport ... outraged.

By way of background, my brother is such a coffee-holic that he drinks it throughout the day, makes cup after cup of expresso when he's at home, and I suspect his idea of satisfying his sweet tooth is to eat coffee-flavored ice cream. He's a bona fide caffeine-addict. And, he loves Starbucks and has been a faithful customer. But, not anymore!

When he called his systolic blood pressure had gone through the roof. He had just purchased a Starbucks' latte and, incredulously-angrily, was reading to me a quote from the side of the coffee cup, which appeared under a green-inked headline: "The Way I See It #35" (here's an example, but of a different quote, I found via a Google search):

Today our schools are just as segregated as they were in 1969, the year after Martin Luther King died. Race is the biggest challenge we face and we have proven unequal to facing it.
The quote is attributed to Julian Bond of the NAACP.

My brother is livid (he's a conservative Republican and more right-of-center than I, albeit we're not all that far apart) and he told me when he gets back home from his business trip that he will be writing a letter to Starbucks' CEO. He also told me he'll never drink another cup of Starbucks again. I know my brother: a Starbucks' cup will never touch his lips again. Period! He believes in the power of the boycott more than Jesse Jackson.

For what it's worth, I thought at first he was pulling my leg. I didn't suspect for a minute that any successful corporation would risk marketshare with an in-your-face political campaign (real or perceived) and with a bold, Left-leaning transparency. But, while he was still on the phone, I did a Google search, and seems my brother and I may have been among the last to find out about Starbucks' brash politics.

The following is from a "Seattle Times" piece by Lornet Turnbull:

Starbucks says it was hoping to inspire old-fashioned coffee-house conversations when it introduced a campaign this year featuring the words of notable Americans on its coffee cups.

But at least a few of those words are sparking more discord than discussion.

A national Christian women's organization is accusing the Seattle-based coffee maker of promoting a homosexual agenda because of a quote by author Armistead Maupin, whose "Tales of the City" chronicled San Francisco's homosexual community in the 1970s and 1980s.

Maupin's quote — one of several dozen in "The Way I See It" promotion — says his only regret about being gay is that he repressed it for so long.

"I surrendered my youth to the people I feared when I could have been out there loving someone. Don't make that mistake yourself. Life's too damn short."

Does that give you a flavor of why my brother will be Sleepless-In-Baltimore tonight? True to his word, he'll be taking a page out of Meghan's book!

SOURCE: "WorldNetDaily" and "St. Petersburg Times"