The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Racism on a Cup of Coffee

May 28, 2018

Starbucks had a new incident of racism after a Latino worker discovered a racial slur written on his coffee order. The worker ordered two iced coffee drinks, a few weeks ago, at a Starbucks in La Cañada Flintridge, a northeastern city in Los Angeles County. When asked by a Starbucks employee, the Latino worker identified himself as Pedro. But, both drinks came with the word “beaner” written on the cups.

“It’s an offensive word used towards Latinos,” said Pedro to the news reporters. The manager of the Starbucks store later went to where Pedro works, offering free coffee and $50 gift cards. He refused them, explaining “I didn’t accept it because it’s like an insult overall.”

This racist insult happened just over a month after two black men were arrested for only sitting at a Starbucks store in Philadelphia, waiting for a business meeting. In response to this previous racist incident, Starbucks declared a day of nationwide racial bias training, planning to close more than 8,000 locations on May 29 for employees to receive racial bias education.

But, as the recent coffee-cup slur indicates, such declarations and plans did not prevent a new racist behavior from showing its ugly head again within a very short time.