I went to Starbucks in Ferguson… not thinking Starbucks was a solution or an end all, but to witness their community engagement in action. On the surface everything was cool, employees were friendly. The community came out for the same reason I did, to see Starbucks community engagement in action. Elected leaders totally dropped the ball, residents were starved, look for and willing to accept anything.
I worked out of this Starbucks for about a week… lots of traffic from establishment Democrats and black elites, lots of photo opps, the Urban League claiming ‘mission accomplished’, you know the drill…
My emphasis was on people, residents, employees… all full of hope, all optimistic. The employees were optimistic, the community was optimistic but at the end of the day Starbucks moved on when the cameras moved on, this signature store faded into obscurity, no diff than any of the others.
Most folk already forgot it existed.
This is how they get us, with a temporary fix, feel good rhetoric, smiles for the camera, exaggerated action like closing 8000 stores to teach employees not to call the police on black people who ask to use the restroom. There are black people who view this as progress and preferable over building our own.