Starbucks employees who were forced to attend an “unconscious bias training” last week are claiming that the day was actually just cop-bashing.
On May 30, Starbucks closed 8,000 stores for several hours to hold seminars for employees, after becoming embroiled in a race-tinged scandal in April after two African-Americans were arrested for trespassing after employees asked them to leave the cafe.
But if employees were hoping the training would confront the actual issue, they were disappointed.
“It felt like we were off task the entire time because we didn’t reflect on the situation itself,” said “Tina,” a black 18-year-old Starbucks employee, talking to Philadelphia Magazine.
“The training materials focused a lot on police brutality, which had nothing to do with the incident that happened,” Tina said. She added, “I was really disappointed when I walked out of there because I was expecting so much more.”
Another employee, referred to as “Jamie” by Philadelphia Magazine, confirmed that the actual event that caused the need for a “bias training” wasn’t even referenced.
Instead, employees were asked to complete a “journal” about their feelings about their own race, as well as questions about friends of different races and even their hair.
“It’s weird they focused so heavily on how we feel about our racial identity, because how is that going to help me deal with a homeless person using drugs in my bathroom?” asked Jamie.
“You’re a multi-billion dollar company, and you don’t have anything. It felt inconsiderate to bring about this event with no real way to attack the problems,” he added.