To encourage discussions about race relations in the United States, Starbucks has asked its baristas to write #RaceTogether on coffee cups and engage in serious conversations with customers.
Turns out that’s the last thing people a bunch of disgruntled people want first thing in the morning while waiting for their first jolt of caffeine.
CEO Howard Schultz describes the initiative as “an opportunity to begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive society – one conversation at a time.”
He organized an internal meeting back in December in which employees shared stories and discussed all the recent shootings and events which inspired protests and riots from Ferguson to New York.
The company held similar forums around the country over the past few months, and now they’ve decided to extend this initiative out to their customers through the “Race Together” initiative.
Despite all the good intentions behind the campaign, it has turned into somewhat of a joke on Twitter.
After the backlash, Starbucks’ senior vice president of communications, Corey duBrowa, eventually deleted his Twitter account, which is not a good sign.
“I was personally attacked through my Twitter account around midnight last night and the tweets represented a distraction from the respectful conversation we are trying to start around Race Together,” he told Business Insider.
Here are some of the responses on Twitter that Starbucks likely did not see coming: