Last week, Starbucks suspended its short-lived Race Together campaign conceived by Starbucks CEO Howard owardSchultz. The controversy over the idea of having the Starbucks baristas engage in a discussion about race with its customers was a bold move although I think it was an awkward ask for most of the staff.
He may have missed the mark when it came to implementation, but he was spot on in suggesting that most of us, if not all of us, can benefit from having a healthy conversation about RACE.
I attended three meetings in the past week when the question of race was essential to the discussion, but most of the people in the room were very uncomfortable about having an honest and engaging conversation. When someone says "let's talk about RACE" many of us feel that someone means let's talk about "racial problems" and that is where I think we get off track. Honest questions and answers from people of all colors and cultures is healthy, but we have to have the nerve to ask the right questions and be willing to have the patience and grace to listen to the answer.
Next week I will share my thoughts on the questions I think we need to ask. I love talking about race. Do you?