Although the public supported Black Lives Matter on its social media channels and in a press release, an internal memo to employees obtained by BuzzFeed News made it clear that Starbucks would not allow the same baristas to do so.
In a memo, Starbucks said it would not allow employees to wear “Black Lives Matter” material because “there are agitators who misrepresent the main principals of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement – and in some cases, intentionally rethinking them to strengthen separation. ”
Starbucks encourages employees to wear clothing that celebrates LGBTQ rights for Pride Month: The company delivers those items to baristas.
An internal memo was sent around after employees asked the question to corporate leaders. They noted that pride paraphernalia was allowed because the company decided, and Starbucks did not provide Black Lives Matter pins or T-shirts.
Starbucks did not immediately respond to CNN Business̵
7; request for comment. But a company spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the policy remains in place as it is needed to “create a safe and welcome” environment.
The company has a complicated history with racial bias. In 2018 it temporarily closed 8,000 company-owned cafes and ordered 175,000 employees to know and train about racism after a white Starbucks employee called police over two black customers. Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz said the incident was “understandable” in full-length newspaper ads.
George Floyd’s death in police custody has sparked nationwide and international protests and major companies have spoken out in support of racial injustices, including Starbucks. The company said public on Twitter
it has donated $ 1 million to organizations that “promote equitable and more inclusive equity and communities only.”
Starbucks also posted a story on its press website featuring a cafe damaged by vandals during a protest, emphasizing employees who serve coffee to other business owners, journalists, first responders and protesters.