Starbucks founder Howard Schultz has ordered the baristas — that’s what Starbucks calls its store clerks — to begin serving coffee with a spoonful of social enlightenment. It’s called “Race Together.” Starting last Friday, baristas will be encouraged to write “Race Together” on coffee cups “to facilitate a conversation between you and our customers” about their “race journey.”
This is more than just snooty, presumptive pandering. This is madness. There is nothing in America that will get you into more trouble that trying to have a conversation about race. Those who claim to want a “conversation” about race don’t really want one, at least not an honest one. They want a monologue where they can preen their supposedly enlightened racial attitudes before everyone else. Most times what they believe about race is not very enlightened because it is never about the real issues of race problems in America.
I don’t know what Howard Schultz thinks can ever come of his baristas trying to open a discussion on race with a customer who just wants a cup of coffee to drink while minding her own business and bothering no one. In too much of America that seems more like a way to get some coffee thrown in your face.
An honest conversation about race would ask the sort of questions Bill Cosby was asking. But asking those questions is guaranteed to stop the conversation and get you called a racist. We are not allowed to ask questions that have anything to do with Black responsibility for their own problems.
Being an intrepid, iconoclastic and irreverent dissenter from the American Zeitgeist, I’d like to state a few of the questions that should be asked in an honest conversation about race in America but cannot ever be asked without risking being called a racist. Well, here goes anyway:
- Why is the crime rate among Black Americans so much higher than among White Americans?
- Why do so many Black fathers refuse to be involved in the lives of their children?
- Why do so many Black women have children with men they know will not stick around to help them raise those children?
- Why do so many Black kids become gang members?
- Why are so many armed robberies committed by Blacks against Whites?
- Why do so many Black kids attack White people in “wilding” incidents?
- Why is it OK for Blacks to use the “N” word when no one else can?
- What about all those White teachers who are denying Black children a decent education by being against school choice?
- Who do Black kids think they are impressing with their pants down to their knees?
- What about Black racism? Why do so many Blacks openly hate White people?
- Why did so many Blacks cheer when O.J. Simpson got away with killing two White people?
- Why is it that so many Asians who came to America with nothing, not even speaking the English language, have excelled academically and prospered economically while so many Blacks, 150 years after the end of slavery, continue to fail academically and languish in poverty despite affirmative action and generous social welfare programs?
These are all questions guaranteed to get anyone who asks them in trouble. There are racial components to lots of problems in America and demanding answers to these questions could be the beginning of some solutions. But the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons make their living by making sure these questions are not allowed to be asked. White liberals like Barack Obama and Eric Holder might not be depending on monetary gain but they derive status and psychic rewards from pretending these are not real issues. Thus forms an unholy alliance among the race baiters and the feel-good liberals to continue the sham of the “race journey.” Real solutions to race problems are neither desired nor to be allowed so long as these people continue to have their way.