After coffee-giant Starbucks hit the headlines for first arresting two African-American men for apparently no reason and later barring a black man from using the café’s restroom, the company decided to conduct a racial bias training.
The popular coffeehouse chain closed more than 8,000 of its stores across the country so an estimated 175,000 employees could undergo anti-bias training. It also announced a new policy to open its bathrooms to all, even those who don’t plan on purchasing anything.
However, not everyone seemed too thrilled about the Starbucks’ updated policy of allowing non-customers to sit in the stores and use its restrooms.
For instance, NBC’s host Megyn Kelly lashed out at the coffee-giant for its latest stance.
“They’re allowing anyone to stay and use the bathroom even if they don’t buy anything, which has a lot of Starbucks’ customers saying, ‘Really?'” Kelly remarked during her show. “Because now the Starbucks are going to get overwhelmed with people and is it really just a public space or is it not?”
Though the former Fox News anchor didn’t explicitly speak against the anti-bias training in effect, Kelly did dispute with the policy over concerns it would overwhelm Starbucks with non-customers.
“The part of this that’s getting lambasted is now you don’t have to buy anything to go into the Starbucks,” she added. “You don’t have to buy anything to use the restroom. And so paying customers are now complaining.”
Kelly was accompanied by PBS host Amy Holmes and journalist Jenna Bush Hager on her show "Megyn Kelly Today."
One of them added in to her rebuke of the coffee-chain’s strategy to combat bigoted behavior.
“Starbucks may becoming a magnet for people who want to exploit and take advantage of this new policy,” said Holmes.
On the other hand, journalist and former President George W. Bush’s daughter had a different approach towards the matter.
“I see the other side of it,” Bush Hager explained. “I think some of these people don’t have places to go. I’ve seen people sit in our local Starbucks here in New York City that are homeless, that don’t have another place.”
The NBC host soon interrupted, as she apparently believed such a compassionate act wasn’t really necessary.
"There are places for the homeless," Kelly said. "In New York City they’re pretty good about providing churches for homeless to go and get meals and so on. There’s a question about whether a commercial establishment is that place. Do you really want to deal with a mass of homeless people or whoever is in there, they could be drug addicted, you don’t know."
The NBC host was soon called out on Twitter for her insensitive remarks.
@megynkelly - I find racist, uptight white folks who think they’re in danger of being in contact with lesser-than people and somehow ruined - those people can stay OUT of Starbucks thanks - they’re the WORST— Melissa Murray (@espressomama3) May 30, 2018
Dear Ms. @megynkelly - When you gotta go, you gotta go. In my case, I'm grateful Starbucks didn't require me to buy coffee before they let me use their restroom, as time was of the essence. We fellow non-homeless lawyers know what this means. More grace and compassion, please. https://t.co/Cn6EBF5Dqz— hil.i.am (@hilaryluros) May 29, 2018
Megyn Kelly should be included in the Starbucks training— Marley Car (@marley_car) May 30, 2018
@megynkelly Here's a helpful guide for you, since you're so concerned over the Homeless descending, upon your precious, caucasion/homeless free @Starbucks... (Turns out, we're all human, and look the same. Who would've thought?!) Do u even physically, go to Starbucks? pic.twitter.com/0tg9ugRcwz— ??Reverse??Midas??Touch (@ChrisDEnHd1) May 30, 2018
Megyn Kelly complaining about homeless using a @Starbucks restroom is classic right wing selfish disgusted short-term thinking. Without public restrooms, we get smelly sidewalks from urine everywhere. We should be happy a corporation has stepped up to provide free restrooms.— #StillNotEqual (@SoapboxO) May 29, 2018
Moreover, apart from the company’s latest policy, Kelly also had a problem with rapper Common’s participation in Starbucks’ nationwide racial bias training.
“I’m just saying, you know, if we’re going to hold up somebody as an example to teach on bias, maybe we should be sensitive to that person’s entire record,” she said, explaining he had a history of writing controversial lyrics about LGBT people and women for years before turning into a social justice activist.
Banner Image Credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar