Article by Taylor Romano | esPResso Staff Writer
What is the name and story behind the barista spelling your name on a cup? On January 29, 2017 following President Donald Trump’s executive order to ban individuals from several predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz posted an open letter to the company’s online news blog.
This letter declared that Starbucks would make it their mission to hire 10,000 refugees in the next five years. Incorporated in the letter were current partnerships and initiatives Starbucks is a part of that contributes to helping those less fortunate in the community.
These partnerships and initiatives include DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), for which Starbucks reimburses each member’s necessary fee in order for them to continue being a part of the program. Additionally, the Starbuck’s past and present efforts to hire refugees have helped people in over 75 countries, including the United States. After opening 600 stores in 60 cities across Mexico, the company has continued to provide as much help possible to areas in need. This assistance consists of sourcing coffee from Mexico for three decades, building farmer support centers, donating more than $2 million towards supporting certain communities, and also donating over a million coffee trees. Lastly, Starbucks will continue to offer health insurance to those who are eligible.
Trump supporters are combating these decisions by boycotting the coffee franchise. They are continuing to defend non-immigrants, such as homeless veterans, who they feel are more deserving of these employment opportunities.
The perspective of Starbucks is seen as non-political but moreover supportive of those effected by government decisions. However, boycotters feel Starbucks is choosing a political stance against Trump and Republicans. They are left angry and taking to social media to voice their opinions against the chain.
According to Foxnews.com, a similar incident involving Starbucks occurred during the election period, criticizing the company with similar accusations. In 2016, fans of the then-president elect took to Starbucks, asking baristas to write “Trump” on their cups in a movement known as #TrumpCup. Some customers claimed to have been refused a #TrumpCup and accused the chain of suppressing their right to political expression.
Regardless of opinions, the CEO stands by his decision, concluding his letter with “We are in business to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time – whether that neighborhood is in a Red State or a Blue State; a Christian country or a Muslim country; a divided nation or a united nation. That will not change. You have my word on that.”