Another day and another racist incident happened at Starbucks Coffee. So much for that companywide anti-bias training.
NBC affiliate WLBT reports that an employee at a Starbucks in Annapolis, Maryland has been suspended after they allegedly printed the word “Monkey” on a Black woman’s order. The incident occurred on November 19 at the location at the Annapolis Mall. Customer Monique Pugh received her drink and was shocked to find the inflammatory word where her name should be. She believes that this was racially motivated, as she was the only Black customer in the store at the time.
“If you didn’t hear my name, you should have said, ‘Excuse me, can you repeat yourself?’ Not once did she do that. She labeled me what she wanted to label me,” Pugh said.
The store’s operator, Impeccable Brands, issued a statement saying that the “label was made in error.” Nonetheless, in a letter to Pugh, they apologized and said the employee involved has been suspended, pending further investigation. They also pledged that with additional training, this will never happen again. (Yeah, we’ve heard that before.)
Pugh, rightfully, calls BS on the apology. “To say you’re taking the necessary steps to make sure that word isn’t put on any more customers’ drinks, it’s like, ‘What were you doing before?’” she said. “And the fact that they keep saying it was an honest mistake. So, now, it’s an honest mistake and a labeling error?”
Pugh also calls out the fact that a Starbucks spokesperson clarified that there are Starbucks-operated stores and licensed stores, like the one in Annapolis. That part is irrelevant. “It’s triggering because it’s basically like, ‘OK, this occurred in our store, but we’re wiping our hands clean.’ Maybe [Starbucks] corporate does need to get involved.”
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