Seattle, WA – Starbucks has excluded the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish anti-hate group, from contributing to its upcoming company-wide daylong anti-bias training session.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) will now only play an advisory role in the company’s goal to combat discrimination, said Starbucks Spokeswoman Jaime Riley, according to Politico. But the ADL will not help develop the curriculum for Starbucks’ May 29 mandatory anti-bias training, as was originally planned.
“When Starbucks asked for assistance, we agreed to help,” ADL Spokesman Todd Gutnick said, according to Politico. “As to whether Starbucks may or may not now want to utilize our expertise, you should ask them.”
Riley said Starbucks did not drop the ADL from its mandatory anti-bias training because of political pressure.
“We are architecting a multi-phase approach to addressing bias,” Riley said in an email to Politico.
“We have a lot of amazing advisers, and we also realized this can’t be a one-time thing,” Riley told Politico. “The training on [May] 29 can’t be the beginning and end.”
Black Lives Matter activists immediately criticized Starbucks including the ADL, according to Politico.
“The ADL is CONSTANTLY attacking black and brown people,” Women’s March organizer Tamika Mallory tweeted, according to Politico. “This is a sign that they are tone deaf and not committed to addressing the concerns of black folk.”
Mallory had called for a boycott of Starbucks in April after learning the coffee company was including the ADL in its anti-bias training.
Politico reported that the Washington chapter of Black Lives Matter tweeted that the ADL was “ultra pro-cop.”
In February, Mallory attended a speech by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan in which he said, “the Jews have control over” the FBI. the Nation of Islam has been designated a hate group by the SPLC.
Cat Brooks, Co-Founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project said in April she agreed that the ADL should not be included in the anti-bias training.
“You can’t be a piece of an anti-bias training when you openly support a racist, oppressive and brutal colonization of Palestine,” said Brooks, according to KGO-TV.
In 2016 the largest coalition of Black Lives Matter groups took a strong anti-Israel stance and issued a statement which said, “Israel is an apartheid state with over 50 laws on the books that sanction discrimination against the Palestinian people.”
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The anti-bias training was announced following the arrest of two black men at a Starbucks in Rittenhouse Square in Philadelphia.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson made PR announcements about apologizing to the men, who said they were waiting for a business associate when police asked them to leave the restaurant because they hadn’t purchased anything.
Johnson will shut 8,000 stores for a day to train his employees on unconscious bias.
His broad and very public statements have made it clear that in the future, police should not be called to remove anyone from a Starbucks, anywhere, ever again unless it was a very extreme situation.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross apologized to the men and the entire city for not understand that “everybody knew” that you didn’t have buy something to stay in a Starbucks all day long, something that not everybody does know.
Commissioner Ross announced that a new policy was going into effect that would ensure police “don’t get manipulated by any employee into extracting anyone from a business that shouldn’t be.”
Two men who were arrested will receive paid college educations and an undisclosed financial sum from Starbucks, the company announced on Wednesday.
In addition to the financial settlement, Starbucks said they would have “continued listening and dialogue between the parties and specific action and opportunity,” The Washington Post reported.
In an agreement with the city, separate of the payday from Starbucks, the city of Philadelphia agreed to pay Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson $1 each, and granted their request that the city provide $200,000 in funding to assist the city’s young entrepreneurs, FOX News reported.
The men will not receive any money from the grant, which was described as being a “pilot program for city public high school students with aspirations of becoming entrepreneurs,” city officials said in a statement, according to FOX News.
The city also agreed to have Nelson and Robinson involved in the development of a committee that would distribute the grant funds, and asked the men and their attorneys to submit ideas to the city solicitor regarding other ways Philadelphia could promote equality, The Washington Post reported.
“Messrs. Nelson and Robinson have decided not to pursue a lawsuit against the City,” the statement read, according to FOX News. “Instead, they approached the City and agreed to release the City and its employees from any and all claims for a payment of $1…to each of them.”
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he was glad to have the potential lawsuit resolved.
“Rather than spending time, money, and resources to engage in a potentially adversarial process, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson approached the City and invited us to partner with them in an attempt to make something positive come of this,” Kenney said on Wednesday.
According to ABC News, the men’s fully-funded college education opportunity will be provided through Starbucks’ partnership with Arizona State University.
“We thought long and hard about it, and we feel like this is the best way to see that change that we want to see,” Robinson said of the settlements. “It’s not a right-now thing that’s good for right now, but I feel like we will see the true change over time.”