Corporate Intolerance and Starbucks

The company that I work for is very much committed to tolerance amongst it’s workforce and strives to ensure it doesn’t come across as some kind of political or moral arbiter. Which I think is perhaps the most sensible route for any company to take. So I’m surprised to see that the Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is using the Starbucks company to wade into such political waters.

Why does he have to take such an aggressively intolerant stance towards a large section of his customers, and even his shareholders? If Howard Schulz wants to project Starbucks as being generally supportive of gay ‘marriage’ then surely he could do that without taking up arms against those who don’t support such legislation?

He has crossed a line, not by using Starbucks to actively promote such an agenda but by opening up on those who don’t agree with such a move. He told shareholders at the annual shareholders meeting that Starbucks wants to “embrace diversity of all kinds,” he then moved on to tell a shareholder who personally supports traditional marriage that he should sell his shares and invest in some other company.


What message does that make Starbucks send to a large portion of it’s customer base? It’s certainly spawned a movement to boycott Starbucks, caused some to set up a Dump Starbucks website and led to a loss of revenue. A Ratners moment perhaps?

Anyways, time to whip the intolerance card out methinks.

Authored by Chris Hall

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