Earlier this week, Starbucks—in a misguided PR stunt—announced that it would direct its employees to initiate conversations on race with customers.
The company received much derision for this initiative. It seemed less of an honest effort to engender difficult conversations than as a way to make the company look good to its core clientele. And the idea of forcing $8/hr baristas to initiate fraught conversations with people who might either not be receptive or violently hostile had an air of feudal lords imposing extra work on their serfs.
If Starbucks were truly interested in starting discussions on race, one place to start would be why its executive positions are staffed mostly by whites.
However, the hamhandedness of #RaceTogether does bring up one glaring point: We ignore the elephant in the room.
A couple of nights ago, as is my wont, I was enjoying a cold cocktail at home and scrolling through my Must Follow Accounts timeline on Twitter. @AngryBlackLady is one of those accounts, and a tweet of hers caught my eye. I opened the conversation, and found that it was one of those odd #whitegenocide people talking about “white race traitors”.
So, feeling in a particularly jovial mood, I tweeted the following:
The Internet: where people will seriously talk about #whitegenocide as if it's an actual thing.
I have been growing increasingly bemused as Anno Domini MMXV continues to unfold apace. And by “bemused”, I really mean, “Goddammit, we’re heading to hell in a handbasket!”
But nothing matches the complete clusterfuck around funding the Department of Homeland Security, a department born in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and which, if you will recall, Republicans held up as a sacred institution to protect God-fearing Americans from those hordes of brown people seeking to kill them. (Union protections for DHS workers? Why do you love Al-Qaeda??)
Let’s recap. In last year’s Cromnibus (soon to appear in the next Transformers movie), Congress left out funding for DHS. Why? Well, fast forward to this year. John Boehner and his merry pranksters passed a DHS funding bill. But they wanted to show that Kenyan in the White House that treating “illegals” like children of God was not going to wash with Republicans in firm control of both chambers. So they attached several riders to a must-pass bill stripping all of President Obama’s actions for DREAMers and his executive action on the undocumented. There, that’ll show him! Done and dusted, and the first round of drinks are on Rusty Boehner!