Aside from permanently closing over 400 stores in North America, Starbucks also released a statement to employees banning them from wearing any gear in support of Black Lives Matter to avoid inciting violence.
An internal memo reminds staffers that any clothing or accessories bearing messages in support of the Black Lives Matter movement is prohibited under the company’s policy that these messages “advocate a political, religious or personal issue.”
A black transgender employee counters the fairness while the company regularly allows or even encourages staff to wear pins in support of LGBTQ equality, especially during Pride Month in June.
The employee, identified as Benson, says, “Starbucks LGBTQ partners wear LGBTQ pins and shirts, that also could incite and create violent experiences amongst partners and customers. We have partners who experienced harassment and transphobia/homophobia for wearing their pins and shirts, and Starbucks still stands behind them.”
Benson affirms, “Our movements are just too controversial for Starbucks to stand behind.”