Dump Starbucks or Not?
UPDATED, read to the end
We got the word that Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, said that if you support traditional marriage that they don’t want your business. http://joemiller.us/2013/03/starbucks-ceo-no-tolerance-for-traditional-marriage-supporters/#ixzz2OkHVeHJP
Oh my word!!!! I already knew they were preaching tolerance while actually practicing intolerance liberals, but I actually liked a cup of coffee from them. This is where Howard Schultz needs to keep his mouth shut and just make sure his company is making coffee. See, to actually come out and say “We don’t want your business” is totally different than personally believing whatever he wants to believe. I’m not against whatever he wants to believe, that’s his right. However saying “we don’t want your business” means exactly what it says, and it also means they no longer get my business.
After posting the above statement on my facebook page I got several comments about how Christians shouldn’t boycott and several directed me to this page: http://www.russellmoore.com/2012/03/25/should-christians-boycott-starbucks/
Yes, I understand all of that, thanks for all of those who tried to educate me.
It’s not about a Starbucks boycott
I’m not in favor at all of boycotting a business simply because they don’t believe what I believe (I think I stated something to that effect in my post). Heck, if I did that I would walk around naked and starved. So would everybody else, no matter what side of the issue you stand.
I have friends who believe differently than I do, that doesn’t mean we aren’t friends.
This is about Starbucks CEO saying: If You Support Traditional Marriage, We Don’t Want Your Business.
It’s the We Don’t Want Your Business part that has me saying, well okay then, if you don’t want it you don’t get it.
That is honoring their request, not boycotting.
UPDATE: Because Howard Schultz didn’t say exactly what was stated in the above articles.
If was after Tom Strobhar, a Starbucks shareholder asked a question about the past year’s decreases in revenue, that Howard Schultz answered,
“If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38% you got last year, it’s a free country,”. “You can sell your shares in Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much.”
You caught that condescending, it’s a free country and thank you very much, didn’t you?
After listening to the sound byte of the exchange, I would agree that Schultz seemed a bit intolerant of any Starbucks shareholders who opposed him. Strobhar by the way wasn’t asking simply about return on investment he was bringing up the question and a concern over what was and still is a boycott by traditional marriage supporters that revenue has dropped.
Sound bytes can be found all over the internet for the exchange between Strobhar and Schultz, but the most informed one I found was at focalpoint where you can hear the question raised by Strobhar instead of only hearing the Schultz comeback. At focal point Strobhar also explains in profit/ loss terms which shines a different light on the 38% mentioned by Schultz, but that’s a different story.
See/hear it at http://www.afa.net/Radio/show.aspx?id=2147490466&tab=video&video=2147533725
Schultz said every decision is not an economic one and that Starbucks wants to “embrace diversity of all kinds,” The crowd went absolutely wild when he made that statement. Really?
I previously stated, I already knew they (the company) were big talkers of tolerance talk while practicing intolerance to those who oppose them. That’s not to say that I think every employee in their company stands for what the head haunchos stand for. I know a few Starbuck’s employees that are strongly opposed to the value system up top, and have been told by their manager, that’s okay, just keep it to yourself, they don’t really know us anyway.
As I stated before, I am not in favor of boycotting based only on a difference of opinion, values, or belief. The main reason I am not in favor of boycotting is that I believe companies are made up of people but do not represent all of the people in the company. Just because a CEO, or a spokesperson for a company lives a certain lifestyle, or believes a certain thing does not represent all of its employees and /or customers.
Companies need to just be about their product or service, not about building political platforms.
After first reading articles that I admit falsely quoted what Shultz said, and now listening to the sound byte, I have to admit that he didn’t say to customers that he doesn’t want our business.
However, as a customer listening to his exchange, and his demeaning manner and weighing his “every decision is not an economic one” statement, I have to wonder, if that was an implied statement to customers with opposing views. Is that why the media went crazy with the story that he said we don’t want your business? Maybe, maybe not. The truth is that they don’t need our business. CEO’s of multimillion dollar corporations don’t need to worry about losing business from several thousand customers. That’s no big deal. They don’t have to buckle under pressure from any group of customers stating they no longer plan to do business with them. People will love a company or not, they will do business with a company or not. Companies will lose a few thousand customers here and pick up a few thousand there. That’s why I say boycotts don’t work. That again is why they just need to focus on their business and not politics.
That being said, I have to ask myself, should I spend my money with a company that clearly sends a message of intolerance, who doesn’t value shareholders and thereby customers that have a difference of opinion or lifestyle? Not a boycott, just wondering if I need to make more informed decisions. We do all have to make decisions, where to spend our hard earned dollars.
So that leaves me right back to the first question: To Dump or Not to Dump Starbucks?
A bit of good news about Starbucks; they pay their employees well, and they serve up fair-trade coffee. I have read the books on how the company got started. It is an amazing story.
I personally don’t think it is the best coffee on the block, but the story of how the company got started is truly amazing. It was about people, not profit, and certainly not politics, is an amazing story. It makes me think about the fact that things grow and change and they should, but all growth isn’t for the best.
If you enjoy a good read get these two books. Get Howard Behar’s book first though, because by reading his book first you really get a sense of the beginning of it all.
It’s Not About the Coffee:
Lessons on Putting People First from a Life at Starbucks
by Howard Behar
Pour Your Heart Into It:
How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time
by Howard Schultz
I would like to end this by stating that this is not about my stance for or against gay marriage. The older I get the more libertarian I find myself. I know people in all walks of life, most are different than my own. None of us are perfect or blameless.