Diversity Lessons Starbucks Can Teach McDonald’s

Diversity and Starbucks:

Starbucks, last year had a racial profiling incident that involved two black men. The event took place in Philadelphia, Pa. I remember it distinctly for two reasons, 1) one of the black men was a member of ΩΨΦ, and two it forced Starbucks to have a series of diversity trainings. Training in which they closed all of the stores. The fact that Starbucks used this as an opportunity to learn was a powerful moment for me, because for Starbucks it wasn’t so much about profit, as it was using this unfortunate incident as a teachable moment.


Insert McDonald’s circa 2019. I have witnessed video from two racially charged incidents from their franchise.

McDonalds Employee Attached:

The first involved a white male customer putting his hands on an African-American female employee. Said employee defends herself (in an MMA kind of way), and justifiably so. The manager of the store still awarded the belligerent customer with his order, and never once on camera admonished the customer for his unacceptable behavior. In my opinion in an instance where the customer was wrong, the cops should have been called, and the customer arrested for assault. The lack of empathy displayed by the manager to his employee screams for a Starbucks type sensitivity training.


McDonalds Times Two:

The second incident involved an African-American male customer. A McDonald’s employee is witnessed calling the employee the N-word. The employee used the word rather loosely and was very offensive to the customer. The customer recorded the employee going on a violent racial tirade. Meanwhile, the manager of the store never takes the time to reel in the employee. The managers gut instinct was to call the cops on the customer when in fact the customer did nothing wrong.

Both McDonald’s incidents albeit in various states scream that the corporation needs to train its employees on how to deal with racially charged events. Would it be too much to ask McDonald’s to close for the day while its employees attend diversity training similar to the instruction given by Starbucks?

Besides Boycott, what’s your solution. Are these teachable moments?

Author: Raymond J. Ankrum, Sr.

Mr. Ankrum is the current Superintendent of the Riverhead Charter School. Mr. Ankrum has gained notoriety as a school turnaround expert. He is enthusiastic about helping students from low (SES) find ways to end generational poverty through educational advocacy. If you believe PoC can end generational poverty by exercising educational opportunities, you have an ally in @Mr_Ankrum.