As is the case with many people who work remotely, I spend a considerable amount of time in coffee shops and cafés. I am in one now, actually, and I am currently eating Brussels spouts because they’re healthy and tasty and because the managers at said shop are so impressed with my luscious beard that they allow me to bring outside food.
I do not, however, drink coffee. It, like beer, is a taste I’ve never been compelled to acquire. (when people learn that I don’t drink coffee and ask how I’m able to stay alert when working a 12- or 14-hour day, my answer is always the same: “White tears. I drink white tears.”)
Even if I did drink coffee, though, the Starbucks boycott wouldn’t have much of an effect on me. I live near a few neighborhood shops—most notably Arnold’s Tea, Commonplace Coffee and Crazy Mocha—that make Starbucks somewhat obsolete.
Also, the few times I’ve attempted to work at one, I leave smelling like coffee for the rest of the damn week. Admittedly, there are worse things to smell like than coffee: shit, for instance, or Tucker Carlson. But smelling like a thing I don’t drink feels violating and a little creepy. If “Starbucks-coffee smells” were a person, it would show up to your job at lunchtime the day after your first date even though you don’t recall telling them where you work.
Anyway, there are black people who are going to be affected by the boycott—people who consider Starbucks’ coffee or space to be an essential part of their daily routine (and also, of course, the black people who work there). And now, because a silly and stupid white woman decided to go full Darth Becky, they either have to find a new place to get coffee or risk being outed as a race traitor.
OK, it probably wouldn’t go that far. I think most black people, even the wokest of us, wouldn’t really give that much of a shit if a nigga bought a latte macchiato today. But still, that black latte-macchiato buyer might feel like Judas, and that’s all that matters.
One of the more exhausting parts of existing while black and dealing with white people’s occasional bouts of feckless racial fuck shit is that it can place the emotional burden on us to alter our lives as a way to respond to or protest shit that they did. Even if you’re not down with the Starbucks boycott—or the H&M boycott, or the Pepsi boycott or the Pizza Milano boycott (in Pittsburgh), or whichever other boycotts are active right now—it forces you to make a decision.
And having to make decisions based on white people white-peopling is a fucking drag. Sometimes you just want to run in a Starbucks and grab a coffee. Or maybe you’re in a mall and you just want to see if H&M has any deals going on. You don’t want to always have to think about whether this is something you’re “allowed” to do.
This is a thing that some of the people who criticize others for being “too woke” don’t get. No one is searching for more shit to protest and/or boycott—more shit we just can’t do anymore because white people done fucked it up. Of course, there are some people who enjoy and revel in outrage, but they’re relatively small in numbers, and even they like the mall!
Anyway, white people reading this, just be better people. Because it’s better for the world and shit. But also because Keisha really needed her hazelnut mocha coconut-milk macchiato today, and now she has to get her fix at Sheetz!