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Howard Schultz 'Doesn't See Race,' Is Stupid About Other Things Too

Post-Racial America

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is maybe, possibly, running for president as an "independent centrist" and someone apparently advised him that the path to the White House involves repeatedly demonstrating that he's a clueless moron. Guess it worked for the current guy.

CNN, for no good reason, devoted an entire town hall last night to a man who hasn't even declared he's running for president and has no identifiable base of support beyond the rich asshole demographic. His current polling numbers plainly reveal that he'll never be president or ever hold an elected office, because he's annoying. But he's "independent"! And he's got "ideas." Remember how he recently fixed health care with platitudes treaclier than a pumpkin spice latte? Now, he's moved on to the gun debate. We're not making progress, see, because everyone is so "partisan." The "far right" wants gun everywhere, and the "far left" wants to replace everyone's guns with love beads. The last part is a lie.

SCHULTZ: The far left wants to do everything possible to remove guns completely. I am in the middle

Yes, you're in the middle of an NRA talking point. Just when you think this town hall couldn't get any dumber, Schultz offers his solution to racism. He probably came up with this one while bouncing ideas off his limo driver.


White people should really stop saying they don't see color. It's not a compliment. It's a plainly racist assertion that implies the color of someone's skin isn't noteworthy or even a positive attribute. Imagine someone saying, "I don't see hair color. Marilyn Monroe was blonde? Really? Oh, now I get it: Gentlemen prefer her."

Race is in fact a relevant trait. No one demonstrates their cosmopolitan open-mindedness by absurdly claiming they don't hear different languages. "I have no idea Germans exist or talk differently than me. I thought they all had the same speech impediment and I was too polite to mention it."

Studies have shown that the "color-blind" claim is wishful nonsense. Children notice differences in skin color, hair texture, and body type fairly early. You don't have to enroll them in some exclusive racist pre-school for this to happen. Viewing these differences as negative or "wrong" is what parents must actively teach against, but that means acknowledging them. Don't recoil in horror if your child observes that your friend has kinky hair or full lips. Talk to them about it. Celebrate differences. And occasionally mention that blackface is bad.

Schultz's claim that he "didn't see color" as a child or an adult isn't in any way honest. It's willfully delusional. It's also a weird comment from someone who forced PR-friendly "wokeness" on his staff with his dumbass "Race Together" promotion back in 2015. Baristas had the "option" of starting dialogues about race with customers who just wanted their damn grande americano. How did the Ray Charles of race expect this to go down? "Hi, I'm Karen. I don't see color because I don't want to confront even my own passive role in institutional racism. Here's your overpriced shit coffee. Also, I don't know why exactly, but your very presence makes me uncomfortable. Please leave the premises before I call the police."

Schultz flat-out lacks the humility or self-reflection to consider that his high-minded, oh-so-Seattle approach to race is likely what led to a company culture where one of his store managers had black men hauled off to jail for existing within range of a clover press. We're fairly certain Schultz's successor didn't start hiring Klan members. The store manager responsible probably insisted that they "didn't see color," either. That didn't make them immune to unconscious bias, which is currently a greater and more consistent threat to black people than cross burnings.

On his old Comedy Central show, Stephen Colbert played a character so oblivious to his own privilege as a white man he'd frequently proclaim that he "didn't see race." It was a running gag, like Johnny Carson's "How hot was it?" jokes on "The Tonight Show."

You'd think Steve Schmidt, with all his Sarah Palin-elevating wisdom, would've known enough to advise Schultz to avoid sounding like the "well-intentioned, poorly informed, high-status idiot" Colbert played for almost a decade. So far, they've only succeeded in making clear to us that Schultz isn't all that "well-intentioned."

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.


Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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