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May 1, 2018 5:36 pm

Jewish Progressives Accuse Starbucks of ‘Giving in’ to ‘Purveyors of Hatred’ After ADL Excluded From Anti-Bias Training

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Starbucks has been embroiled in accusations of racial bias following the arrest of two black men at one of its stores in Philadelphia. Photo: Reuters / Lucy Nicholson.

Jewish progressives have issued an angry response to the decision of coffee giant Starbucks to exclude the Anti-Defamation League from its upcoming daylong anti-bias training session.

The session was called following the arrest at a Philadelphia Starbucks of two black men who asked to use the bathroom without making a purchase as they waited to meet a business associate. A video of the arrest went viral, prompting a public backlash and the trending hashtag #BoycottStarbucks.

The training session uses materials from a number of civil rights and anti-bias organizations, including the ADL. After Starbucks announced on April 17 that it intended to temporarily shutter 8,000 stores for one day of anti-bias training, far-left activists took to social media to denounce the company for including the ADL. A statement from Cat Brooks, the co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project, caught the general mood of hostility. “You can’t be a piece of an anti-bias training when you openly support a racist, oppressive and brutal colonization of Palestine,” she declared.

On Tuesday, Jewish progressives from the Zioness movement — which describes itself as “a coalition of activists and allies that express their Zionist and progressive values through collective action” — denounced Starbucks for “capitulating” to political pressure, pointing out as well that many of the ADL’s adversaries are linked to Louis Farrakhan’s antisemitic Nation of Islam (NoI).

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“What a painful irony that, in their attempt to combat racial stereotyping, Starbucks has given in to purveyors of other hatreds,” Zioness said in a statement. “Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour (two well-known activists who have assailed the ADL) have no authority lecturing anyone — especially one of America’s largest and most influential corporations — on bigotry. Their longstanding adoration of Louis Farrakhan (who has been identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an unabashed antisemite and who preaches hate against the LGBTQ community) should disqualify them from directing any national discourse on discrimination.”

The statement continued: “As inclusive progressives committed to civil rights and social justice for all people, we are alarmed that the decision-making of a corporate and community leader like Starbucks could be influenced by homophobe-admiring activists who traffic in the worst kinds of anti-Semitic imagery. The ADL has been on the front lines of civil rights advocacy and anti-bias work for more than a hundred years and is uniquely qualified to provide trainings on white supremacy, implicit bias and divisive stereotyping, helping to build stronger, more open and welcoming communities.”

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