As previously reported by TGP: Starbucks announced it will be closing 8,000 stores on May 29 so 175,000 employees can attend a training program that will address implicit bias, promote inclusion and help prevent discrimination.
Well, May 29th is currently upon us and we are in the thick of Starbuck’s
virtuous asinine 3-hour closure.
Rather than serve us their usual cub of burnt and bitter tasting coffee, barristers and staff will take part in mandatory ‘unconscious bias training’.
What is unconscious bias training, you might be asking? It is part of an industry not unlike corporate motivation speakers, but with the goal of having employees engage in group therapy sessions where they all are expected to break down and talk about how covertly racist, transphobic, etc they are so that they’re more aware of it in the future.
In Starbucks case, they are going to play a series of videos featuring a rapper named Common (not kidding) who will be covering issues from the history of the civil rights movement and modern ‘social justice’. After the videos, staff will break into groups and discuss their own biases: ways they are secretly racist, and not as ‘woke’ as they should be.
So, adults are going to be forced into watching a social justice rapper for two hours, THEN broken up into groups where they’re expected to condemn themselves for being secret racists. I’m sure this will work out great for everyone.
Unfortunately, it looks like we’re still going to be stuck ordering our Unicorn Frappuccinos from Klan members and Nazis as ‘unconscious bias training’ is considered by nearly every leading psychologist as ineffective and serve only to make vast amounts of money for the firms and people involved in performing them.
The research on so-called implicit bias has its serious critics(link is external). Almost everything about implicit bias is controversial in scientific circles. It is not clear what most implicit methods actually measure; their ability to predict discrimination is modest at best, their reliability is low; early claims about their power and immutability have proven unjustified. And yet colleges and corporations have been rushing to institute “implicit bias trainings(link is external)” in (misguided and unlikely to be effective) attempts to reduce discrimination.
Curious to see what part of Starbuck’s video program today will offer? Fortune has a video segment from the mandatory training: