A left-wing backlash against Starbucks is building after the coffee company included a Jewish group that recently criticized Women’s March in its upcoming training sessions combating racial bias.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a mainstream Jewish civil rights organization, is one of several groups helping Starbucks conduct anti-bias training sessions. Starbucks announced the training sessions in response to another backlash, after two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks.
Progressive activists including the leaders of Women’s March and Black Lives Matter slammed Starbucks for allowing the ADL to participate in the training sessions. The ADL criticized Women’s March on March 6 after several of the groups’ leaders declared their support for Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a notorious racist and anti-Semite.
Women’s March co-president Tamika Mallory, a Farrkahan supporter, called for a Starbucks boycott on April 17 over their partnership with the ADL. Another Women’s March leader, Linda Sarsour, also slammed the coffee company.
“Starbucks almost had me on their anti-bias training for all employees UNTIL I heard ADL was enlisted as one of the orgs. to build their anti-bias curriculum,” Sarsour wrote on Facebook.
“An anti-Arab, anti-Palestinian organization that peddles Islamophobia and attacks America’s prominent Muslim orgs. and activists and supports/sponsors US law enforcement agents to travel and get trained by Israeli military.”
Other left-wingers echoed Women’s March leaders’ attacks on Starbucks.
Starbucks is “unsafe” because of its partnership with the ADL, Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative director Margari Aziza claimed on Wednesday.
“Guess for us #BeingBlackAndMuslim folks @Starbucks still going to be unsafe cause ADL giving them that anti-bias training,” Aziza wrote.
“ADL has a history of smearing Black Lives Matter activists,” liberal journalist Adam Johnson wrote. “Why are they teaching seminars on racism to anyone?”
The ADL’s support for Israel should disqualify them from helping Starbucks combat bias, liberal writer Tina Hai claimed in a column for The Guardian on Wednesday.
“The ADL is a staunch supporter of Israel and advocates against the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which calls for an end to Palestinian occupation,” Hai wrote. “How ironic is it that ADL is involved in a racial bias workshop while supporting Israel’s policing and oppression of Palestinian people?”
The ADL and Starbucks did not return requests for comment.