'Boycott Starbucks' campaign hijacked by supporters of refugee hiring plan
Customers drink coffee and check messages inside a Starbucks Coffee store in downtown Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
Taline McPhedran, CTVNews.ca
Published Tuesday, January 31, 2017 3:01PM EST
Just days after Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz wrote an open letter that condemned the U.S. travel ban and promised to hire 10,000 refugees, the hashtag #BoycottStarbucks started trending on Twitter.
Within hours, the hashtag was hijacked by supporters of Starbucks, who agreed with the promises Schultz made in his letter on behalf of the coffee company.
The open letter – posted on the Starbucks website and sent to employees – was written in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily suspended the U.S. refugee program and barred people from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S.
Schultz pledged to hire 10,000 refugees in the 75 countries the coffee company does business over the next five years.
“We will start this effort here in the U.S. by making the initial focus of our hiring efforts on those individuals who have served with U.S. troops as interpreters and support personnel,” wrote Schultz. He also pledged to continue to support employees’ health care, coffee farmers in Mexico and youth-hiring initiatives.
The pledge was met with disdain from some, who insisted that Starbucks should be hiring “American first” or should hire American veterans instead of refugees. People also used the hashtag to show that they were deleting the Starbucks app or selling their stock in the company.
While President Trump is working to get Americans jobs, Starbucks CEO wants to hire 10,000 refugees.— Scott Presler VA (@ScottPresler) January 30, 2017
What about us?#BoycottStarbucks
However, after noticing the trending hashtag, supporters of the refugee hiring plan began to use the hashtag ironically, tweeting out their support for the company and encouraging others to boycott so “I can study without intolerant conservatives in my presence,” as one Twitter user said.
This whole #boycottstarbucks thing is great. I can study without intolerant conservatives in my presence while enjoying delicious java!— Nicole Zimmerman (@NicolesNihility) January 30, 2017
#boycottstarbucks I don't even drink coffee but I'm going to start. Thank you Starbucks for standing against bigotry and hate!— ashley (@Dagobabe) January 30, 2017
Got worried when I saw #BoycottStarbucks trending, turns out they pledged to hire 10,000 refugees. Gonna buy myself some coffee.— Alex Everette (@AlisanderA) January 30, 2017
Y'all really trying to #BoycottStarbucks for trying to help out people in need? Didn't y'all want Starbucks to practice Christian values?— Samuel Davis (@SamDavis1997) January 30, 2017