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September 15 2017

Feminists Attack Starbucks's Pumpkin Spice Lattes for Funding White Supremacy

by Patrice Lee Onwuka

Get your pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks while you can. If a feminist group gets its way, this favorite fall drink will disappear along with Starbucks from many hotels across the country.

UltraViolet, which bills itself as a “leading” national women’s organization, has launched a new ad campaign targeting Starbucks for continuing to financially support President Trump and the Trump Organization by maintaining stores in Trump hotels and properties including at Trump Tower in New York city and Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C.

UltraViolet charges that the President is racist and defends white supremacists and Neo-Nazis. To garner support, they released a Twitter ad:

UltraViolet @UltraViolet:

That favorite fall drink of yours is funding rent payments to white supremacy.

“PUMPKIN SPICE IS BACK!
Proceeds are funding racism in the White House.
LEARN MORE AT: WEAREULTRAVIOLET.ORG/TRUMPTOWER”

The ad links to their online petition, where they expand on their unfounded accusations. UltraViolet says Starbucks and Nike have likely paid millions in rent to Trump over time that has “given him a platform to spew hate for years.” They call this “a national emergency” and demand accountability.

UltraViolet co-founder, Shaunna Thomas, doesn’t mince words:

“Words are cheap and op-eds are meaningless when Starbucks spends millions on leases in Trump properties, putting money directly into the pockets of a racist, misogynistic bigot.

“Pumpkin spice just doesn’t taste as good when you add a shot of racism, and Starbucks customers deserve to know that their favorite products, including the recently rolled out pumpkin spice lattes, help put money into Donald Trump’s pocket.”

This is a sad and desperate attempt to smear the president and shame companies into abandoning their calculated business decisions under social pressure. Sometimes it works such as the backlash against Ivanka Trump’s brand. However, this campaign is turning into a big flop.

Twitter isn’t buying it. People are calling out UltraViolet for opposing a liberal company like Starbucks. Even those who might be sympathetic to UltraViolet’s cause find the campaign ridiculous as this business journal reports:

Sara Vogel @SaraSvogel: Replying to @UltraViolet
Funny because Starbucks couldn't possibly be more liberal

Heather @Person_Posting: Replying to @UltraViolet
Ok I can't stand the bigoted orange buffoon and hate everything about him, but this is ridiculous and honestly slightly slanderous.

SimplyMe @Realchristine4: Replying to @UltraViolet
Funding white supremacy?! You have hit an all time new level of stupid!! So tired of this crap. Now buying the biggest psl I can get!!

Loli @LoliPomPom: Replying to @UltraViolet
I mean if you're going to slander a company (especially one that is so against racism and bigotry) at least look up shit. It's licensed

Others pointed out that franchises choose their location and that decisions has nothing to do corporate headquarters:

"Dan" @UnapologeticDan: Replying to @UltraViolet
Just because there's a @Starbucks in Trump Tower doesn't mean corporate put it there...it very well could be a franchise location

Hannah @HannahSwirtz
It actually is definitely franchised!!!!!!! Thank you for pointing this out!!!

One woman on Twitter sums up this effort perfectly:

Stefanie @putinspaidtroll: Replying to @UltraViolet
This is quite possibly the dumbest tweet I've ever seen... Isis is cutting off heads but you're worried about pumpkin spice...

There are many battles to fight for women in the United States and around the world if UltraViolet wants something to do. Targeting deep corporate pockets with bogus campaigns to build their name recognition and perhaps attract fundraising dollars is not women’s empowerment

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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