Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz slammed President Trump Tuesday just hours before he closed 8,000 stores for anti-bias training, accusing the Commander-in-Chief of stoking the “racial divide” in the United States.
Schultz was speaking with CNN when he unloaded on the President, saying “his behavior” has effectively “given license” to those seeking to ratchet up racial conflict between “people of color and Caucasians in America.”
“[Trump’s behavior] has contributed to the problem,” Schultz said on CNN. “I would say on a personal level, [Trump’s rhetoric] probably has given license to people to feel as if they can emulate and copy the kind of behavior and language that comes out of this administration.”
“The racial divide and the inequities that exist between people of color and Caucasians in America is a problem that has existed for quite some time,” Schultz added. “And I think we have to ask ourselves a very important question and that is: What kind of country do we want to live in? And from my perspective we want to live in a country in which we love and respect every American.”
The Starbucks CEO’s comments come just hours after he offered racial sensitivity training to nearly 175,000 employees; a direct response to a store manager’s decision weeks ago to call the police on two African American men who were waiting to use the restroom.