Trump Supporters Head to Starbucks to Protest—Something
It's been quite a week for Starbucks.
This time last year, Donald Trump was just one of approximately 472 Republican presidential candidates, standing behind signs with his name in a gigantic font and rambling about whatever came into his head that day. He suggested that, because Starbucks released a plain, non-denominational red holiday cup, his supporters should boycott the coffee giant. Fast forward 12 months, and Trump's supporters are protesting...something by insisting that Starbucks baristas write the president-elect's name on their pumpkin spice lattes.
On Friday afternoon, a political consultant named Timothy Treadstone posted the instructions for what he called "Operation #TrumpCup" on Twitter, ordering members of Team MAGA to go to Starbucks, tell the barista that their name is Trump and, if the barista chooses not to Sharpie those particular letters on the cup, to take video. "We have a culture war to win," Treadstone said in a Periscope video. "If someone is getting so triggered they can't write Trump on a coffee cup at Starbucks and they're crying liberal tears and they're calling the cops, that's insane."
And since Treadstone posted the instructions, people are really doing this.
Even before #TrumpCup trended and grown adults started feeling smug about making an hourly employee shout "Trump" every time they've finished making a cafe mocha, it was quite a week for Starbucks. On Thursday, David Sanguesa accused a Miami-area barista of discriminating against him and being too slow with his order. Sanguesa, who is white, repeatedly called the barista, who is black, "trash" and "garbage," before chanting "TRUMP. TRUMP. YOU LOST." He also threatened to "punch [her] out."
Sanguesa told NBC Miami that he was sorry, but that he and his female companion both believed it was racism and discrimination. Unsurprisingly, Sanguesa has two DUI arrests, a charge of domestic violence (that was later dropped), and a history of writing to the Miami Herald to complain about "Cubans, women, immigrants, the gay and lesbian community as well as both President Obama and Hillary Clinton." Sanguesa will probably be a member of Trump's cabinet by Monday.
But back to those Trump Cups. Many people have questioned the logic of supposedly trying to "punish" a company by continuing to spend money there, while others just don't see what this is supposed to accomplish.
I have the highest hopes that Trump Cup will be a short-lived phenomenon, but since 2016 has been made entirely of disappointment and sorrow, it will probably last until Starbucks workers stop shouting customers' names entirely. "Over the years, writing customer names on cups and calling out their names has been a fun ritual in our stores," Starbucks said in a statement. "Rarely has it been abused or taken advantage of. We hope and trust that our customers will continue to honor that tradition. We don't require our partners to write or call out names."