Navigate to News section

The ADL Kicked Out of Leading Starbucks’ Diversity Training

Following pressure from Women’s March leader and Louis Farrakhan acolyte Tamika Mallory

Liel Leibovitz
April 30, 2018

The Anti-Defamation League will no longer help lead diversity training in Starbucks stores across America.

After two black men were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks earlier this month for doing nothing more than waiting for a man they were meeting, the coffee giant announced that it would provide employees in its 8,000 US locations with diversity training, and named the four experts it said will help lead the effort: Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund, Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice Initiative, Heather McGhee of the liberal think tank Demos, and Jonathan Greenblatt, the ADL’s CEO. But Tamika Mallory, a leader of the Women’s March and vocal supporter of Louis Farrakhan, objected, saying in a tweet that the ADL was an organization dedicated to “constantly attacking black and brown people.”

Mallory’s bigoted observation might’ve swayed someone at Starbucks: Last week, the chain announced that while the other three experts will still lead the training, Greenblatt will not, and that the ADL will now be demoted to a secondary role alongside “a diverse array of organizations and civil rights experts” that will provide limited consulting to Starbucks.

Requests for comment to Starbucks went unanswered, and the ADL did not provide a statement as of press time, but anyone following the current state of the Democratic Party shouldn’t have too much trouble piecing together the surprising dismissal of one of America’s most veteran and venerated civil rights groups. Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ executive chairman, is a lifelong Democratic supporter, and has donated heavily to Barack Obama’s campaign. And the Democratic Party these days is the sort of place where siding with Farrakhan—a man who calls Jews the chosen of Satan and accuses them of having played an active part in orchestrating the Holocaust—is a badge of radical chic, not a reason for disqualification.

Under this new lunatic vision—expressed by Mallory and her fellow Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour and increasingly endorsed by the party’s mainstream—Jews, long the party’s staunch supporters, are rapidly becoming second-class citizens, the sort of folks who can still give money but not expect to have their voices heard. Considering the fact that Jews are, by far, the most prominent targets of hate crimes in America these days, giving in to anti-Semites and removing the ADL from a diversity training initiative of a major American corporation is particularly heinous. Shame on Starbucks for giving in to bigotry.

Liel Leibovitz is editor-at-large for Tablet Magazine and a host of its weekly culture podcast Unorthodox and daily Talmud podcast Take One. He is the editor of Zionism: The Tablet Guide.