Starbucks drops Anti-Defamation league from developing training against bias; Woman’s March head Tamika Mallory denounces the ADL as racist

Historically, America’s Anti-Defamation League is an organization devoted to fighting anti-Semitism, but it has also defended other groups.  Here’s the list on their web page of  “What we do”:

Wikipedia describes its mission:

The stated purpose of the ADL is to fight:

anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry (in the United States) and abroad, combat international terrorism, probe the roots of hatred, advocate before the United States Congress, come to the aid of victims of bigotry, develop educational programs, and serve as a public resource for government, media, law enforcement, and the public, all towards the goal of countering and reducing hatred.

Historically, the ADL has opposed groups and individuals it considered to be anti-Semitic and/or racist, including: Nazis, the Ku Klux KlanHenry Ford, Father Charles Coughlin (leader of the Christian Front), the Christian Identity movement, the German-American Bundneo-Nazis, the American militia movement and white power skinheads (although the ADL acknowledges that there are also non-racist skinheads).[7][8] The ADL publishes reports on a variety of countries, regarding alleged incidents of anti-Jewish attacks and propaganda.

The ADL maintains that some forms of anti-Zionism and criticism of Israel cross the line into anti-Semitism. The Anti-Defamation League states:

Criticism of particular Israeli actions or policies in and of itself does not constitute anti-Semitism. Certainly the sovereign State of Israel can be legitimately criticized just like any other country in the world. However, it is undeniable that there are those whose criticism of Israel or of “Zionism” is used to mask anti-Semitism.[9]

It has not been free of criticism, as you can see here, and much of recent criticism, which I’m not sure is justified, centers on its pro-Israel activities, and its claim that at least some of anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, which I more or less agree with. (If you don’t believe that Jews should have the state given to them by the UN as a refuge from persecution, you’re pretty close to anti-Semitism).  But they do engage in the following mission, as described above under “Israel advocacy and education“:

Israel needs people to stand up now more than ever as it faces more threats—from enemy states like Iran, terrorists, and those seeking to delegitimze Israel like the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. ADL helps our supporters understand the complex issues and advocate for a secure and stable democratic Jewish state.

Learn about Israel and its challenges through our website, blogs and resources, which focus on current events relating to the Jewish State. Study ADL’s Israel: A Guide for Activists to find tools for advocating for Israel, information on Israeli history, responses to common inaccuracies about Israel and other information.

All this is by way of me trying to understand what’s reported in a new story on Politico (click on screenshot):

As you may recall, in April two black men were arrested at a Philadelphia branch of the Starbuck’s coffee chain for loitering. They said they were waiting for an associate, but were asked to leave and, when they didn’t, they were arrested. I suspect this was a truly racist incident, as I doubt that two white guys doing the same thing would have prompted a call to the cops.

In response, Starbucks will close 8,000 of its branches on May 29 for “sensitivity training,” which seems appropriate. You simply can’t treat people differently because of their color. The two black men, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, settled with the city for a token payment of $2 each, but in return for that settlement the city of Philadelphia also created a $200,000 fund to train young entrepeneurs in the city, and the two men arrested will be on the committee that dispenses these grants. This all seems like a fair and decent outcome.

The bad part of the outcome is that the Anti-Defamation League was supposed to help Starbuck’s develop the anti-bias curriculum, but was apparently dropped after blacks objected.  Politico reports that the ADL is perceived by blacks as both anti-black (I guess that includes Palestinians) and pro-Israeli, which means the ADL is seen as impure.

As Politico reports:

Bowing to pressure from African-American activists, Starbucks excluded the Anti-Defamation League from an upcoming daylong anti-bias training session.

. . . “When Starbucks asked for assistance, we agreed to help,” ADL spokesman Todd Gutnick told POLITICO. “As to whether Starbucks may or may not now want to utilize our expertise, you should ask them.”

Liel Leibovitz, writing today in Tablet, a “a daily online magazine of Jewish news, ideas, and culture,” was less measured in his criticism. “Shame on Starbucks for giving in to bigotry,” he said.

But Starbucks’ Riley denied the company cut the organization loose because of political pressure, saying in an email, “We are architecting a multi-phase approach to addressing bias.”

Almost immediately after the April 17 announcement, activists attacked Starbucks over the ADL’s involvement, citing the ADL’s support for Israel and its arms-length relationship to the Black Lives Matter movement.

And guess who tweeted out denouncing the ADL as racist. Yes, it’s our old friend Tamika Mallory, co-head of the Women’s March, good pals with the National of Islam bigot Louis Farrkhan, and worshiper of sundry terrorists and murderers:

Sorry, but she’s dead wrong about the ADL constantly attacking black and brown people. What’s the evidence?  And speaking of bigotry, Mallory of course implicitly endorses the racist message of Farrakhan as well as the misogyny, homophobia, and anti-apostate bias of Palestine and Islam.  For that she suffers no opprobrium. It’s an embarassment to feminists to have this vitriolic and hateful woman as president of their March.

Politico continues:

 Cat Brooks, the co-founder of the Anti Police-Terror Project, told ABC News that she agreed with Mallory, saying, “You can’t be a piece of an anti-bias training when you openly support a racist, oppressive and brutal colonization of Palestine.”The Washington chapter of Black Lives Matter, meanwhile, tweeted that the ADL was “ultra pro-cop,” and cited 2016 letter in which Greenblatt said “ADL has not endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement” because “a small minority of [its] leaders … supported anti-Israel — and at times anti-Semitic — positions.” Greenblatt’s letter didn’t identify the leaders in question.

Starbucks’ exclusion of the ADL from its May 29 training session became apparent on April 24 when a press release about the event failed to mention Greenblatt in connection to it. Instead, it said the company would “consult with” the ADL in connection with longer-term efforts.

Thus Starbucks, while attacking racism against blacks, gets away with booting the prime organization in the U.S. attacking anti-Semitism. Is there any other brand of bigotry besides anti-Semitism that’s politically acceptable on the Left? I can’t think of one.

h/t: BJ


  1. nay
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    People should write in to Starbucks and ask them to look at the ADL training materials and (if you’ll forgive the expression) “purity” of those attacking ADL with a view to rescind their decision. Black Lives Matter But Jewish Lives Don’t – Holocaust! (Sorry! Trump tweets are a brain worm.)

  2. Jon Gallant
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    This episode is just the latest of many in which pop-Leftists make virulent hatred of Israel a necessary component of what they see as Leftism. Although this attitude overlaps with simple anti-white racism of the kind popularized (as with Ms. Mallory) by Louis Farrakhan & Co., there are two other elements. One is the obvious one, good old antisemitism.

    But I submit there is a second one. The kibbutz movement in Israel represented a partial success of socialist principles without the general imposition of a police state. Such a development is evidently anathema to the attitudes which now define the largest, and certain the noisiest, part of the Anglo-American Left. It follows that the deepest alignment of these individuals is NOT with the idea of worker-owned production, but rather with the idea of the police state.

    • Kevin Lawson
      Posted May 11, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      When you hear hoofbeats, why think anti-Semitic zebras, or invent cloven-hoofed kibbutz haters? Leftist objection to Israel is just about the usual stuff–power used to crush oppressed people.

      Israel is a rogue nation that refuses to abide by treaty terms and continues to encroach and steal land from Palestinians. Israel oppresses darker-skinned, racially villainized people and blames them for their oppression.

      The ADL supports imperialist Israel and supports this blaming: “principal responsibility for the absence of peace rests with the Palestinian.” So yeah, they are not qualified to participate in anti-bias training.

      Is there some anti-Semitism on the left? Sure, but let’s not play the religion card where it does not apply.

  3. Don
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Is there any other brand of bigotry besides anti-Semitism that’s politically acceptable on the Left?

    How about straight, white males?

    • XCellKen
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Straight CISGENDERED White Males !!!

  4. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Re: “Is there any other brand of bigotry besides anti-Semitism that’s politically acceptable on the Left?”

    Conservatives claim liberals are bigoted against Christians and Catholics, but their claims to this are at best wildly exaggerated. Many instances of honest good faith criticism are simply dismissed as prejudice. (Is a good faith honest criticism “postjudice”???)

    If you compare the Catholic League with the ADL, the latter is the far more discerning and authentically thoughtful organization!!!

    • sailor1031
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      “Many instances of honest good faith criticism are simply dismissed as prejudice.”

      Yeah! Think about that for a moment or two!

  5. Malgorzata
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink


  6. Posted May 6, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Re: “Is there any other brand of bigotry besides anti-Semitism that’s politically acceptable on the Left?”

    Possibly, discrimination against Chinese.

  7. Posted May 6, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    In response, Starbucks will close 8,000 of its branches on May 29 for “sensitivity training,” which seems appropriate.

    Hmm, it seems to me a big over-reaction, a self-harm mea culpa and virtue-signalling on a massive scale. (Given that there’s little actual evidence that “sensitivity training” of this sort changes behaviour substantially.)

    [Which is not to deny that they were likely at fault for the incident.]

    • Craw
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      It is ridiculous virtue-signaling on a massive scale. But virtue signaling is their product (it sure ain’t the coffee).

    • darrelle
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      I thought the same on reading this article. Probably is worth it though just as PR. A more pragmatic response would be to fire the employee(s) responsible and send a notice out to all branches that racially motivated behavior of any kind can not be tolerated, and also release the notice to the press.

      • Filippo
        Posted May 12, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        I’m waiting for Starbucks to call the police on someone coming in and getting/reading a newspaper without first paying for it. (Same at Barnes and Noble with piles of magazines.)

  8. Steve Pollard
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Starbucks is a major contributor towards turning UK towns into Clone Central. Plus their coffee is awful. I wouldn’t shed a tear if they went down the pan.

    Plus, any company whose spokesman can seriously utter sentences such as “We are architecting a multi-phase approach to addressing bias” deserves all the opprobrium it can get.

  9. Posted May 6, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    But Starbucks’ Riley denied the company cut the organization loose because of political pressure, saying in an email, “We are architecting a multi-phase approach to addressing bias.”

    Architecting? Multi-phase? More and more regressive politics appears to be an affliction of language processing.

  10. Randall Schenck
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Does having one bigoted manager at a Starbucks automatically lead to 8000 bigoted managers? You can bend over backward until the back is broken. Does it make you feel better?

    • Posted May 6, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      It’s also a sign to black customers that their concerns are being taken seriously.

      • Randall Schenck
        Posted May 6, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        Surely it is. And from a PR standpoint half day sexual harassment classes looks good also. But by itself, has little impact.

        • Posted May 6, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          I agree. Fire the manager for bad judgment as a warning to the rest, and lose the posturing.

          BTW, Starbucks has or had no company policy with respect to accommodating occupants who have not purchased products, so they left it solely to the manager’s judgment.

      • Michiel
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 1:56 am | Permalink

        Or it’s a sign to black customers that they are being pandered to under pressure from left wing ideologues. You say that you would find it unlikely that the same would have happened to two white dudes. You seem to gloss over the fact that the gentlemen were asked to leave, refused, then were asked to leave again by the police, which they refused again. It doesn’t seem credible that if anyone of any other skin colour did this, they’d get arrested too. Now perhaps you suggest that two white dudes wouldn’t have been asked to leave in the first place so the manager must have been racist. Even though she surely has had many black customers in her store with no problems before. Ok, it’s possible, though it seems a stretch to say this is likely. The assumption that it really couldn’t have been simply the individual actions of these two men that caused them to be arrested is really premature. Why didn’t they just order a bloody coffee? It’s even more idiotic to then as a result send thousands of employees who has nothing to do with it to implicit bias training, which does not work anyway and is just one big pr stunt. What concerns do black people in general have with Starbucks? Are black people routinely thrown out of stores or refused service? Again, probably not. Probably hundreds of thousands of black people are normal customers at Starbucks with no problems whatsoever.

  11. Joseph Heled
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Anyone interested in the ADL, Israel and anti-Semitism should watch ‘Defamation’, a wonderfully funny and instructive documentary


  12. eliz20108
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Am I allowed to think that the Jews would have been well advised to accept England’s offer of Kenya?
    I know that Israel is mostly secular. I object to their emphasis on the orthodox.

    I think they treated the Arabs badly but so did all the rest of the world. I think the whole situation is a mess.

    • Malgorzata
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      Of course, this has nothing to do with the subject of this post but I will respond anyhow. Anybody is entitled to an opinion, whether he/she thinks that Jews should’ve settled in Kenya with which they had no historical connection (in contrast to Israel) or on Mars. And I’m entitled to the opinion that if Jews were really to build their state in Kenya, native Kenyans would be today the darlings of the world and deemed to be the most injustly treated people on Earth, and you know why.

  13. Heather Hastie
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    The ADL, as per Mallory’s criticism, does treat some black and brown people badly. However, those black and brown people are either those who express extreme hatred for Jews (mostly Muslims), or outright terrorists.

    There are some in Palestine who have a legitimate beef against Israel. There are many who don’t. Too many on the far left think firing missiles at Israel is a legitimate method of protest. It’s not. It’s also completely counter-productive. How they expect to make progress on peace talks and a two-state solution while they continually attack Israel is beyond me.

    Studies show that peaceful protest is far more likely to be successful.

    Yes, Israeli responses to attacks are sometimes OTT. However, they’re nearly always just that – responses. And soldiers who get carried away are normally prosecuted. Otoh, the families of Palestinian suicide bombers are given lifetime pensions and their terrorist family member is publicly celebrated.

    There are children’s TV shows in Palestine that teach kids to hate Israelis. There are kindergartens where they’re taught to shoot Israelis. You won’t find equivalents in Israel.

    And we also need to remember why Israel was established in the first place – as a safe place for Jews following what was done to them during WWII. And most Muslim countries sided with Hitler. They lost the war. There are consequences for that, including territorial ones.

    There were many Palestinians who left Israel following its establishment. I don’t know how many were forced out. I don’t know if they were given enough help to restart their lives. However, afaik, they’re the only WWII refugees that have made no attempt to rebuild their lives since and are still trying to get back several generations on. I consider that a fault of their religion which teaches them that all land has belonged to Muslims since the beginning of time and Muhammed came to reclaim it.

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted May 6, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Just another point thrown in but I think most believe that prejudice, bigotry is a behavior problem. Usually baked in. Sexual harassment is a similar, although different kind of behavior problem and it too is baked in. We can hold all kinds of classes on these things within our own companies or businesses in attempt to change these built in prejudices that some of our people have. But I can tell you from practice that it alone does not solve the company problem. It makes management feel good. I am sure the CEO at Starbucks feels good.

      I give the African American population a bit more credit because they know this stuff is built in behavior. You stop it by putting in rules and procedures that do not tolerate this behavior. You show people the door who do not live up to your standards. I have no idea what the ADL policy is on this specific issue but I would like to see what they have in mind.

      • Heather Hastie
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        Yeah, good point.

        People can learn, grow, and change though. I’ve seen it. In NZ, most induction courses include a module/s relating to Maori culture, and in every one I’ve seen people say out loud that they’ve understood some reaction from the past for the first time after having a particular aspect of Maori culture explained to them. The situation is different here, and perhaps I have a more positive view of this stuff because of what I’ve seen, but I think it can help.

        I think most people are good, and if it’s explained to them that they wrong in the right way, most will understand. There is a lot that is baked in, as you say, but a lot I think is just fear and ignorance rather than genuine bigotry and people can get over that.

        I also think a lot of people don’t realize they’re making patronizing remarks, for example. I can think of one member of my family who does it all the time, and that person is just speaking the way people of her age do. We all tell her privately what she’s doing wrong, and she tries to change, but she also doesn’t see what the big deal is because she knows she’s not prejudiced so she expects everyone else to know it too.

  14. Posted May 6, 2018 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I watched a short report on grandchildren of the oldest suicide bomber who lived in the Gaza Strip, the bomber was a much loved grandmother of about 10 children.
    They say the elderly lady got angry and frustrated over a local conflict with Israeli soldiers.
    Two girls wanted to be like her and martyr themselves, saying you have to die sometime, age is irrelevant. Oh my… WTH!
    One boy talked of his toys being crushed when the Israeli army drove over his home simply because it was in the way of the tanks line of advancement.
    One told of having to pee herself when told she couldn’t go to the toilet by soldiers, in her own home.
    Very ordinary fare for a “war”
    Then, one very articulate young girl asked if she was President what would she do.
    She would clean up the rubble (there was a lot of it) make it safe for children, provide food and medical security, that she knew what war and death was and the “killer” not a word of hate and more killings.
    This young girl came closer to the truth of how to reconcile the Palestinian plight than anyone i have heard lately.
    No one will listen of course, let alone an American women in relative safety and comfort holding a torch to further the flames.
    Mallory needs to shut up and start listening and to be fair to her, both “bias” camps could do the same. Enough of this posturing and finger pointing, it would be a good start.
    So where were we, two black men were in a Starbucks…

  15. Pablo
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    A couple of table hogs were told to buy some coffee or get out, instead they refused and copped an attitude. I would’ve called the cops too. Now Starbucks is screwed.

  16. Nate
    Posted May 6, 2018 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    I would like to hear this assertion elaborated upon.

    (If you don’t believe that Jews should have the state given to them by the UN as a refuge from persecution, you’re pretty close to anti-Semitism).

  17. Jonathan Dore
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    Just as a side note going back to the original Starbucks episode, I recall that in the UK about ten years ago Starbucks based a whole TV advertising campaign around the idea that you can go into one of their branches and spend as long in there as you like (showing people doing jigsaws, curling up with a good book on one of their sofas etc). Seems like they’ve forgotten their own message.

    • Michiel
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 2:05 am | Permalink

      Well as far as I can gather from comments, this is still the general policy but individual store managers aren’t bound exactly by this and can (and should of course) be able to make decisions based on their own judgement. They are running a business in the end. Personally I find it very strange, rude even, to go into a store and sit down without any intention of buying anything.

  18. jay
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    So far (I may have missed something) I have not seen anything to even convince me that the initial incident was racial.

    Many places have a rule about non customers loitering. I certainly have on occasion made token purchases in similar situations, an action that these two men rigidly refuse to do. The store called the police, who basically did their job in a trespassing related incident (requested them to leave, they refused)

    Unless there is additional evidence that this is racist (i.e. documentation that other people are not asked to leave), it was a matter of the management of Starbucks throwing the store manager (and the cops) under the bus to appease the SJWs.

    Appeasing SJWs NEVER ends well.

    • jay
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:29 am | Permalink

      I’m waiting to see what will happen, however now that there CEO has effectively said no one will be turned away.

      Starbucks in some areas will become the new locale for the homeless, as well as problematic people such as junkies or even local street thugs.

      That will really help sales.

%d bloggers like this: