Hodge: Starbucks’ pledge to hire refugees is more American than you think

In response to President Trump’s controversial Immigration ban, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz pledged that the company would be hiring 10,000 refugees in the 75 countries they operate in over the course of the next five years; and conservative Americans once again found a reason to be outraged.

There was immediate backlash towards this pledge as being Anti-American, and angry tweets and calls of #BoycottStarbucks quickly arose. The main issue many Trump supporters and conservatives have with this job proposal is that they choose to see Starbucks’ efforts to help out refugees and keep up good global relations as an indication that they don’t care about American citizens. Many of these critics hide behind their “American lives first’ ideals and claim it is because Starbucks hasn’t done enough towards the employment of veterans.


Before you toss out your favorite Frappuccino and jump on the “boycott Starbucks” bandwagon, educate yourselves to why this noble act is not only beneficial, but is in no way whatsoever taking jobs away from Americans or veterans.

Contrary to our President’s loyal legion of followers that apparently don’t have access to google, not only has Starbucks already made pledges to hire veterans, they continue to expand their veteran and minority hiring efforts.

In 2013, Starbucks committed to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses before 2018. According to Starbucks, they currently have over 8,800 veterans and spouses employed so far and plan on increasing that number since they will have hit their target number earlier than expected. The argument that Starbucks should do more to help veterans is ridiculous as they are leading in programs made to support our veterans and troops and provide wonderful benefits to their veteran employees. Have any of Trump’s businesses done that much? If you are boycotting Starbucks you are hurting those veterans and military families that you are supposedly standing up for.

The number one thing about the refugee hiring proposal, that is often ignored, is that it will begin by focusing all hiring efforts on the “individuals who have served with U.S troops as interpreters, and support personnel in the various countries where our military has asked for support,” according to Starbucks’ chairman and CEO Howard Schultz in a statement released in January, 2017. The refugees they want to help first are the ones that helped and supported our troops. America troops. American lives. They are probably fleeing their countries and home because of the support they gave us. So on top of them being turned away from the country they supported even though it probably cost them everything, people are now bitching about them getting jobs.

Those claiming that this will take away employment opportunities from american citizens need to realize that majority of the jobs Starbucks plans to give refugees are not even in this country. Starbucks said that in the 75 countries they operate in, since refugees are not being allowed in America, this job proposal is in no way majorly jeopardizing employment opportunities in the U.S. It is boosting the global economy by cutting down the unemployment rate that countries taking in refugees might have and making these groups of people productive by incorporating them into these country’s working class.

Starbucks is giving jobs and building opportunities to people who, in their words, are “fleeing war, violence, persecution, and discrimination.” If helping these refugees become productive citizens in their new countries truly upsets you, then you are not only lacking humanity, but also basic knowledge of the principles this country was built on. Luckily, companies like Starbucks can try to remember for the rest of us.