Howard Schultz on Crime
Starbucks CEO; independent candidate for President until July 2019
When a jury chose to not indict the police officer who killed Eric Garner, in December 2014, the decision further exacerbated the sense of distrust black communities had for police and provoked demonstrations by protesters. I held an open forum [at Starbucks HQ]. "The last few weeks," I began, "It seems like something is not right, and whether you are black or white, it feels that, as Americans, this is not our best day. For that reason, I felt like we should come together and have an opportunity to discuss this among ourselves.
In Seattle, I met with then-Chief of Police Kathleen O'Toole, who had been recruited to turn the police force around. She wanted to try to restore public trust in the police department by bringing more diversity to the force, improving training, and employing more officers who lived in the city they policed. She had seen how even well-intentioned officers were cast in a dim light when corruption or abuses were uncovered.
"Nobody dislikes bad cops more than good cops," she said. And we agreed that despite a long history of prejudiced law enforcement in America, there were and are good police.
That's what it took to get the world's attention, I thought. Including mine. Starbucks had eight stores near Ferguson, but the only one in the city itself was inside a Target. There was no stand-alone store in which people could gather. As we headed to the airport, I said, "We have to open a store here." People in the car nodded. They were thinking the same thing.
[I said at a Starbucks forum], "If we just keep going about our business and ringing the Starbucks register every day and ignoring this moment in our country, then we are part of the problem."
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Opinion Leaders on the Right:
Milton Friedman (Nobel Economist)
Rush Limbaugh (Radio Talk Show Host)
Ayn Rand (Author and Philosopher)
Heritage Foundation (Think Tank)
Joe Scarborough (Former Congressman; Radio Host)
Opinion Leaders on the Left:
American Civil Liberties Union
Noam Chomsky (Author and Philosopher)
Arianna Huffington (Internet Columnist)
Robert Reich (Professor and Columnist)
Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks)
John F. Kennedy(President,1961-1963)