First, I'll admit it, I'm a Starbucker.
I've spent countless hours...and dollars in...as the late fellow Chicagoan, Ernie Banks might've said..."its friendly confines". In fact, I'm sitting in my favorite chair in my neighborhood Starbucks in Uptown, Chicago right now as I compose this missive.
Howard, I hardly knew ye.
After all these years sipping your swarthy brews, I didn't have a clue about your...er...uh...racial street cred. Of course, like everyone else, I assumed the name "Schultz" would have kept you out of certain country clubs 100 years ago. But I had no inkling that you aspired to join my 20 year long quest to finally get, what Brotha John Brown called, "this guilty land" to finally..uh..."face up to race" and the ongoing damage that its founding creed of white supremacy is still wreaking on our nation.
But something tells me you didn't think very deeply about how difficult and frought with emotion, guilt, accusation and righteous anger this 400 year old, self-induced racial cancer is. Bill Clinton found out when he started his "Dialog on Race" about 20 years ago...and quickly shut it up when AfAm scholar John Hope Franklin (whom Bubba had appointed to lead the dialog) began to talk seriously about our racist past. President Barack H. Obama hasn't said as much as our famously silent president Calvin Coolidge about the issue. (If our nation's FBP is scared to say a mumblin word about race, what chance do your baristas have while serving triple, double cinnamon swirl, no whip, chocolate lattes?).
But I do admire your spunk. I now dub you an honorary Race Man. Welcome to the fray(ed).
Lowell "RaceMan" Thompson
Btw: Howard, it may help if your baristas actually know something about the subject they're tasked to dialog about, right? So they might want to click on the photo above of my littlest "reader" or the photo of my book, "RaceMan Answers" and buy the ebook. You may even want to take a gander yourself.