Tell Starbucks to Drop the ADL

This petition made change with 228 supporters!

My name is Lily Clifford, and I'm a Starbucks barista in Los Angeles. And I've seen with my own eyes how these stores are racially policed.

Just two days before Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson where arrested for being Black at Philadelphia Starbucks, a white customer came up to me with her daughter and told me “There’s a scary man in the bathroom.” I stepped away from the bar and looked into the open bathroom – inside was a Black man washing his face. What made her scared? What would have happened if I had taken her fear at face value and called the police? We desperately need to be having these conversations.

But when I heard that Starbucks was partnering with the ADL for its big anti-bias training, my first thought was, “We can do better than this.”

My family fled Odessa in 1905 amidst anti-Jewish violence, and so I want to live in a world where I can take a firm stance against violence against all people - including Israeli human rights violations against Palestinians committed in my name. 

And this training is too big an opportunity to entrust to the ADL. The other organizations involved in this training - the Equal Justice Initiative, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Demos- all have incredible contributions to offer.

But the ADL is all kinds of wrong for the job. They have a long track-record of putting concerns for Israel above concerns for human rights, a truly horrifying record of anti-Muslim advocacy and, to put it mildly, entrenched antagonism to Black people and communities.

We know that as a major corporation, more than anything Starbucks is looking to stem a huge PR crisis. So they’ll also be looking to avoid any more controversy, which is why I believe if we make our outcry big enough they’ll drop the ADL and stick with the other truly anti-racist leaders they reached out to for help.

Time and again, the ADL puts itself on the wrong side of these fundamental social justice struggles. Starbucks needs to do the right thing, and drop the ADL.  


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