Starbucks Lands In Hot Water Over A Barista's ISIS Cup Mishap

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Posted: Sep 04, 2019 12:51 PM
Starbucks Lands In Hot Water Over A Barista's ISIS Cup Mishap

Source: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Starbucks has had a rough go of it in recent weeks. First, a local franchise in Tempe, Arizona asked five police officers to leave because their presence triggered some precious snowflake. The word “unsafe” was used—a typical word used by the soy boy segment of society. Now, we have some guy named “Aziz,” who felt discriminated against because the barista put “ISIS” on his order. Was it intentional? It doesn’t sound like it. Commentator Stephen Miller aptly noted that in the loud environment of Starbucks, this “Aziz” incident could have been a simple case of mishearing one’s name. We’ve all been to a Starbucks. It's easy to see how this misunderstanding came about, but now we have this grassy knoll mentality concerning a coffee cup (via WaPo):

Niquel Johnson paid for three drinks in Philadelphia on Sunday, and in typical Starbucks fashion, an employee asked for his name. Johnson, 40, told them “Aziz,” his Islamic name pronounced ah-zeez. He has used it for 25 years — and “countless” times at that particular store.

But three unusual things happened on this occasion, he said. When his order was ready, a staffer announced them by drink type, not his name.

The second unusual part was the employee wrote his name as “ISIS” — the acronym for the Islamic terror group — in the printout attached to all three drinks.

Johnson didn’t even realize it until later, when a friend pointed it out at a bookstore.

“I was shocked and angry. I felt it was discrimination,” Johnson told The Washington Post …

[Warning: Some strong langauge]:

Johnson said in The Post at the time that he was thinking about suing the coffee chain. Starbucks isn’t deterred, saying it didn't see any bias (via KDVR):

A representative said “we don’t believe this was a case of discrimination or profiling” as the barista had “mistakenly spelled [the name] incorrectly.”

Johnson adds Starbucks only offered an apology on Thursday.

And in the phone call, a district manager in Philadelphia, Brian Dragone, claimed the company had previously resolved the issue with Johnson’s niece Alora — a person Johnson says doesn’t exist.

“I have no explanation for that. We’re going to have to figure that out on our end who that was who we spoke to,” Dragone said in a recording of the call, according to the Post.

“I just think your colleague is making this story up,” Johnson replies. “This can’t be resolved by a simple apology at this point.”

He’s now considering legal action.