Starbucks baristas stopped writing "Race Together" on customers' cups Sunday, ending a visible component of the company's diversity and racial inequality campaign that had sparked widespread criticism in the week it was in effect.
The company had planned all along to end the cup messages Sunday and continue the campaign more broadly, spokesman Jim Olson said.
The cups were "just the catalyst" for a larger conversation, and Starbucks will still hold forum discussions, coproduce special sections in USA Today, and put more stores in minority communities as part of the Race Together initiative, according to a company memo from CEO Howard Schultz.
The campaign has been criticized as opportunistic and inappropriate. The phase-out is not a reaction to that, Olson said. "Nothing is changing. It's all part of the . . . timeline we originally planned." - AP
Deadly family brawl
An overnight family brawl in a Walmart parking lot left one person dead and two others, including a police officer wounded. The state Department of Public Safety said police responded to reports that a female Walmart employee was assaulted by multiple people. According to DPS, the suspects, part of the same family of eight, attacked officers, seven of whom suffered minor injuries. DPS said one suspect was fatally shot and a second was shot in the abdomen. Seven people were taken into custody - AP