What is more normal in America that having a business meeting at a Starbucks?
At the next table, a gaggle of stroller moms will be chatting away after a walk-run.
At the table beyond a group of students will be studying for a college exam.
And next to them a young couple will meet for the first time, after matching up on-line in twenty-nine categories of compatibility!
Starbucks is exactly the kind of place free people love to congregate, for every kind of wonderful life-promoting consensual social activity that they take for granted.
But they shouldn’t do so today. Every Starbucks in America should be empty, in protest of the fact that Starbucks chooses to do business in Saudi Arabia, where if a businesswoman meets with a man that she’s not related to in a Starbucks, she can be arrested by the “Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice” and strip-searched! (See this AFP story on GoogleNews.)
To do business in a country that oppresses its people is to sanction that regime. By setting up shop in a Saudi mall, you’re saying “Go ahead, rape that teen-aged girl, and when you’re done, enjoy an iced-latte to regain your energy. We believe that your country is a valid place for us to make a Star-buck.”
What’s the point of selling “fair trade” coffee in your American stores, if you’re going to do that?!
Don’t get me wrong. I love Starbucks. It’s a great American success story. But the idea that they are serving some agent of the Saudi religious police the same tall wet Capuccino that I would have had today makes my blood boil!