Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is considering running for president in 2020, said on Tuesday that he grew up in the projects and doesn’t see color.
“As somebody who grew up in a very diverse background as a young boy in the projects, I didn’t see color as a young boy and I honestly don’t see color now,” Schultz said at a CNN town hall moderated by Poppy Harlow.
Schultz was responding to a question from the audience about a racial profiling incident that occurred at a Starbucks location in Philadelphia in April 2018. Two black men were arrested while waiting for a friend in the store after the store manager called the police on them. The company shut down thousands of stores to conduct anti-bias training as a result.
“Injustice in America of any kind – especially racial injustice, which continues – is not something that we should be proud of and we need to resolve,” Schultz responded, when asked if he worried that this incident would be an issue for voters.
Schultz announced in January that he was seriously thinking of running for president as a centrist independent.
He said the Philadelphia incident was “something that we learned a great deal from,” and added, “We realized that we had a problem. And it’s a problem that I think exists widely in this country, and it’s something that I would characterize as unconscious bias that many of us have based on our own life experiences.”
“We have to be able to have uncomfortable conversations. We have to talk to people who are different than ourselves,” Schultz said. “We have to embrace the diversity of the nation. “