Almost everyone loves a good cup of coffee, and 19-year-old Aishah is no exception. On July 1, she stopped at a Starbucks location inside a Target, specifically the St. Paul-Midway Target Starbucks in Minnesota, for a treat. When she received her beverage, her name was written as “ISIS.”
Look, we can understand Muslim names are hard to pronounce, difficult to spell, but please drop the excuses right now. Even if one does not understand someone’s name, no professional, respectful staff would write ISIS on the cup of someone who looks Muslim! Like, really? A mistake? A woman with a hijab walks into your store, and you have the audacity to misspell her name to be ISIS and then proceed to call it a mistake?
Aishah, a 19-year-old resident of Minnesota described her experience at Starbucks as belittling and humiliating. She also says that her concerns were dismissed after asking to talk to a manager by being given a new drink and a Starbucks gift card. She was then escorted from the premises by security.
She ultimately enlisted the help of CAIR-MN, and filed a suit.
By filing a discrimination charge against the Target Starbucks, Aishah is sending a clear message. Muslims are tired and frustrated over the Islamophobia we encounter on a daily basis. Although Starbucks has not really responded to the incident as of yet — instead preferring to pass the buck to Target, saying that because it is located in Target, it is operated by Target — let it be known that no injustice will go unnoticed. This is not the time to stay silent.
In an email to CNN, a Target spokesperson said they want “everyone who shops with us to feel welcomed, valued and respected and we strictly prohibit discrimination and harassment in any form. We are very sorry for this guest’s experience at our store and immediately apologized to her when she made our store leaders aware of the situation. We have investigated the matter and believe that it was not a deliberate act but an unfortunate mistake that could have been avoided with a simple clarification. We’re taking appropriate actions with the team member, including additional training, to ensure this does not occur again.”
Starbucks — and Target — you owe us an apology. America, get your shit together, and do better. Please stop trying to convince us that the barista does not even know what ISIS means. For too long, we’ve been dismissing the discriminatory treatment we endure. Enough is enough.