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Starbucks releases 'unity' cup, ends up showing how divided people are

Starbucks' new cup is displayed, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in New York. One week before Election Day, Starbucks has unveiled a new cup in the U.S. that it said is meant to be "a symbol of unity." The green cup features a mosaic of more than 100 people, including a coffee farmer and barista.

Associated Press

Starbucks' new cup is displayed, Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2016, in New York. One week before Election Day, Starbucks has unveiled a new cup in the U.S. that it said is meant to be "a symbol of unity." The green cup features a mosaic of more than 100 people, including a coffee farmer and barista.

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November

Starbucks cups —disposable, paper cups, made to deliver coffee to your mouth (and caffeine to your bloodstream) — are once again being used as a political prop.

The coffee chain released new, limited-time-only cups this week featuring a drawing by artist Shogo Ota. The drawing, which uses a single line to create a mosaic of human figures, signifies "unity," as a press release explains:

"A single line connects the figures. A coffee farmer, a family, a barista, friends embracing. A mosaic of more than a hundred people drawn in one continuous stroke is featured on a new Starbucks green cup.

“The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers. During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and ceo. 

Then people started tweeting things like this.

Some people defended the cups.

But if there was one thing people actually seemed unified on via Twitter, at least as far as what I saw, it was the sentiment that they really just did not care what their coffee came in.

Some of the hate seemed be coming from people who mistakenly thought the unity cup was this year's Starbucks holiday cup, but the company's holiday cups for 2016 have yet to be unveiled. 

Starbucks went through a cup controversy last year when it released a plain, red cup for the holidays, which some people chalked up to a liberal "war on Christmas" since the cup didn't feature any traditional Christmas iconography. That red cup even led Donald Trump to comment at the time, "Maybe we should boycott Starbucks? I don't know. Seriously, I don't care. ... If I become president, we're all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you."

[Last modified: Wednesday, November 2, 2016 1:14pm]

    

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