Starbucks’ new cup sparks controversy

Rhiannon Stroberg, Features Editor

A nationwide controversy took place on social media sites after the popular coffee chain Starbucks released their highly anticipated holiday red cup, which was literally an ombré tinted red cup rather than the traditional Christmas themed cups.

Bakersfield College students expressed their opinions about the trending online topic.

“I don’t go to Starbucks, so I don’t care,” said nursing major Ijeoma Ojukwu, 33. “I make my coffee at home.”

Human biology major, Aleena Paiz, 18, said, “I think it’s just a red cup. It’s just Starbucks’ way of its Christmas cup. I don’t go to Starbucks very often, so the cup thing doesn’t matter; people over-think things. It is what it is, but it’s their opinion. No one should care about it, though.”

“I think it shouldn’t matter,” child development major Ashley Mariscal, 20, said. “It’s just a cup. There’s more important problems in the world that should be addressed rather than a stupid red cup.”

The majority of the backlash occurred after social media personality Joshua Feuerstein, a self-described “disciple of Jesus,” posted a video, which went viral, about how Starbucks was removing Christ and Christmas from their traditional holiday cups, imposing that Starbucks is contributing to waging a war on American Christians.

Feuerstein was also responsible for declaring that a “Christian holocaust” began once Kentucky clerk Kim Davis was arrested for refusing to sign a gay marriage license.

Feuerstein encouraged people to indicate to Starbucks employees that their name was Merry Christmas to see if the employees would adhere to their requests. Feuerstein told people to post their results to social media sites under “#MerryChristmasStarbucks.”

Bakersfield resident Kimberly Coon, 22, stated that after watching Feuerstein’s video, she was curious to see if Starbucks would refuse to write her name as Merry Christmas as the video stated.

“I personally don’t have a problem with their new holiday cup, I’m pretty obsessed with the color this year,” said Coon. “But they actually didn’t do it. He [the barista] just rolled his eyes and wrote ‘Mary.’”

Coon believes that the whole cup situation is being blown up for no reason, and that she doesn’t have a personal vendetta against Starbucks because, after all, “It’s just a cup,” she said.

Several people who believed that the uproar was unnecessary and ridiculous didn’t hold back from their opinions by posting their response under “#ItsJustaCup.”

The red cup controversy was such a big trending topic on social media that presidential candidate Donald Trump weighed in by saying, “I have one of the most successful Starbucks in Trump Tower. Maybe we should boycott Starbucks? I don’t know. Seriously, I don’t care. That’s the end of that lease, but who cares?”

Trump went on to say, “If I become president, we’re all going to be saying Merry Christmas again, that I can tell you. That I can tell you.”

Regardless of what Trump said, Coon doesn’t plan on boycotting Starbucks anytime soon.

“I love Starbucks,” she said. “They are against many things, like our troops among other things I support, but at the end of the day, I still love their drinks.”

A Starbucks representative addressed the issue by saying, “In response to the video, our core values as a company is to create a culture of belonging, inclusion and diversity. Each year during the holidays we aim to bring our customers an experience that inspires the spirit of the season and we will continue to embrace and welcome customers from all backgrounds and religions in our stores around the world.”