*Alt-right racists tried to make everyone think that Starbucks was offering free coffee to African Americans as an apology for the racist incident at their Philadelphia store.
It didn’t work, as their clumsy attempt at making the fliers look legit ultimately led to their exposure.
According to Daily Kos, the #FreeBlackCoffee scam was created by white nationalists who frequent the anonymous website 4chan. After Starbucks announced Tuesday it would close all of its stores next month for staff diversity training, the racists sprung into action with fliers promising one cup of free coffee – but only for black people, to make amends for the treatment of two black men who were arrested while waiting for their white friend at a Philly Starbucks on April 12.
The’ intent, Daily Kos surmised, was to make African Americans look greedy for demanding free coffee with the “coupon,” and to put Starbucks in a position where they felt it was not in their best PR interest to refuse the “coupon.”
“All that free coffee would then immediately put the coffee giant out of business…or something? Their fantasy outcomes weren’t cohesive or clear,” DailyKos reported:
Via Daily Kos:
And since the “special offer” was shared almost exclusively by Twitter handles that include the words “MAGA” or “Deplorable,” and/or feature photos of Pepe the Frog as their avatar, it was a pretty obvious troll initiative–even before checking out the fine print.
And oh, that fine print was full of almost-clever pseudo-legalese, offering a free drink of any size to “people of color” or “persons of African-American heritage only,” depending on which version of the fakery that one encountered.
The fine print on some flyers also made a not-even-slightly subtle nod to white nationalism’s favorite number, according to Think Progress.
Baristas are then told to use the discount code 1488, which combines the white nationalist 14 words phrase along with 88, which is an abbreviation for the phrase “Heil Hitler.” The QR code on the flyers also links to a website which translates the code as the n-word.
You read that right. Someone took time out of their day to build a website for this purpose. And it’s not even the first time they’ve pulled a stunt like this–they targeted DREAMers in 2017.
Starbucks quickly declared the fliers a fraud, and a simple Google search for the hashtag associated with the fakery immediately led to the 4chan “Politically Incorrect” board, where all the brainstorming and copyedits took place. Twitter users were also quick to debunk the hoax and identify the white supremacist source.
— Martin Ross (@TheMartinRoss) April 17, 2018
A handy list of alt-right accounts is now available on Twitter! Just check out the hashtag #freeblackcoffee and see who is posting a hoax Starbucks coupon which came straight out of the troll factory otherwise known as 4chan.
— Debbi Baker (@Debbi_Baker) April 18, 2018
But that didn’t stop conservative nightmare Ann Coulter from doubling down on the obvious scam.
Her response to the news that Marine Corps Col. Lorna Mahlock has been nominated (by Donald Trump) as the first black woman brigadier general in the USMC: “AND she gets free coffee at Starbucks!”
AND she gets free coffee at Starbucks! https://t.co/j9oysZ0opq
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) April 18, 2018