Did a Starbucks Manager Threaten to Fire Employees Who Say ‘Merry Christmas’?

The chimeric "War on Christmas" conflict was neatly characterized in a single tweet.

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A Starbucks manager threatened to fire employees who wished customers a "Merry Christmas."



The so-called “War on Christmas” supposedly involves commercial entities’ deliberately eschewing the use of religious symbolism and terminology in their operations and products — even to the extent of forbidding their employees from wishing customers a “Merry Christmas.”

The stereotype of the atheistic, liberal, anti-Christmas combatant was perfectly encapsulated in a Dec. 4, 2019, tweet from someone who asserted that he was the manager of a Starbucks outlet in Charlotte, North Carolina. He proclaimed that he had “informed my employees that they will be fired on the spot if I hear them say ‘Merry Christmas’ to any customers” — an action he purportedly took because he “personally dislike(s) conservative Christians”:

That outrage-inducing tweet gained added prominence when it was amplified a few weeks later by the Facebook campaign page for Republican U.S. Rep. Steve King of Iowa, where it was reposted with the added comment “Wow”:

But King (or his campaign) was taken in by a troll. As Starbucks explained many times over, the person behind the Twitter account that posted the controversial tweet (@MuellerDad69) was not a Starbucks employee:

And that account — which Business Insider (BI) noted “previously claimed to discriminate against military service members and police officers who were customers at Starbucks” — was indeed suspended for violating Twitter’s rules:

BI also observed that King, “who was stripped of his committee seats by his own party in January [2019] after making a series of racist comments, often taunts his political opponents online and traffics in conspiracy theories.”

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Taylor, Kate and Eliza Relman.   “An Iowa Congressman Punished for Making Racist Comments Got Duped by a Twitter Troll Named ‘MuellerDad69’ Who Said He Manages a Starbucks and Discriminates Against Conservatives.”
    Business Insider.   17 December 2019.