I Hate to Be the Bearer of Bad News, But It’s Time to Stop Being Outraged Over the Outrage Over the Starbucks Cup :(

Listen, friends.

I like a good bout of outrage as much as the next girl. I do. Outrage is awesome! Outrage is fun! Outrage gets the blood flowing! Seriously; get me started sometime on U.S. immigration policy ( Let ’em all in! The more the merrier!) or the amount of testing in my kids’ schools (STOP IT) or why it’s apparently so hard for my children to understand that this Mommy — against all reason and common sense — occasionally wants to poop alone. Outrage, I tell you. OUTRAGE. I like it. I do.

Which is why I was outraged about all the Starbucks Cup news!

redcupDid you hear about it? The story about how some Christians are incensed over Starbucks’ plain red holiday cup? The story about how those Christians are outraged at the snowflakes and ice skates and “traditional Christmas symbols” which Starbucks removed from its vessels?

Of course you heard about it. The news outlets are covering it. All of them. CNN. Fox. NBC. No matter who you rely on for your news, they are all over this story.

And it’s everywhere in my Facebook news feed. Not the initial outrage, though. The outrage over the outrage. And I responded by being equally outraged. BECAUSE UGH. As a Christian, I am SO TIRED of Christians being outraged over Stupid Stuff. There are children dying from preventable diseases. There are people being murdered by ISIS. There are families fleeing Syria and finding no room at the inn. I was OUTRAGED over the outrage, friends — of course I was — and, as a Crazy Ass Liberal Christian (Let ’em all in!), I was disheartened my conservative Christian colleagues continue to give all of us a bad name with this kind of drivel.

Also, it felt good to be outraged. Kind of righteous, you know? And I was secure in the knowledge that I’m better than those dummies who believe that crap about the saving knowledge of a cup and think a religious war is being waged via a cardboard medium. I am so much more like Jesus than them, you guys! WAY more Christlike.

But then, um, it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen any posts from anyone actually outraged over that cup.

Like, not one.

And for a girl who has a fairly large group of conservative friends, that was odd.

So I started wondering.

And then I started researching.

And then I started asking.

FBQuestion

OK, friends, I wrote on Facebook, I have an honest question. I am suuuuper curious about the Starbucks outrage. Specifically about the outrage over the outrage. Granted, my friends here in this space tend toward the progressive/liberal, so I may not be seeing what all y’all are seeing, but I have more than a few friends who would self-identify as conservative and as very, very, very-to-infinity conservative. Yet I haven’t seen a single post (not ONE) from my conservative friends feeling outraged about the Starbucks cup or threatening to boycott Starbucks (at least not for this reason ;)) or to give the name “Merry Christmas” when they order coffee.

My question is this: How much actual outrage over the Starbucks cup are you personally seeing? Not the articles about the outrage. Not the articles about the outrage over the outrage. Like, how many people have you personally interacted with who are upset about the Starbucks cups?

Yes, it’s anecdotal evidence I’m gathering, but I have a growing suspicion that we’re deepening the caverns between us when we’re outraged over outrage a possible teeny TINY minority of people are expressing. Very curious about your thoughts on this.

Imagine my disappointment when my conservative friends began responding with:

I’m very conservative and am not outraged over this, nor has it even come up in any conversations I’ve been a part of.

and

Not sure where you’d fit me on the hypothetical continuum, but definitely closer to the conservative end–I’m not a bit offended and haven’t heard anyone else who is. And I’m annoyed I went to the store and forgot to buy more Starbucks. 😉

and

Zero. Absolutely zero outrage from any of my people.

and

UBER conservative Baptist here, with 2 daughters who do or have worked at Starbucks and I think the whole thing is freaking ridiculous.

and

As conservative as you can get. No outrage.

I know, friends. I know. THIS SUCKS.

No one outside of an extreme (and turns out not-actually-very-vocal) minority is outraged over the Starbucks cup. Which means our outrage over the outrage was outrage over, well, nothing.

What’s more? The guy who started the whole thing is a well-known pot-stirrer and controversy-manufacturer, and we just gave his position merit by blowing it up on the internets. The shares of his video? Mostly people sharing how ridiculous it is. The likes? People liking the comments about the ridiculousness.

I think I speak for all of us when I say, GRARG! And UGH! And BLERG! 

We took the bait and responded to the false outrage by being outraged back. I mean, we did our outrage very well. We ROCKED our outrage. We were extremely good at being outraged. But we still got taken, folks.

In conclusion, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s time to stop being outraged over the outrage over the Starbucks cup. 🙁

In mourning with you,

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
15 comments
  1. […] A few hours later in my next scroll through Facebook, it seemed to me that my Christian friends were ashamed by other Christians who would dare to be upset by something as silly as a red cup. They were outraged about an outrage, which in the end wasn’t even really an outrage. […]

  2. Outrage is overrated. What if we offer each other kindness and grace?

  3. Can I be outraged that they’re calling the cup ombre when it’s not? Pleeeeeeeaaaaaaassssseee

  4. Amen to this! All of I’ve seen is outrage over the outrage and a whole lot of funny and/or sad but true memes.

  5. AMEN sista!!! I LUV you Beth!!!!

  6. My hubby calls it the media’s “wheel of distraction” – and he’s impressed with how early a Christmas Outrage came up this year. Yes, we definitely have more vital topics to focus our outrage on.

  7. Speaking of outrage, I was filling out forms for my kids’ IEP re-eval, and got the “mark here if you are the birth parent, adoptive parent, step parent,” etc. And I remembered that you had written about dealing with this and taking it on with your school district. But I can’t find the post. Could you redirect me to it? I need some perspective and supportive thinking about this. Rock the boat or let it slide? Thank you.

    Also, GREAT catch to even consider that our outrage wasn’t actually necessary. It is really easy to get sucked into these things.

    1. Hi, your question immediately brought to mind the post about the check box on the DMV form when Abby got her driver’s permit, is that the one you were thinking about? If not, I’m sorry.
      But also, I’m wondering if the step parent and/or legal guardian box is a reasonable box to have, but the adoptive one is not? Wondering if it’s because they are looking for all the factors involved in a kid’s life? Background can be sometimes helpful in situations like this, but then again, if you’re having an IEP meeting I’m hoping you’ve already provided all information that you, as the parent, deem useful. 🙂 Good luck!
      http://bethwoolsey.com/2013/08/dear-dmv-stop-treating-adopted-kids-differently/

  8. It’s like you’re in my head.

  9. I think it’s more of a collective outrage at the ridiculousness of the notion of Christians being “persecuted” bc someone says happy holidays to them. As a non-religious, not raised as Christian, very left leaning person I can clearly see this bs whereas maybe you can’t. Seriously. Christianity is by far the majority religion in this country and everyone else is suffocated with Christmas songs etc. Please. Muslims are targeted constantly in this country with bigotry and people are upset about cups? I think this is kind of like white privilege–most Christians don’t see that *they* are the ones whose religion is dominant, whose holidays are celebrated, who, in fact, are not persecuted for their views. So this latest cup thing is kind of the last straw already.

  10. The first two posts about the Red Cup that showed up on my wall were, I’m sad to say, approving/supportive of the original idiot’s outrage. One family member and one friend.

    The next post, about half a day later, was a liberal friend, an atheist actually — incredulous and mocking the original outrage. Outrage about the outrage, as you say. This was right after it was first picked up by the media.

    Then the media coverage, and the mockery, picked up; and the few conservatives who posted about it at all were outraged about the outrage. I was relieved about that, because I always hate the War-on-Christmas season; and I didn’t think this whole “issue” boded well for the rest of it.

    That said…mostly what I hear from conservatives at this point is crickets, even from those who love to weigh in on all things politically-tinged. This may be because they realize how completely asinine this, and everything related to The War on Christmas, really is. I would love to believe that; but years of experience make me doubtful. The other possibility is that many — of my friends at least — agree(d) with the original outrage, but are embarrassed to say so in public because the general consensus not with them. In other words, I think the mainstream media has managed to, for once, permeate the right-wing bubble. If this happened more often, we could declare victory over The War on Christmas. That would be a truly great thing.

  11. WAIT … HOLD THE PRESSES! Just when you thought nothing was wrong. Here comes LEROY JENKINS!!!!

    http://time.com/4106020/starbucks-holiday-cup-donald-trump-boycott/?xid=time_socialflow_facebook

  12. *nods*

    While the web was blowing up over the Starbucks cups, I was spending my time rolling my eyes at the daycare workers who refused to call a little 6 year old boy by his male name, insisting that he was a girl no matter what and that their right to be assholes in the name of Jesus trumped his right to feel comfortable and safe at his daycare. Because according to them Jesus WANTED them to be mean to a 6 year old. They got fired and of course are now screeching about how the world is being mean to THEM. To me that’s a helluva lot more terrible than getting panty-twisted over a cup.

    To be fair; I did see some of the reported outrage on the actual Starbucks FB Page, mostly because I went there to see if my pal Mike Melgaard would show up to troll (you probably remember him from the Target debacle and the Campbell Soup – he’s the fake customer service guy). 🙂 But all in all, yes, the media blew this all out of proportion – but like that Onion story that’s just too close to reality, a lot of people fell for it.

  13. Hahaha!!! Beth you’re the actual best.
    Thank you for redressing the balance.
    Life’s too freaken short for that kind of crap.

  14. Dang it! I need to be outraged about something! May I be be outraged over the disuse of the word ‘whom’? Or how no one hands out Good ‘N’ Plentys for Halloween anymore so I can nab them from my daughters stash? Or how about the stupid short, squat sticks of butter you have out here in Oregon that don’t fit in a standard butter dish.

    I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel, but I’m desperate for some outrage here.

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