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Fake Starbucks Coupons for People of Color Are Circulating Online

April 18, 2018, 4:45 PM UTC

Fake Starbucks coupons that appear to offer free beverages to people of color are circulating online, in the midst of outrage over the treatment of two black men who were arrested in a Philadelphia Starbucks.

The “coupons,” which a Starbucks representative said are “completely false and in no way associated with Starbucks,” include the coffee chain’s logo and signature green color scheme, and are emblazoned with messages like, “We’re sorry” and, “The best dialogue starts over a cup of coffee.” In one, the fine print reads, “Limited to persons of African American heritage and/or identity at time of exchange;” in another, “People of color only.”

Some of the fake coupons also instruct baristas to use the discount code 1488 — a string of numbers that combines two white supremacist symbols — and are printed with QR codes that, when scanned, translate the code to the word n—-r, Business Insider reports.

The images emerged after two black men were arrested while waiting for a friend in a Philadelphia Starbucks, causing widespread backlash from customers. The images have been circulating on social media and the website 4chan.

Starbucks apologized for the incident in Philadelphia and announced plans to temporarily close 8,000 of its locations for staff racial bias trainings.