While this sounds like a strange story, many Americans are starting to feel similar. At the end of the day, safety is more important than virtue signaling.

Two years ago, Starbucks supported violent Black Lives Matter protesters as they rioted across America’s major cities. Now, the coffee giant is being forced to close 16 stores in Democrat-run cities because of skyrocketing crime rates.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Starbucks announced its plans to close six stores in Los Angeles, six stores in Seattle, two in Portland, Oregon, and one each in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. All of the closings will go into effect by the end of July.

The corporation cited reports from its employees about criminal activity in the stores, including drug use in the bathrooms, as a reason for the closings.

“Like so much of the world right now, the Starbucks business as it is built today is not set up to fully satisfy the evolving behaviors, needs and expectations of our partners or customers,” chief executive Howard Schultz wrote Monday in a letter to employees, whom the company calls “partners.”

Even in this statement, Schultz utterly failed to hold criminals accountable for their actions. Instead, he spit out a word salad as an attempt to explain the closings.

The fact that Starbucks executives do not want to call out crime in some of the bluest cities in America should not come as a surprise. In a May 2020 letter to employees, then-President and CEO Kevin Johnson described a “partner forum” that took place in response to the death of George Floyd.

“During this afternoon’s 90-minute forum, Zing Shaw, our global chief inclusion and diversity officer at Starbucks, shared Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote: ‘A riot is the language of the unheard. What is it that America has failed to hear?’” Johnson wrote.

“She stressed the importance of us listening to each other and the power of acknowledging the work that we need to do as a country and as a society.”

While the letter does not explicitly call for riots, it could be interpreted as condoning riots performed by people who feel their voices are not being heard.

Furthermore, Starbucks amended a longstanding policy against political or religious attire for on-duty employees in June of 2020 to allow them to wear “Black Lives Matter” paraphernalia, Yahoo Finance reported.

The corporation also designed special “Black Lives Matter” shirts for employees to wear that included the slogan, “No Justice No Peace,” according to CNBC.

That would appear to be a call for violence, which is the opposite of peace.

According to USA Today, Black Lives Matter rioters caused at least $2 billion of damage in 2020. By promoting this organization, Starbucks was at best ignoring, and at worst condoning, these criminal actions.

But now that the crime in America’s bluest cities has made its way into the corporation’s stores, Starbucks has suddenly decided it can no longer tolerate it.

In addition to the 16 store closings, Starbucks said it would allow store managers to close restrooms and limit seating to address safety issues. If needed, managers are even permitted to dial back operations.

Some of the cities where Starbucks is closing stores have seen high-profile crimes in recent weeks. Last weekend in Los Angeles, Olympic silver medalist Kim Glass was allegedly assaulted by a homeless man with a metal object.

In addition, 73-year-old James Lambert was allegedly beaten to death by a group of juveniles on June 24 in Philadelphia.

As long as Democrats continue to be soft on crime, it will continue to rise. The sooner Starbucks takes a stand against the woke left, the better off they will be.