SEATTLE - Starbucks founder and chairman Howard Schultz has told employees that bigotry, hatred and senseless acts of violence against "people who are not white" cannot stand.

"I know we are better than this, but the bigotry and the hatred and the senseless acts of violence against people who are not white cannot stand. Not in this country," Schultz said in a video released by the company.

The comments follow last weekend's deadly violence following a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Schultz says it's hard to remain optimistic about the country's future "in the midst of such a storm," but he says he still is.

"I raise my hand and say 'I am still optimistic about the future of the country and the long-term vision and opportunity that we and our children have about the true promise of America,'" Schultz said.

Starbucks and Schultz have been outspoken on social issues.

He was not a member of either of President Donald Trump's two panels of business leaders that dissolved Wednesday after several CEOs stepped down in protest of Trump's comments on the rally.

KING 5's Travis Pittman contributed to this report.