You’ve probably heard by now: Dunkin Donuts pulled an ad featuring Rachel Ray a few weeks ago. It wasn’t because she’s annoying, or says “E-V-O-O.” It was because of the scarf she wore in the ad. The scarf stirred up a lot of controversy in the right-wing racist media, spurred on by Michelle Malkin of Fox News (need I say more?), because it looked like a keffiyeh.
The Keffiyeh, bubbles
On her blog, Michelle Malkin rallied to boycott Dunkin’ Donuts because of its perpetuation of “hate couture” and “jihadi chic.” According to Malkin, the keffiyeh is equivalent to a proclomation that the wearer is a terrorist, or at least sympathizes with terrorists. As a result, Dunkin’ Donuts pulled the ad so as not to send the wrong message. Unfortunately, it did send the wrong message.
The keffiyeh scarf is widely worn in Arab-speaking countries, among Muslims, Christians and Jews, and is part of traditional Arab dress. Today, US and British troops in the middle-east wear keffiyehs. To say that wearing the scarf is a symbol of terrorism is not only ignorant, but is offensive to our troops and blatantly racist against Arabs. Dunkin’ Donuts “surrendered to racism” and pulled the ad because they were scared of a backlash and boycott. They should be – but not from the right-wing maniacs spouting hatred. Instead of taking this as an opportunity to take a stand, they bowed down to threats. I was a giant Dunkin’ Donunts fan – until now. If you are disappointed in Dunkin’ Donuts for surrendering to anti-Arab racism, visit this link calling for an apology to the Arab-American community, as well as a boycott of Dunkin’ Donuts, until such apology is issued.
I know to some people this may seem melo-dramatic. But if you look at our history, there has always been a group of people that it’s been “ok” to hate. At some point in time, it’s very likely your people were hated on – and not to long ago. Remember Japanese internment camps in the U.S. during WWII? Jim Crow in the South? The Holocaust? I could go on and on. The people’s history is rife with people oppressing people because of the way they look, speak, dress and pray. In our recent history, and especially since September 11, 2001, “Arabs” (or anyone the right shade of brown) have become public enemy number one. Don’t let racists intimidate with fear and oppression. It may be a small start, but I’m starting with no more Dunkin’ Donuts.
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