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Boycott Dunkin Donuts! (Like That’s Gonna Be Hard)

June 2, 2008

Boycott: Don’t Shop at Dunkin’ Donuts!
Say No to Anti-Arab Racism

Dunkin Donuts ad
Dunkin Donuts pulled this advertisement after right-wing racists complained that the scarf in the ad was a kaffiyeh.

The ANSWER Coalition and others are calling for a worldwide boycott of Dunkin’ Donuts. The boycott intends to send a powerful message to Dunkin’ Donuts and other corporations that engage in racism or pandering to anti-Arab and anti-Muslim racists.

Please lend your name to the boycott by clicking this link and send a letter to Dunkin’ Donuts. Be sure to circulate this call to your friends on list serves and social networking sites.  

Here’s the background: 
Dunkin’ Donuts has capitulated and withdrawn an advertisement for its products following the allegation by a right-wing hack, Michelle Malkin, that the spokeswoman in the ad was pictured wearing a kaffiyeh, a scarf which is a staple of clothing traditionally worn by Palestinian men.

The scarf pictured in the ad is not actually a kaffiyeh. But the anti-Arab racism of the right-wing, pro-Bush ideologues like Malkin is so extreme that they launched their campaign because they “thought” the scarf was this traditional Arab garment. Dunkin’ Donuts pulled their ad apologizing that the scarf might even resemble a kaffiyeh. 

In Malkin’s twisted world anything “Arab,” even a scarf, is “terrorist.” This is the same line of thinking promoted by the Bush administration in the wake of 9/11, when thousands of Middle Eastern men living in the United States were rounded up and falsely imprisoned. Some were even tried on phony “terrorism” charges. It is the same line of thinking that was used to promote the racist war drive against Afghanistan and then Iraq. 

The fact that a giant corporation like Dunkin’ Donuts quickly pulled the advertisement is a sign that the pervasive racism, chauvinism and xenophobia peddled by right-wing bigots is a real danger. This is a classic tactic of fascist intimidation and demonization of an entire population. 

We demand that Dunkin’ Donuts immediately apologize to the Arab-American community for this disgraceful surrender to racism. Until that apology is issued we will refuse to shop or buy any products marketed by the Dunkin’ Donuts Corporation.

Please lend your name to the boycott by clicking this link and send a letter to Dunkin’ Donuts.

Note from Gourmet Grrl: A.N.S.W.E.R. is probably the most organized, most radical antiwar movement around right now.  If your unsure about signing a petition or joining a boycott, check out their site and look around. 
Also, if you haven’t seen the film, The Visitor, do it.  Today.  Right now, if you can.  It’s at the Fine Arts Theatre in Asheville this week.  

And please don’t eat at Dunkin Donuts.  It’s yucky, anyway.  Just eat a local cupcake instead.







5 Comments leave one →
  1. Boston Bob permalink
    June 3, 2008 9:21 am

    –I disagree. They needed to just get out of it altogether and let the people on the far ends continue to fight each other, as they do every day and will do no matter what Dunkin’ Donuts does.

    BTW–Starbucks uses indferior beans and over roasts them so you can’t taste the difference and dupes you into thinking the opposite because they charge double a fair price. If theyc an get awaywith that, and they clearly do, anyone will believe anything.

    It’s best sometimes to ignore an entire “controversy” and leave wars of words to those who eek to enflame them. Dunkin’ knows it is not a keffiyeh and tht even if it was, not everyone who wears one is a terrorist–quite the opposite, as seeing any large group of older Middle Eastrners will evidence (or any desert travelling person who is smart enough to protect themselves from the sun.)

    It’s not Dunkin’s job to buy TV time to “educate” the “masses” that many seem to beleive are simple bovines who will begin bleating and stampede at the sight of a black and white patern on a piece of cloth.

  2. June 3, 2008 11:07 am

    Hey Bob,

    To tell the truth, I think ANSWER’s language is also divisive and incendiary. However, I do think that by dropping their ad, Dunkin Donuts responded. They didn’t drop out of the argument. They caved in to fear and bigotry.
    I was already angry at Dunkin Donuts for running my wonderful local donut makers out of town and then making crappy donuts, but I think many of ANSWER’s points are significant.

    I’m not prone to paranoia, but I have seen WAY more police on my streets in the past couple of months than in the whole seven years I’ve lived here. When immigrants are being searched out and deported at record rates for no reason, when my liberal professional conference in Fort Lauderdale is demanding identification (unprecedented) because it’s near the water, when librarians are being ordered to give out private information about internet users or book borrowers, when deportation holding facilities have pictures of the twin towers up everywhere as if to constantly remind everyone of the completely inaccurate connection between 9/11 and American immigrants, well I just think it’s time to get involved.

    I think fear and bigotry and discrimination must be addressed at every single level, and one of the best ways for the average American to be proactive in ending that fear is through conscious consumerism. We can at least hold our businesses (or at least our money) accountable. It’s absolutely the least we can do.

    And I haven’t been drinking Starbucks for a very long time.

  3. Boston Bob permalink
    June 4, 2008 10:26 am

    Well, well, now. I took the time to look to see what Dunkin’ actually DOES, and not what uninformed people at ANSWER and other places opinine that they do. It was VERY INTERESTING.

    While all of the useless bloviating about “protecting” Middle Eastern culture has been wasting bandwith, Dunkin’ Donuts has actually been DOING SOMETHING to invest in the lives of actual Middle Eastern people. Let us not forget that 100% of Dunkin’ Donuts shops are owned by independent franchisees, not a giant corporation. Many of these family franchises are owned by people of Middle Eastern descent. Gee—I wonder how they feel about your boycotting their business and taking food from their childrens mouths to “protect” them?
    Dunkin’ has invested BIG TIME in Arab and other eastern countries to create wealth and jobs for people there. What have you done, aside from try to take away the livelihood of thousands of Middle Eastern families and that of North Americans of Middle Eastern descent with a mindless boycott?

    Here is just ONE example:
    Dunkin’ Donuts opens biggest kitchen complex in Sharjah
    Sharjah: Tue, 3 Jun 2008

    Dunkin’ Donuts has opened the company’s largest commercial kitchen and warehouse complex in the Middle East region in Sharjah. The complex, built on an area of 30,000 sq ft, is the company’s biggest facility of its kind outside the US.
    Sheikh Mohammed Saud Sultan Al Qasimi, chairman of the government of Sharjah Finance Department and proprietor of Continental Foods, owners of the Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise in the UAE, inaugurated the new facility.
    Addressing a large gathering present at the opening ceremony, Sheikh Mohammed said Sharjah’s new Dh19 million ($5.17 million) Dunkin Donuts kitchen and warehouse complex will produce the full range of donuts in 50 different varieties and currently has the capacity to produce 50 million donuts per year.
    He said that twice daily deliveries are made to the outlets around the country to ensure that customers receive their donuts absolutely fresh.
    David Rodgers, Dunkin’ Donuts general manager noted that Dunkin’ Donuts had grown from one outlet in 1997 to 45 now covering the entire UAE. “This stupendous growth has necessitated the need for a much larger commercial kitchen facility,” he said.
    “We have risen to be the most popular coffee & baked goods chain in the UAE serving high quality hot and cold beverages and fresh donuts,” remarked Rodgers.
    Citing a recent customer survey, Rodgers stated that nearly half (47 per cent) of its clientele in the UAE comprised UAE nationals and Arab expatriates while Asians accounted for around 23 per cent of its customer base.
    “Suitable for breakfast or as a snack at mid-morning or afternoon, our donuts are popular even among the Western expatriate population in the UAE as also the Filipino community,” he observed.
    Today, Dunkin’ Donuts is the world’s largest coffee and baked goods chain, serving more than three million customers per day. Dunkin’ Donuts sells 52 varieties of donuts and more than a dozen coffee beverages as well as other baked goods.
    “Dunkin’ Donuts outlets are conveniently situated in all the major Shopping Malls. Outlining the popularity of the food chain worldwide,” Rodgers added.
    “We plan to expand extensively throughout the UAE to ensure that our stores are conveniently located and within reach of everyone in the country,” he stressed.-TradeArabia News Service

  4. June 5, 2008 9:47 am

    The point is not to bring down Dunkin Donuts. If they are as pro-Arab as you say, then they should have no problem issuing an apology. The point is to pay attention to what’s happening around us, and to look at all situations of discrimination or silencing and to take them seriously.

    Okay, you have been heard. You really love Dunkin’ Donuts as an institution and think we should all eat there no matter what scarf Rachel Ray wears or doesn’t wear. Got it. I think we may have some fundamental disagreements about capitalism and how great it is for the world and its people, and since I’m not really feeling that right now, why don’t we just let bygones be bygones, make internet peace, not war, and get back to talking about the best locally-derived recipes, shall we?

  5. the dj permalink
    June 5, 2008 10:56 am

    I agree with SheWhoEats. If Dunkin Donuts is as pro-Arab as you claim Boston, then they should not have caved to right wing “bloviating”, as you put it, and allowed the ad to run. DD stores might be owned by “independent franchises” but they make collective corporate decisions or cede control to a central marketing system. I don’t think the franchises were consulted on the decision to pull the Rachael Ray ad down, considering the knee jerk speed of the decision. DD as a company has supported anti-immigration laws in the past, suing individual franchises for employing illegal immigrants. The corporate identity of DD promotes a political agenda. This is not some co-op that operates by consensus.
    What Rachael Ray wore in that ad, after consulting with stylists and I’m sure by the ad agency and corporate managers that vetted the ad, is currently fashionable. It is not exclusively associated with a keffiyeh. From what I’ve read and heard recently, American soldiers wear this same piece of clothing to protect them from sand and heat in Iraq and other parts of the Middle East. I agree that symbols carry power, but this is not a swastika, a noose, or a color that could indicate allegiance to say the IRA for example. Bloggers like Michelle Malkin stir up xenophobic sentiment to maintain their online profile in the name of “vigilence.” We cannot allow fear to drive our perceptions of Arabs, Persians, or any person of color.

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