May 29, 2008

The Terrorist Coffee Seller

This post could have also been titled "Ignorance gets its way thanks to politically correctness" but I guess that sounds too intellectual. So, I am going for the one that you can see at the top, just making fun of the ignorance that surrounds us... (sigh).

According to the Boston Herald, "Dunkin’ Donuts said today it stopped running an online advertisement featuring Rachael Ray after complaints that a fringed black-and-white scarf that the celebrity chef wore in the ad offers symbolic support for Muslim extremism and terrorism.

The coffee and baked goods chain said the ad that began appearing online May 7 was pulled over the past weekend because "the possibility of misperception detracted from its original intention to promote our iced coffee."

In the spot, Ray wears the scarf around her neck and holds an iced coffee while standing in front of trees with pink blossoms. Critics, including conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, complained that the scarf looked similar to the black-and-white checkered kaffiyeh, the traditional Palestinian scarf. Critics who fueled online complaints about the ad in blogs say such scarves have come to symbolize Muslim extremism and terrorism. (...)

A statement issued by Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands Inc., however, said the scarf had a paisley design, and was selected by a stylist for the advertising shoot. 'Absolutely no symbolism was intended,' the company said.

Dunkin’ spokeswoman Michelle King said the ad appeared on the chain’s Web site, as well as other commercial sites. Malkin, in a posting following up on last week’s column, said of Dunkin’s decision to pull the ad, 'It’s refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists.'(...)"

I am so appalled by the fact that the company pulled out the ad, that I really don't know where to start with. A couple of days ago I was talking about politically correctness and this is (in some way) another example of how people can interpret something as they see fit, not taking in consideration the context. And how at the end of the day, politically correctness can lead to some kind of censorship.

For God's sake, does anyone that uses a beret is a follower of the Che Guevara or is giving symbolic support to any guerilla movement? Should everyone stop smoking cigars because it can be interpreted as the symbol of Castro?

Now, we have to be "politically correct" with our accessories too? Yes, the keffiyeh can be a symbol of solidarity with the Palestianan movement, but has also been used (and it is still being used) by militars from ALL countries, including the US when in the Middle East, due to its practicality in the desert. And it is a piece of cloth.... that in some contexts may mean solidarity with the palestinians, but in a coffee ad you can bet all your money there was no subliminal message. They are available in almost any country in the world, and millions use it because they simply like it. Can the ignorants from Fox stop seeing ghosts where they are none? Can someone read to them the story of the keffiyeh?

When I was in Israel and Egypt I bought one, as I was surprised on how light they are and delighted to see how many uses they have considering the size. Does that make me a terrorist? (sigh) Isn't Dunkin Donuts by itself an American symbol powerful enough to counterbalance ANY symbolism there?

I would love to see this happen the other way around. If the arab world would be the one "offended" because such an American symbol as Dunkin Donuts is using in their ad a piece of cloth that is so dear to their culture, our ignorant bullies would be claiming that we have the right to use it, that is basic freedom of speech, just a piece of cloth, and would be gloating showing the ad once and again.

One way or the other, I am not buying from Dunkin Donuts anytime soon. I know my boycott means nothing to them, but I just can't stand those that allow ignorants to get their way!

1 comment:

The Hired Pen said...

When that newspaper in Amsterdam ran a cartoon--a cartoon, for Allah's sake--poking fun at Mohammed, the entire Muslim world went berserk.

Maybe some Imam somewhere has issued a fatwa against Rachael Ray...