Dunkin’ Nonsense, by Mike Gold
Sorry. I won’t even try to tie this week’s column into comics. Or into Rachael Ray, for that matter. It’s about fear and bigotry and other concepts that have been washing over America repeatedly these last few years.
There was a guy who worked at the Mobil station about a half-mile down the road from me. His name was Muhammad. It said so on his nametag. On 9-12-01, he looked like the most scared man I ever met. By the next time I was at the gas station, his nametag had undergone a rewrite. He was now “Michael.” At least in public.
I know a couple kids with an Egyptian last name. Prior to 9-11-01, they were quite little. After 9-11-01, they grew up pretty fast. That’s what happens when your schoolmates hold you and your Egyptian last name responsible for the deaths of some 3,000 people (we like to say “3,000 Americans, but that’s not the truth). Kids can be vicious, but they’ve got to learn that type of bigotry somewhere.
Last week, for example, kids could learn how to be fear-mongers and bigots from our friends at your friendly neighborhood Dunkin’ Donuts. In case you haven’t been near the media, or in case you’ve been totally fixated on Hillary Clinton’s attempt to ape George W. Bush’s 2000 election theft, here’s the story.
Professional celebrity Rachael Ray did an ad for Dunkin’ Donuts. In this ad, she wore a scarf. This scarf sorta, kinda looked like a keffiyeh. That’s a rather traditional clothing item worn by Arabian men – Rachel Ray is not an Arabian man – of all political persuasions. Pro-America, anti-America, and anything else that might matter to the Lunatic Right and one of their prime screamers, columnist / broadcaster Michelle Malkin. If the name rings a bell and you’re up on asinine outrage, Ms. Malkin is an American of Asian descent who wrote the book In Defense of Internment: The Case for ‘Racial Profiling’ in World War II and the War on Terror. Now don’t get upset; it’s okay, she can say that because she’s Asian. Well, she’s Philadelphia-American, but of Asian descent. So if you think she’s being politically incorrect, you’re wrong. She’s farting in the swimming pool, but she’s not politically incorrect.
Insanely comparing the keffiyeh to the Ku Klux Klan hood, Ms. Malkin stated – note the quotation marks – “So it was with some dismay that I learned last week that Dunkin (sic) Donuts’ spokeswoman Rachael Ray, the ubiquitous TV hostess, posed for one of the company’s ads in what appeared to be a black-and-white keffiyeh.
“The keffiyeh, for the clueless, is the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad. Popularized by Yasser Arafat and a regular adornment of Muslim terrorists appearing in beheading and hostage-taking videos, the apparel has been mainstreamed by both ignorant (and not-so-ignorant) fashion designers, celebrities, and left-wing icons.”
Ms. Malkin, the keffiyeh has been long worn by all kinds of people. The fact that Yassar Arafat and others were among them does not make the item a dangerous symbol, no more than Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad wearing a tie makes all ties dangerous symbols. And, anyway, what was the happy use of the white hood prior to its adoption by the Klan?
Malkin’s blatherings led to a number of ditto-heads contacting Dunkin’ Donuts and threatening boycotts, as if these were the type of folks who would wind up buying their morning joe at Starbucks. So Dunkin’ Donuts was faced with an interesting decision: should they bend to the whim of the ill-informed, ill-advised lunatic fringe, or should they take a stand against fear-mongering and bigotry and decline to help foster the onslaught of anti-Arab-American and anti-Moslem-American behavior that has helped make this nation a parody of its former self?
Mike Gold is editor-in-chief of ComicMix.