Saturday, May 31, 2008
Dunkin Doughnuts and the domestic queen of the small screen Rachael Ray became the latest victims of extremism, but it was not the “Jihadi Islamists” this time that threatened the free world. Rightwing extremism was at its best when it forced national chain Dunkin’ Doughnuts, known for their coffee and baked goods, to pull what had become a controversial online ad campaign featuring the Food Networks mega star, celebrity chef Rachael Ray.
In the advertisement Rachael Ray is seen in a park, standing in front of trees with pink blossoms and a building with a distinctive spire holding an iced coffee. The seemingly picturesque add is apparently not exactly what we are led to believe because a black and white checkered keffiyah that inconspicuously adorned her neck is actually "symbolic support for Muslim extremism and terrorism."
How could we have know if it were not for the ultra-conservative (rightwing) bloggers who have touted that the ad “casually promotes the symbol of Palestinian terrorism and the intifada, the keffiyeh, via Rachael Ray.” even labeling the clothing selections as “Jihadi chic”. How many Americans have been fooled into purchasing these delicious ice cold coffee drinks from the machinery of Jihadi Extremism!
Needless to say, Corporate America once again folded under the criticism of conservative would be pundits whose scare tactics continue to not only pressure, but to shape and change public perception and by association, corporate policies as well. Dunkin’ Doughnuts announced that it would no longer be using the Rachael Ray ads “because the possibility of misperception detracted from its original intention to promote our iced coffee.” So mindful of the implications of being labeled as sympathetic to Islamic Extremism, Dunkin’ Doughnuts went even further to explain the clothing selection “In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design,” it said. “It was selected by a stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended.”
For all of the freedom these people claim to be defending, is it not hypocritical of them to attempt others to force others into conforming to their own ways. Is it wrong to wear anything that is reminiscent of the Middle East? Are we to close down that shwerma and falafel shop on the corner out of fear of ‘Culinary Jihad’? It is a sad day when corporations collapse so easily because of the paranoia of others.