The remark set off a wave of criticism from the Hispanic community, which has time and again been dehumanized and attacked by Trump since the 2015 launch of his presidential campaign.
The hashtags #BoycottGoya and #GoyaFoods were trending on Twitter Thursday after the CEO of Goya Foods—the largest Hispanic-owned food brand in America—heaped praises on President Donald Trump during a visit to the White House. According to NBC News, netizens called to boycott the brand after Robert Unanue, chief executive of the family-owned operation since 2004, said the country is "truly blessed" to "have a leader like President Trump." The remark set off a wave of criticism from the Hispanic community, which has time and again been dehumanized and attacked by Trump since the 2015 launch of his presidential campaign.
While hundreds of families face separation at the border even amid the pandemic, Trump this week reached out to Latinx voters with a promised expansion of his "Hispanic Prosperity Initiative"—a scheme that'll reportedly include more taxpayer support for charter and private schools. School choice "is a great civil rights issue and may be the great one of our times," he said at the Thursday event attended by several Hispanic politicians and business magnates. It was at this event that Unanue made the comments praising the President while announcing a donation of 1 million cans of chickpeas and 1 million pounds of other food to food banks.
I won't buy their products.— Leia🇨🇴 (@TheSWPrincess) July 10, 2020
I guess Bob Unanue doesn't consider himself Hispanic. Or hates people from Latin America.
My mother's parents both trace their lineage back to Spain. Their families have been in Colombia for several generations.
His hypocrisy disgusts me.#Goyaway pic.twitter.com/buvPa1QmQ5
"We're all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder," he said during the Rose Garden speech, reports NPR. "We have an incredible builder. And we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president, and we pray for our country — that we will continue to prosper and to grow." The remark almost immediately set off a wave of criticism against the brand with netizens urging consumers to consider other brands in the canned food aisle.
Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue: "We're all truly blessed... to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder." pic.twitter.com/2VdG4qAnpK— The Hill (@thehill) July 9, 2020
[Goya Foods] has been a staple of so many Latino households for generations. Now their CEO, Bob Unanue, is praising a president who villainizes and maliciously attacks Latinos for political gain. Americans should think twice before buying their products, tweeted former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro. Speaking to NBC via email, Latino Victory Fund CEO Nathalie Rayes condemned Unanue for seemingly turning a blind eye towards Trump repeatedly vilifying the Hispanic community. "It's shameful and appalling that the president of Goya Foods is praising the most anti-Latino president in the history of our country," she said.
The nice thing about a free society is that you're FREE to boycott the shit out of companies like Goya that support racist, sociopathic criminal assholes like trump.— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) July 10, 2020
Don't like it, don't buy it.
Don't shop at places that sell it.#Goyaway
This is some twisted 🤬..— 🎙Mia... (@MCW_Disruptor) July 10, 2020
The bulk of @GoyaFoods customers are the same folks targeted time and again by this administration. @GoyaFoods have been a staple in my home for years
That ends today. I can not support a business that supports Trumps policies of bigotry & hate#Goyaway https://t.co/dCgpQHzfXB
"President Trump has disrespected and attacked the Latino community since Day 1. We call for a boycott of Goya Foods products and anyone who stands with Donald Trump and against our community," Rayes added. Meanwhile, Youth immigrant organization United We Dream launched a "Not Today GOYA: Boycott Goya Foods" campaign against the New Jersey-based Goya. "Today the CEO of Goya Foods praised Trump and aligned the Goya brand with Trump's white supremacist agenda. He even went as far as stating that we are 'blessed to have a leader like Trump.' This is unacceptable," the organization stated.
We don't support companies who endorse and comply with a White Supremacist regime. Under capitalism, know the power of the dollar in their eyes. We're using it to make a statement.— United We Dream (@UNITEDWEDREAM) July 10, 2020
Pledge your commitment to boycotting Goya Foods today:https://t.co/obBv46tqDg
"We all know that Trump has not stopped attacks on immigrants, Latinx folks, Black people, and all people of color, since day 1. We must show [the] CEO of Goya Foods Robert Unanue that we won’t stand for this! If Goya wants our business, they must respect and fight for our humanity! Goya depends on our business and our communities continuing to purchase their products," it added. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also addressed Unanue's remarks in a tweet suggesting that consumers could simply learn how to make their own Adobo. She followed it up with a friend's from-scratch recipe.
Get yourself friends like these: this tweet wasn’t up for TWO MINUTES when my friend hit me up with the recipe. (Their note: “the ginger is controversial, but worth it”)— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 10, 2020
4 Salt, 1 paprika, 1 cumin, 1 celery powder, 2 garlic powder, .5 ginger , 1 chili powder) pic.twitter.com/5WFe9sL5jE
However, in a statement issued late Thursday, Unanue refused to address the backlash that followed his remarks and instead reiterated his support for the president's Hispanic Prosperity Initiative. "Our country faces a time of historic challenge but we will meet that challenge together and continue to work towards greatness, focus on a strong recovery, and hold onto the hope for a healthier future for all," he said.