A recent op-ed published by NBC News suggested that Goya CEO’s Robert Unanue’s recent praise of President Donald Trump stemmed from his desire for “white acceptance.”
Written by Julio Ricardo Varela, the op-ed suggests that Unanue has not only abandoned his Latino roots through his support for Trump and Republicans but has also been exploiting Latin-Americans and selling “chemicalized and dangerous” food.
The controversy over Goya Foods erupted last week when Unanue said, during a Rose Garden speech about the White House’s Hispanic prosperity initiative, that America is “truly blessed” to have Trump as president.
“We’re all truly blessed … to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder,” the CEO said. “We have an incredible builder, and we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president.”
For that assertion, activists vowed to boycott Goya, a move that Varela says Unanue should have been aware of before praising Trump.
“As Unanue’s comments, so disconnected from the reality of so many Latinos in America, sparked an outcry, the question really is why the head of one of the richest Spanish-American families would be willing to risk his company’s future by siding with this president, of all presidents,” wrote Varela.
Later, Varela answers his own question by describing these comments as Unanue’s search for “white acceptance.”
“Well, as a long-time supporter of Republican candidates, Unanue has had no problem shunning his grandfather’s Puerto Rican migrant roots by playing up his family’s Spanish and European ones — as though the quest for white acceptance is something noble to achieve in these times,” he wrote.
Varela then said that Goya has never actually been in touch with the Latino communities and exploits the cultures’ rich food history to make cheap, processed products that are “dangerous” for consumers.
“To many, Goya is home — part of a Puerto Rican or a Caribbean or a Latin American identity that has spanned generations. It is, at least in their marketing, the food of the ‘new arrival,’ trying to make it in a new country without losing the flavors of their heritage,” he wrote.
“The truth, of course, is somewhat more complicated: Goya sells ultra-cheap foodstuffs often filled with sodium and other preservatives, telling us, in effect, that our ‘heritage’ is chemicalized and dangerous, when little is further from the truth,” he continued. “The unhealthiness of sodium and preservative-filled foods (which are cheaper to manufacture, package, transport and sell in mass quantities without losing any to spoilage than foods without those ingredients) is part of what leads many to say that Latino cuisine — and thus Latinos — are inherently unhealthy.”
Along with the vows to boycott the company, Goya has garnered support from other corners of the internet. On Saturday, a GoFundMe was launched to raise money to feed the hungry using Goya Food products; it has since raised more than $158,000 dollars.
Unanue, who had previously worked with the Obama administration, said he will not be apologizing to the woke mob.
“You’re allowed to talk good or to praise one president but you’re not allowed — when I was called to be part of this commission to aid in economic and educational prosperity, and you make a positive comment, all of the sudden that’s not acceptable,” he told Brian Kilmeade of “Fox & Friends.”
Unanue said he’s “not apologizing” for what he said. “Especially if you’re called by the president of the United States, you’re going to say, ‘No, I’m sorry, I’m busy, no thank you?’ I didn’t say that to the Obamas and I didn’t say that to President Trump,” he said.