Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AOC, authoritarianism, boycotts, cancel culture, CCP Virus, consumers, coronavirus, COVID 19, Democrats, election 2020, Goya, Hispanics, identity politics, Im-Politic, Julian Castro, Latinos, Lin-Manuel Miranda, progressives, Robert Inanue, The Squad, Trump, Wuhan virus
It’s almost enough to make even their opponents feel sorry for New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, her fellow members of Congress’ “Squad,” and the rest of Progressive World, especially those who have tried to use Cancel Culture to enforce their party line.
Since the Election 2020 period results have come in, these lefties, and their intolerant, extremist positions have been pilloried for their party’s setbacks in the House and lost opportunities in the Senate by many of their more moderate fellow Democrats.
Recently, however, reliable evidence also has appeared that one of their leading recent Cancel Culture campaigns has backfired spectacularly – their call for a boycott of Goya Foods products.
Goya says it’s America’s biggest Hispanic-owned food company, so at first glance, it would seem an odd target for the ire of Identity Politics-obsessed progressives. But at a July White House event for Hispanic business leaders, CEO Robert Unanue (whose family hails from Spain) committed the supposedly cardinal sin of praising President Trump.
Out came the progressive thought police, including not only Ocasio-Cortez (known of course by the pop culture-type monicker “AOC”) snarkily urging supporters to make their own adobo sauce without Goya’s popular seasoning mix, but Obama administration Housing and Urban Development Secretary and failed presidential candidate Julian Castro, and Hamilton composer Lin-Manuel Miranda. (See here for the details.)
For several months afterwards, I tried to find some hard data on the boycott’s impact, but failed – mainly because Goya is a privately held company. The boycotters and much of the press coverage contended that Goya was taking it on the chin, while Unanue claimed his business was profiting from a powerful backlash. But nothing more solid was available.
Now it is. In October (sorry I didn’t spot this earlier), Goya announced plans for an $80 million investment in a factory in the Houston, Texas area. The facility, which serves as the company’s main hub for producing and distributing its products to the western United States, will be adding equipment needed for a product line that includes new organic offerings. Moreover, this project comes just two years after Goya completed a doubling of the factory’s square footage. So it should be clear that Unanue’s claims were reality-based.
And yesterday the coup de grace was delivered – in a devilishly clever way. Unanue revealed that the company had named AOC “Employee of the Month” for “bringing attention to Goya and our adobo.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded by calling descriptions of her boycott role “made up fantasies” and arguing that Goya’s increased sales stemmed from the shift from restaurant dining to home cooking prompted by CCP Virus lockdowns. And maybe there’s some truth to the latter – although American consumers have plenty of choices other than Goya for Hispanic food products. As for the former, though, it’s just an example of AOC lacking the courage of her convictions, and trying to wipe the huevos off her face.
I can’t help but close, though, by noting that even though President Trump – who joined the Twitter war on behalf of Goya – not only suffered no damage from this episode, but notably increased his support from Latino voters in last month’s election, can learn a lesson from Unanue. The Goya CEO (who also professed to excuse AOC for being “young” and “naive”) just killed a leading critic with kindness. Imagine if even just some of that kind of wit and subtlety had characterized the Mr. Trump’s own statements as candidate and President.