"I am..... and don't call me Shirley." -- Leslie Nielsen in Airplane!
The above quote is funny for legitimate reasons: it was meant to be so.
Not nearly as funny has been the events of the past two days when it has come to Dunkin' Donuts and a commercial featuring cook extraordinaire Rachael Ray. In the spot for Dunkin's iced coffee drinks, Ray is wearing a white scarf with a dark blue paisley pattern. Pretty harmless when a reasonable person looks at it. However, right-wing freak show blogger Michelle Malkin has never been called reasonable.
In her column published via the Creators' Syndicate yesterday. Malkin (and the rest of the right-wing wackos) takes issue with the scarf and consequently write to Dunkin' Donuts suggesting a boycott because the scarf, in her opinion, looks like the keffiyeh headdress worn by former PLO leader Yasser Arafat and therefore has a connotation that DD is secretly supporting the terrorists. Malkin further suggested the possibility of a boycott of the donut chain because of the scarf.
When I first heard this nonsense during Tuesday evening's broadcast of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, I laughed because I not only knew that Malkin's credibility ranked right up there with the now infamous Swift Boaters of 2004, but that no reasonable person (my mother included) would seriously consider this.
Boy, was I mistaken, because earlier this morning Dunkin' came out with the following statement to Malkin and others:
“Thank you for expressing your concern about the Dunkin’ Donuts advertisement with Rachael Ray. In the ad that you reference, Rachael is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design that was purchased at a U.S. retail store. It was selected by the stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we will no longer use the commercial."There is only one way to describe this response by Dunkin' Donuts: wussy-like.
Rather than stand up to a small group of people who have no purpose in life but to hate in a manner that would make right-wing dictators throughout history proud, DD instead opted to throw Rachael Ray under the bus over *a scarf*.
Perhaps it is time for those of us who actually are capable of the use of reason and rational thought to send a message to the far reaches of the both sides of the political spectrum. Since we must start somewhere, let's begin here. Sending an email to Dunkin' Donuts and chastising them for kowtowing to a group of extremists is a beginning. Suggesting a boycott of our own for aligning themselves with those same extremists is even better.
Maybe then Corporate America will get the message that there are vastly more people on the outside of the intolerant subgroup than there ever will be in it.
It is these groups that got legitimacy 14 years ago during the congressional upheaval that gave us Bob Dole and Newt Gingrich in leadership positions they never deserved. It is now these groups that are seeing their influence continuing to erode as more Americans wake up and realize that it is not okay to be intolerant of groups based solely off a single event in history.
My hope is that come November, when the Democratic majorities in Congress are not only the same but strengthened, that those who have peddled hate for the past seven years will finally go away once and for all and that the healing process can truly begin for our country.
And to those who would call me a sympathizer and label me an an extremist to the left, I will leave you with this statement:
Call me what you feel you need to in order to justify your pathetic existence, but keep this in mind when you do. Like all Americans on 9/11/01, I was angry at Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden for having the nerve to not only attack our country, but to do it in a manner that killed thousands of innocent people in a place that when I lived in New York, I bought my half-price theater tickets, caught subway trains and ate in restaurants at. The WTC was a personal thing for me. The only thing more personal would have been if they had taken out Rockefeller Center, since I worked in the building with the address number 50 during my time there. It is still my hope that someday we succeed in taking out bin Laden and his hatemongers once and for all. However, it is equally my hope that the extremists on both sides of the aisle finally figure out that they are the minority of all Americans and don't represent the vast majority of reasonable people in the United States.