The dangerous polarization that the United States is experiencing has given rise to another controversial incident. Praise of Donald Trump by the CEO of Goya Foods, the country’s biggest Hispanic food company, has sparked requests for a boycott, primarily from the more radical wing of the Democratic Party.
It is not my intention to say that any of the parties is completely right. Rather, it is to put the facts in context and look for a message of peace in the face of the huge rift that the country is living through.
There is no denying that Trump has said horrendous things about Hispanics, in addition to trashing legal immigration, work visas and continuity of protection for various groups, including the Dreamers. But there is no doubt that the president, even with this tough talk, has some supporters among Hispanics.
Because it is a democracy, the ideas of Trump (or anyone else) can be debated, supported or repudiated, in accordance with what each person thinks. This also applies to the opinions of Goya’s CEO. Incidentally, the CEO previously supported former first lady Michelle Obama’s nutrition programs. This shows his interest in bipartisanship, which is quite common among business leaders.
So, who would really be affected by a boycott against Goya? Without a doubt, it would be the company’s 4,000 employees. Once again, those who claim to be defending “the disadvantaged” end up causing more problems for them. In addition, it must not be forgotten that COVID-19 continues to cause hardships in the United States. Goya has contributed food and masks and, according to its management, has not laid off a single employee during this serious crisis.
In my opinion, given the praise of Trump by Goya’s CEO, what is called for is reasoned debate, without stridency, without calls for destruction. Freedom of expression for both sides.
This controversy comes after the visit by the president of Mexico to the White House, with praises of Trump that are similar and inexplicable. In this case, fortunately, no one has called for disrupting the trade in Mexican products. This would be madness on a catastrophic level.
In short, boycotts should only be used in exceptional circumstances, in the face of crimes against humanity or gross violations of human rights. An elected politician, whether it might be Donald Trump or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortes, should abstain from throwing more fuel on the fire.
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