Last Fall, a call went out to boycott yogurt company Chobani because its immigrant founder, Hamdi Ulukaya, hires immigrant refugees.
The New York Times blames the boycott on “the extreme right.” Likewise, the New Jersey Star-Ledger blames “far-right bigots” and “nativist crazies” for the boycott. The Times also blames xenophobia, because only Chibani is being targeted even though many companies have pledged to hire refugees.
The Star-Ledger is right on the issue, but as usual waters down its message—in this case by sarcastically pointing out that Ulukaya “didn't start out with a $14 million loan from his father”—a stab at Trump—and criticisms of Trump’s business practices. It’s true that Trump stoked anti-immigrant fever in America. But what do Trump’s prior personal business practices have to do with the boycott?
The Star-Ledger also writes, near the end:
Why pick on Chobani? Likely because its CEO is an immigrant, and instead of "stealing jobs," a favorite right-wing talking point, he's created thousands of them. Human Rights Watch just called him "a xenophobe's nightmare."
By then I had had enough of the Star-Ledger’s mischaracterization of the boycott movement. So I left these comments:
I take issue with equating xenophobia with “the right wing.” The central hallmark of the Right is support for free market capitalism, which encompasses free trade and free migration. Pro-capitalists understand the enormous contributions that the “fresh blood” of immigration has and does make to America. That cannot happen without a robust capitalist nation that protects individual rights. Free trade and free migration among nations at peace with one another are two sides of the same capitalist coin: they are not only economically good, they are moral imperatives that are central to the concept of human rights. Also, Rightists don’t talk in ridiculous terms like “stealing jobs.” Job creators and their employees are not stealing jobs from anyone, no matter where they came from.
Anti-immigrant populism is in fact a hallmark of the social conservatives, not the political Right (even though social conservatives are usually lumped in with “the far Right”). Furthermore, xenophobia is alive and well on the Left. Bernie Sanders routinely rails against free trade, and he represents a wide swath of the Left as evidenced by his nearly upending Hillary Clinton’s presidential nomination. Free trade is nothing more that Americans trading with foreigners. Sanders is as much a “nativist crazie” for his anti-free trade stance as the Chobani boycotters are for their anti-immigrant stance.
I also want to point out that Hamdi Ulukaya is not the only “billionaire who actually looks out for the little guy” (the elitist Left’s derogatory term for hard-working, self-supporting middle class Americans). With few exceptions, virtually every modern billionaire made his fortune creating mass market products that benefit millions of average folks, building great businesses that create millions of jobs in the process. Most billionaires, and businessmen/entrepreneurs generally, make the world a much better place. It makes no difference whether he got his start with a large loan from his father or a small business loan. It’s what he makes of it that counts. If Ulukaya had started with a $14 million loan, his fortune would undoubtedly be even larger.
My wife and I have and will continue to enjoy Chobani yogurt. As a radical Right-winger, I say thank you Hamdi Ulukaya. Unlike the Star-Ledger, I mean it. Unlike the Star-Ledger, I’m not aligned with the envy crowd that crusades for the government to forcibly redistribute your wealth in the name of fighting income inequality. I support your right to keep, use, and pass on your fortune as you see fit. You earned it.
A Note to the Right regarding the “Alt-Right”—Craig Biddle for The Objective Standard
The Vital Function of the Left-Right Political Spectrum—Craig Biddle for The Objective Standard