Time to Make the Donuts
Date Added: Oct. 19, 2001
So, we're supposed to boycott an American business because of an anonymous, third person retelling of alleged events in unspecific locations?
In Cedar Grove, NJ, a customer saw the owner of a Dunkin Donuts store burn the U.S. flag. In another Dunkin Donuts store in Little Falls, a customer saw a U.S. flag on the floor with Arabic writing all over it.
We are starting a nationwide boycott of all Dunkin Donuts. Please make sure this gets passed on to all fellow Americans during this time of tragedy. We Americans need to stick together and make these horrible people understand what country they are living in and how good they used to have it when we supported them. Numerous fastfood companies are at Ground Zero, giving away free food to volunteers. Where is Dunkin Donuts in all of this?
Boycott Dunkin Donuts!!!!!! Pass it on
Boycott chains like this one, the 7-11 boycott and others are no doubt fuelled by the stereotype that these types of establishments employ a large number of people of a specific ethnic origin. At best, they are ridiculous paranoia masquerading as patriotism. At worst, they propagate stereotypes and racist agendas.
Rumors like these do more than promote racism, though. They tie up valuable law enforcement resources that could be better used elsewhere. The company worked with law enforcement officials to investigate and found nothing to substantiate the claims made above. Their investigation included employee interviews and reviews of store security tapes.
Besides, who is the "we" that is starting this boycott? To be effective, boycotts must have a visible and responsible sponsor. (Find out other problems with e-boycotts in our primer on Armchair Activism.)
As for the claim that the company has done nothing for the relief effort, Dunkin Donuts responded in a 2001 statement on their website:
"Franchise owners, our shop employees and company personnel throughout the country are committed to supplying support to the relief efforts. We are actively responding with donations of coffee, food and supplies for volunteers and through support of a national fund raising effort."
In the summer of 2007, the donut chain once again was maligned by an chain letter. This time, the e-mailed missive accused the management of a Dunkin' Donuts restaurant in Crown Point, IN, of refusing to serve military personnel. The chain, forwarded to many and posted at several sites, caused many staff and patrons of the store to be harassed, once again engaging the police to protect them.
Officials and reporters looking into the reports found nothing to substantiate the claims and much more evidence to dismiss them. The company may take legal action against both those perpetrating the harassment and others who have propagated the rumor by forwarding the e-mail.
Armchair activism like these chains give us a sense of empowerment. They make us feel as if we can affect great change with little effort - and personal commitment - on our parts. Instead, the most frequently spread lies and foster unwarranted ill-will. Break this chain.
References: NWI.com (1), NWI.com (2)