Chobani's CEO Gets Death Threats for Giving Jobs to Refugees

How long do you think it will take for the countless hordes of Muslim infiltrators villainously masquerading as helpless refugees to conquer us via Greek yogurt?

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Nov 2 2016, 3:00pm

Photo via Flickr user Provisions

In an increasingly volatile and polarized America—where blatant tribalism and demagoguery are met with widespread applause, and the world's most powerful military could very well become the shiny new toy for a decomposing pumpkin with a toupée who was magically given the gift of life—there's really only one question left to ask: How long do you think it will take for the countless hordes of Muslim infiltrators villainously masquerading as helpless refugees to conquer us via Greek yogurt?

It's a question that has weighed heavily on our minds, considering the recent death threats and virulent backlash that Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder and CEO of Green yogurt company Chobani, has received of late.

Ulukaya may seem the least likely guy to hate in modern America; after all, a rational person might think him the 21st century's ultimate manifestation of the archetypal self-made Horatio Alger story. But all Ulukaya's haters can see is a "foreigner" hiring refugees in his Greek-style yogurt plants—and they don't like it one bit.

READ MORE: Nobody's Really Sure Whether Yogurt Is Good For You

Ulukaya is a Turkish immigrant of Kurdish descent who came to the US, bought a run-down Kraft yogurt factory in a depressed upstate New York town with a loan from the Small Business Administration, and built a dream. Ten years later, he employs 2,000 people in New York and Idaho, and announced in April that he was going to give 10 percent of the company's ownership to its employees—an act that made some employees instant millionaires. Chobani pays even low-level employees over minimum wage, and offers full-time employees health benefits, 401(k) plans, and parental leave, even for factory workers. Last year, he signed Warren Buffett's Giving Pledge, promising to give away a majority of his fortune to charities.

Really, what could piss you off about this guy?

"He's the xenophobe's nightmare," Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch, told The Boston Globe. "Here's an immigrant who isn't competing for jobs, but is creating jobs big time. It runs completely counter to the far-right narrative."

Ulukaya's racist critics seem particularly irked that he employs more than 300 refugees and has started a foundation called Tent to help migrants. They're also peeved that he traveled to the Greek island of Lesbos to witness the refugee crisis firsthand.

There are increasingly frequent calls to boycott Chobani. Ulukaya has been called every racist name under the sun. Conspiratorial far-right websites have taken a liking to claiming Ulukaya wants "to drown the United States in Muslims." Even the mayor of Twin Falls, Idaho is receiving death threats for supporting the Chobani factory located there.

READ MORE: Palestinian Refugees Are Starting an All-Female Food Truck in Lebanon

Conservative news site Breitbart—formerly run by Stephen K. Bannon, Donald Trump's campaign manager—is in on the action, of course, publishing a bunch of vitriolic articles accusing Chobani, among other things, of hiring refugees and thereby leading to a rise in tuberculosis cases in Idaho. On a similar note, World Net Daily, a far-right conspiracy-focused website, ran a story originally titled "American Yogurt Tycoon Vows to Choke US With Muslims."

Maybe Ulukaya could commiserate with the Canadian subsidiary of the Campbell Soup Company, which announced its plan to roll out a line of halal-certified soups back in 2010, only to be met with insane theories of Islamification via soup.

You'd think that when a self-made man lives out the American dream by creating tons of food manufacturing jobs from nothing, he would be greeted in a more welcoming manner. But then again, this is 2016, a week before the ugliest and most contentious presidential campaign in recent history.

If being slowly brainwashed by Greek yogurt results in the empowerment of hundreds of disenfranchised refugees, there are plenty of Americans who would argue that it's time to grab a spoon.