by Robert Fantina
27 June 2008
It was hardly big news when TV chef Rachel Ray made a television commercial for Dunkin Donuts. She is under contract to do so, and capitalizing on her own television success makes her a reasonable candidate for the retail snack chain.
What was news, however, is that Ms. Ray, according to conservative columnist Michelle Malkin, is at the very least, a sympathizer of Arab terrorist organizations and at worst, a terrorist herself.
One might wonder what led Ms. Malkin to that conclusion. Ms. Ray has never issued any political statements to anyone but, perhaps, her immediate circle of friends. Whether she is a Democrat or Republican is largely unknown. But to Ms. Malkin, her sentiments are known. And she has solid evidence on which to base this conclusion.
In the recent advertisement for Dunkin Donuts, a smiling Ms. Ray, holding a cup of latte in one hand while she gestures with the other, is wearing a scarf. It is a gray and white fringed scarf, coordinating with her gray dress and wrapped around her neck. This, Ms. Malkin proclaims, is not merely an attractive accompaniment to her dress. No indeed. It is a keffiyeh, a symbol of Palestinian nationalism.
A quick search on the Internet, hardly the last word on anything but a ready reference at least for some fast research, and one finds that the keffiyeh has been used as a fashion accessory in the U.S. at least since 1980. But that is beside the point; Ms. Malkin has shown conclusively that Ms. Ray’s choice of neck adornment should get her fired by Dunkin Donuts at the very least, if not sent to Guantanamo.
I was reminded of an episode I saw not long ago of ‘The Office.’ One gentleman had taken offense that the ‘men’ and ‘women’ symbols on the restroom doors were white silhouettes; to him, that obviously meant those facilities were for use by Caucasians only. I laughed at the time, but some subconscious seeds of doubt had apparently been planted.
The revelation by Ms. Malkin opened my eyes completely; perhaps I had been blind too long to offenses directed against me. I pondered this as I took my dog for a walk.
Gizmo and I strolled up the street, and I noticed a house with a red and white banner hanging from the porch. Beneath it was parked a blue, American-made car. I immediately recognized this as a double slap in the face; these neighbors were obviously insulting my decision to move from the U.S. to Canada by flaunting the colors of the American flag. And to think I’d given them three zucchinis just the day before. I vowed to remove them from my Christmas card list.
The walk was now somewhat less pleasant, despite the warm, sunny day, but as I leaned over to pick up a particularly odorous offering left by Gizmo, I was once again reminded of Ms. Malkin’s counsel. Across the street two young children were running around their yard, shooting water pistols at each other. They laughed and laughed as they squirted, and my rage increased. Obviously they were sympathizers of the National Rifle Association, and were mocking my past efforts on gun control in the U.S. I made a mental note to return to my house on that side of the street so Gizmo could ‘go’ in their yard.
We entered the park, a particularly beautiful one, especially in the spring. My mood was lightened by the flowers, stream and gazebo. I tossed the bag I was carrying into a waste basket, pleased that Gizmo seemed to have transacted all his business, although I hoped there was some left for the gun-toting neighbors. But I needn’t worry about that aspect of our walk right now. I could relax.
But no, that was not meant to be. Looking into the distance I saw two men, holding hands! I knew they were making light of my own marriage vows and of the sacred bonds of marriage itself. My anger was almost beyond control.
Returning home now with Gizmo, my mood was foul. I smelled dinner cooking; my wife had made tacos. I am of Italian descent; what message was she sending by cooking Mexican? I could understand it if she were Mexican, but she isn’t; she is WASP through and through. I stomped into my study and shut the door.
When I came out for dinner, my teenage son made a remark in French, something apparently clever he’d learned that day in school. Again, I was terribly offended. Had he spoken in Italian, although I don’t speak the language I would have recognized his solidarity with me. But to speak in French, another language a word of which I don’t understand, was the final insult. My own son! Where had I failed?
As the night continued, I recognized insults everywhere. A rerun of ‘The Sopranos’ mocked both my heritage and my years of living in New Jersey. When company unexpectedly dropped in, we served snacks using our best ‘China.’ Not our best ‘Italy,’ but our best ‘China.’ I realized my own role in my oppression; I had never insisted that we purchase any good ‘Italy.’ When I mentioned this later to my puzzled wife, she advised me that such a product did not exist! Obviously, the dishware industry was conspiring against me.
Yes, thanks to Ms. Malkin, I now see how the characteristics I once saw as ‘traits’ – tolerance, patience, openness and acceptance – were not that at all. They were simply tools to oppress and degrade; to send secret messages to other people who think as they do and believe what they believe. People with blue cars and red and white banners, with water pistols and the like are not innocent. They are displaying the subtle signs of my enemies.
I must be watchful every minute. No longer will I allow myself to be so degraded. I will picket my neighbors with the banner, and those with the water guns (being careful where I step); I will not allow tacos or tortillas ever to be served in our house again; I will forbid my son from speaking French. And I will go out tomorrow morning and search the local stores until I get a good set of ‘Italy.’
Thank you, Ms. Malkin, for helping me to see the light!