Goya Foods is the latest household brand coming under fire for its support of impeached president Donald Trump. On Thursday, the CEO of the Hispanic-owned food brand attended a White House meeting where he praised Trump for his presumed leadership skills.
“We’re all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder,” Goya Foods chief executive Robert Unanue said at the White House.
The reaction on Twitter was swift, with users calling on Americans to #BoycottGoya. Hashtag #goyaway also started trending. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro weighed in on the controversy by saying, “.@GoyaFoods has been a staple of so many Latino households for generations. Now their CEO, Bob Unanue, is praising a president who villainizes and maliciously attacks Latinos for political gain. Americans should think twice before buying their products.”
Goya’s consumer base is made up mostly of people from Black and Brown communities who use the brand often in their cooking. These customers also happen to be among groups most targeted by Trump’s racist actions. In addition to having a history of showing disdain toward immigrants of Hispanic and West Indian nationalities, Trump’s handling of the hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands left many of Caribbean descent feeling that he did not care about their plight.
According to NBC News, Unanue was at the White House for the signing of an executive order that would expand on the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative. It includes taxpayer support for school choice and tax benefits for businesses that develop in urban neighborhoods.
The brand has not commented publicly on the backlash. Instead, on Friday it tweeted out an announcement originally made during the meeting at the White House. “Goya continues to work for the prosperity & education of our country!” the tweet read. “ #GOYAGIVES two million pounds of food to food banks across the nation who are in desperate need of food for families impacted by COVID19.”