Respect Asian and African cultures--stop the brownface minstrel act!
  • Petitioned Fojol Bros.

This petition was delivered to:

Fojol Bros.

Respect Asian and African cultures--stop the brownface minstrel act!

    1. Petition by

      Arturo J. Viscarra

      Washington, DC

Justin Vitarello doesn't want to listen when we say his business's gimmick is hurtful and offensive. He denies that white people wearing turbans and fake mustaches and playing Punjabi music while serving Indian food is stereotype and mockery, and justifies it by saying "no more than five" people have complained that it's racist. Fojol employees also sport rastacaps and go by stage names like "Dingo" and "Ababa Du", hailing from "the magical lands" of "Merlindia" and "Benethiopia".

Sign this petition to let Vitarello and the rest of the Fojol Bros. business know that a lot more than five of us are not ok with their Orientalist and racist appropriation of South Asian and East African cultures.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 1,000 signatures
    2. Are the Fojol Bros. Racist?

      Arturo J. Viscarra
      Petition Organizer

      The short answer according to the Washington City Paper's blog is YES.

      "Not to get all critical race theory on you, but this is definitely a case of intent vs. impact. It's pretty clear that Vitarello didn't intend to be offensive, but he's also downplaying the impact of what his company is doing. Ultimately, it seems like one of those situations where there's nothing to be gained by fighting for the right to have fake mustaches and turbans—and plenty to lose.

      On the spectrum of racism running from "Can I touch your hair? It's so nappy-looking!" to deep historical and structural racial inequities, this isn't necessarily the highest priority. But the made-up ethnicities are clearly drawn from Asian and East African stereotypes—and it's unsettling and offensive and lazy all at once. Let this one go, bros."

    3. Reached 750 signatures
    4. Fojol Brothers Food Truck Denies Racism Charge

      Arturo J. Viscarra
      Petition Organizer

      This is what the owner had to say to the Huffington Post in response to complaints of racism:

      Vitarello -- who says the truck is inspired, in part, by people his parents brought home for family meals, like a "medicine woman from some part of the world that I've never even heard of" -- tells The Huffington Post that since the business started in 2009, they've had "no more than five" people suggest that the truck's accoutrements have racist implications. It happens very infrequently. And so it doesn't seem very legitimate. It's generally people who are offended on behalf of another group," he says.

      1) Not true. We know of more than 5 people that have complained to the Fojol Bros. Either way, let's show him that it's a lot more than 5 people that think this act is seriously offensive.

      2) A "medicine woman from some part of the world that I've never even heard of" - Thanks for proving our point for us. Again.

      3) You don't need to be South Asian or East African to be offended.

    5. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Nimmi Varughese YONKERS, NY
      • over 1 year ago

      This group is promoting cultural appropriation and creating false notions of a culture that is not their own in order to commodify it as a monetary good they have no cultural ties to.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Neha Rayamajhi WINSTON-SALEM, UNITED STATES
      • over 1 year ago

      Because I am sick of businesses making profit at the cost of mocking these culture, and of people who think there is nothing wrong with this.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Neha Rayamajhi WINSTON-SALEM, UNITED STATES
      • over 1 year ago

      Because I am sick of seeing people make profit out of mocking my culture, and of people who think that this is perfectly okay.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Katherine Kouot LOS ANGELES, CA
      • almost 2 years ago

      Because "no more than five complaints" should be enough for you to see that your antics are offending people.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Matthew Kavanagh WASHINGTON, DC
      • almost 2 years ago

      Because the places from which you are selling food have rich cultures and powerful peoples and a long, long history of colonization by "well meaning" white folks who have long exported that culture for profit of white folks, mocked and carnivalized people... and because when even "5 people" complain about racist overtones, then maybe it's time to take a hard look at what you're doing and focus of food instead of minstrel performance of cultures you clearly don't understand.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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