Ray hawked Urban Outfitters scarves on her website before appearing in the Dunkin' Donuts ad. If she (or whichever stylist is dressing her) wasn't aware of the jihad scarf controversy before she posed for the Dunkin' campaign, she should have been. Urban Outfitters initially pulled the keffiyeh merchandise and apologized when Jewish customers protested, but reintroduced them with different names and colors in several global markets. This is the same company that marketed a bigotry-laced "Everyone loves a Jewish girl" T-shirt stamped with dollar signs and shopping bags. Most recently, the company halted sales of a violence-promoting T-shirt last week depicting a young Palestinian boy in a keffiyeh carrying an AK-47 assault rifle, over the word "Victimized." The T-shirt also featured the Palestinian flag, a map of the Palestinian territories and a small white dove.
"Please understand that we do not buy items to provoke controversy or to intentionally offend," a company spokesman pleaded. Their actions, however, speak louder than their assuaging words.
Dunkin' Donuts won't identify where Ray's scarf was purchased, but issued this statement after blogger Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs (littlegreenfootballs.com) and I, along with many other bloggers and consumers, called attention to it:
"Thank you for expressing your concern about the Dunkin' Donuts advertisement with Rachael Ray. In the ad that you reference, Rachael is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design that was purchased at a U.S. retail store. It was selected by the stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended. However, given the possibility of misperception, we will no longer use the commercial."
It's refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to Islamic jihad and its apologists. Too many of them bend over backward in the direction of anti-American political correctness. Naturally, liberal commentators on the Internet are now up in arms over Dunkin' Donuts' decision to yank the ad and mock anyone who expresses concern over the keffiyeh's symbolism.
It's just a scarf, the clueless keffiyeh-wearers scoff. Would they say the same of fashion designers who marketed modified Klan-style hoods in Burberry plaid as the next big thing?
Fashion statements may seem insignificant, but when they lead to the mainstreaming of violence -- unintentionally or not -- they matter. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. In post-9/11 America, vigilance must never go out of style.