Perhaps nothing on this earth has ever been good or sacred, as evidenced by the latest addition to the list of canceled companies. Goya Foods, a brand popular among Latinx communities, is shitting the bed after its CEO Robert Unanue attended a White House event and praised a president who has demonstrated repeatedly how much he loathes Latinx people. Now, according to CNN, there is a call to boycott Goya products.
Latinx celebrities and politicians are promoting the idea, taking aim at Goya’s most versatile and effective product, adobo. Adobo is a delicious blend of seasonings that improve any meal and Goya, without question, makes the best-premade adobo. But now adobo is a political litmus test. Are you going to be a good Latinx person and make your own or will you betray your people and still purchase Goya? The jury is still out as the hashtags #Goyaway and #SupportGoya compete for the top spot.
The outrage of Latinxs who feel betrayed by Unanue knows no bounds and understandably so: Trump has been nothing but an asshole to Latinx people. However, Goya was founded by immigrants from Spain. You know Spain, the country that sent conquistadors and Catholic explorers to rape, murder, and destroy places like the entire Caribbean, Mexico, most of South America, California, Florida, North Africa, and parts of Canada. That Spain. The one that made imperialism popping.
So when we talk about Goya being a company for and by Latinx people, particularly those of the Latinx diaspora, we are willfully ignoring its imperialist origins and have been doing so since 1936, when Goya sprang up in Puerto Rico after its founder migrated there from Spain.
Should Robert Unanue go fuck himself for supporting Trump? Of course, he should. Is Trump a racist? Obviously! Does he constantly treat Puerto Rico like an unloved stepchild? Every goddam day and I hate him for it. But as a member of the diaspora, my entire existence is shaped by imperialism and colonization. There is no facet that is pure and were I to strip everything that is a product of my oppressor from my life I’d have to move to a commune in the mountains that encircle my family’s hometown in Puerto Rico.
All this to say, you can pry my adobo and my goya gandules from my cold dead hands.