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Friday Question of the Day – Do You Find the Fojol Bros. Costumes Offensive, Funny or Harmless?


Photo by PoPville flickr user yostinator

Lots of readers have been writing in about the Fojol Bros. petition on change.org:

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.

As of Thursday afternoon there were 832 signatures.

The Fojol Bros. Web site says:

On January 20th, 2009, the fojol bros. emerged from their home in the village of Adams Morgan and hit the streets of DC to share their family traditions with the world. They served food from their family truck and listened to and interacted with folks from all over the world. They watched with amazement as armies of people flooded DC on the day the world changed.

While the fojol bros. may represent something different to each of us, they hope to bring together local communities through a dynamic food experience on DC’s streets. So, when you see or hear the traveling culinary carnival in your neighborhood, please do not hesitate to stop and join the festivities.


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