Chobani Founder Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant, has helped refugees and immigrants in these trying times. Because of this, Ulukaya is receiving threats, and his company is receiving boycott calls.
The New York Times reports that Ulukaya had stepped up his advocacy, employing more than 300 refugees in his factories and starting a foundation to help migrants. He even traveled to the Greek island of Lesbos to see for himself the crisis firsthand.
But because of his good deeds, Ulukaya, and his company has become a target for racial attacks in social media and conspiratorial articles. Chobani is also receiving boycott calls.
"What's happening with Chobani is one more flashpoint in this battle between the voices of xenophobia and the voices advocating a rational immigration policy," said Cecillia Wang, director of the Immigrants' Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. Online hate speech has been rising as supporters of Donald Trump show their increasing nationalism.
Prior to Ulukaya's talk at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Chobani's work with refugees were hardly noticed. He said in his talk that corporations needed to do more to assist the refugees, which the high-minded rhetoric received well.
Cisco, IBM and Salesforce and more companies have already joined in pledging to provide assistance to the refugees. Chobani has pledged to help other companies learn how they can integrate refugees into the workforce.
CBC Radio reports that Shawn Barigar, the Mayor of Twin Falls, Idaho, has faced backlash as well for his support to Chobani. He said that he has received threatening voicemails, emails and death threats.
Barigar said that the threats and concerns "stem from a case where a young girl was sexually assaulted. Other juveniles were involved in the case who are from refugee families."
Barigar adds that they treat this case the same way they treat other similar cases. He also said that the hate reaction could also be attributed to the number of articles that news agency Breitbart has been publishing.
Despite the threats and the boycott calls, Mr. Ulakaya is undeterred. Last September he had a roundtable discussion with President Barack Obama and business leaders on how corporations can do more to help the refugees.