Biden’s claims corroborated

Coming out hot and fresh on the heels of Donutgate, The Delaware News Journal has done some great investigative reporting to corroborate Sen. Joesph Biden’s disturbing claim that, “You cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts or a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent.” There are in fact a lot of Indian Americans working at donut shops in Delaware, and signed affidavits suggest that some of them do in fact have Indian accents. It is therefore not inconceivable that some of them may in fact bar entry to non-Indian accented speakers.

In the 16 years since Nilesh “Nick” Patel’s family bought their first Dunkin’ Donuts franchise, they’ve built a string of a dozen shops in northern Delaware and southern Pennsylvania.

“It’s been a great business for us,” said the 32-year-old Patel, whose family moved to the United States from India when he was 10 to carve out a middle-class lifestyle. “We all have cars and houses and mortgages now. Our kids are getting a good education.”

Delaware’s Indian population has nearly tripled in recent years, and a big chapter of their story is being played out in the state’s doughnut shops, liquor stores, gas stations and hotels, business owners and experts said. The owners of those businesses are adding a middle-class flavor to an immigrant community that once was composed mainly of doctors, engineers and scientists, they said. [Link]


p>My sources in the Justice Department tell me that U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales was considering launching an investigation into the veracity of Biden’s earlier claims when the Delaware News Journal supplied the FBI with a smoking gun of sorts: desis holding warm and fresh donuts but denying them to non-Indian accented customers.



The evidence caught on film


p>In the pictures above you will notice several key things:


p>1) The man on the left is holding donuts…which makes this a donut shop.


p>2) By his hairstyle you can tell that the man must be an immigrant and thus probably still has retained an accent. The guy in the yellow shirt too.


p>3) In the picture on the right the white woman (who probably doesn’t have an Indian accent) is being given a coffee but is apparently denied the purchase of donuts (or even just the holes). She was probably asked to leave shortly thereafter which lends additional credence to Biden’s original claim of discrimination.


p>As an Indian American I am shocked by such behavior by members of my own community. When this same sort of thing happened at that Philadelphia Cheese-steak restaurant a few weeks ago I was similarly outraged:

THAT SIGN IN Geno’s window, denying cheese-steaks to anyone speaking a foreign language, is not nearly as disturbing as the sign under it:



p>This practice needs to stop and customers who do not have an Indian accent should be welcomed into Delaware’s donut shops once again. If I can enjoy a donut with chocolate frosting and peanuts, then my white friends should be able to also. Excuses like the following just don’t cut it for me:

Many Indians in Delaware said Biden was generally right, even though the comment was a little awkward.

“He was making a good point,” said Patel, who said he has served Biden coffee at his shop on Faulkland Road, near Biden’s home. “All my family is involved [in the business] now — brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins. Whoever’s out here first gets into one business, then anyone who comes later gets involved in that same business. It’s just what they know…” [Link]

27 thoughts on “Biden’s claims corroborated

  1. Please stop airing our dirty donuts laundry. You are misrepresenting The Community. Please provide at least twenty positive stories for every negative story you write about India and Indians. And when you write the negative story, please sugar-coat it so that it still makes us look good. This is very important for The Community’s progress.


  2. In the picture on the right the white woman (who probably doesnÂ’t have an Indian accent) is being given a coffee but is apparently denied the purchase of donuts (or even just the holes)

    Abhi, If you were thorough in your research, you would have observed that the holes she ordered have been placed right on top of the cup of coffee; please exercise more diligence next time

  3. It’s obvious that you are attacking the Christian community again. Another great batch of crappy reporting from Sepia. What do you people have against Christians anyway?

  4. How much money can one make by owning these shops anyway? I would imagine that they dont hire managers, so if you factor in a manager’s salary, they couldnt be making much profits?

  5. Abhi, whine whine whine, complain complain complain. Why can’t you see the obvious progress we’ve made as a society? Biden’s exact words were, “You cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts . . . unless you have a slight Indian accent.” But here, your own evidence makes crystal clear that non-accented individuals are not only able to get in, but also to purchase coffee. So you and the diversity industry — just get over it, already! No more talk about how non-accented people are victims here. Look how far they’ve come — just in a matter of two weeks! If they just work hard enough, they too may be able to earn the privilege of purchasing a chocolate glazed.

    By the way, it’s hard to tell from the photo but it looks like yellow shirt guy has put ice in the coffee. Might that not undermine your claim about his accent? Or is that just evidence that he’s turned to the dark side, pushing ice upon these helpless non-accented patrons? Maybe it’s time for Operation Ice Merchant….

  6. I have no idea how much one can make operating a Dunkin Donuts, but from what I can see in the Greater Philadelphia area, you can’t go into one with out hearing an Indian accent behind the counter.

    Just like the at all the gas stations.

    And the convienence stores.

    And the motels.

    And the Dollar Stores.

    And don’t get me started on Oracle DBA’s.

  7. Several years ago, I used to work in the local branch of a bank, where the owner of three Dunkin’ Donuts shops did his banking.

    He was LOADED! And that was when they were just selling donuts, coffee, and this new thing (at that time) called the “Munchkin”…

  8. You can’t go anywhere in Bombay these days without hearing an Indian accent. It’s frankly embarrassing.

  9. There was a report, several years ago, in the WSJ that addressed how certain ethnic groups come to “dominate” certain business segments. E.g., the Vietnamese and pedicure/manicure/hair-cut shops, Turks and gas stations, Pakistanis and newsstands, Indians and motels/etc, and …Cambodians and dough-nut shops. One of the Cambodians interviewed said running that business took a lot of hard work, early hours (work begins at about 3 am as customers want their sugar fix first thing in the morning), and not a lot of English skills as there is not a lot of interactive talking back and forth between vendor and buyer when it comes to dough-nuts, all of which play up well to that community. Once in the business they usually help their family/community members get a toehold through community financing/lending and so on….

    There must a PhD in sociology/economics somewhere here for the motivated…

  10. According to this. The avg setup costs for a dunkin donuts franchise ranges from $225,000 to over 1 million.

    So yeah, I guess these donut shop owners must be raking in a fair bit of dough, and have a much higher net equity than most Americans. I reckon motel owners probably make even more.

    The question is where do these desis come up with the hundreds of thousands of dollars needed to setup shop.

  11. The average Dunkin Donuts owner could buy and sell the average software engineer. These are not oppressed people by any means. They raise money through a kitty-like system, through family and community based loans, and through thrift.

  12. This may be funny, but its ridiculous to assert that they would ban customers. Biden shouldn’t have said it, even if he didn’t mean it that way, politicians are supposed to be more diplomatic in their choice of words.


  13. Can you buy those little saffron balls at Indian donut shops ? ;)

    Seriously though, that’s a great idea.

  14. If I can enjoy a donut with chocolate frosting and peanuts

    There are chocolate frosted donuts with peanuts? Holy cow…

    How much money can one make by owning these shops anyway? I would imagine that they dont hire managers, so if you factor in a manager’s salary, they couldnt be making much profits?

    I know two guys in Delaware (one my ex) who own 1 McDonalds, 4 Dunkin Donuts, 3 motels, the Delaware Medical Center and a liquor store between them and they have to follow all the guildlines every other business follows. They are both born here and yeah they are rolling in dough. So there is neither anything FOB about their business practices nor non lucrative. It is possible that their employees are fobs but these are hard working people that will do anything for money including try to be as “American” as possible to make their customers happy. All this shitting on DD is pissing me off (not you or this post in jest) because I’ve never been to a single DD in my life where the people weren’t nice or desi for that matter. Measure that against your average McDonalds or Burger King and those lazy unmotivated bastards could use a good lesson from the FOB’s at DD. Grrrr

  15. well its not the same monopoly in jersey .. i guess its a 50-50 between the south asians and east asians as far as dunkin donuts goes :) and btw, ppl are forgetting taco bell .. they need some spotlight too … prolly they shud pay some other senator and get a statemnt released … they need some publicity after all ;)

  16. and what more cud i want than a sweet old lady in her 40s handing me a cuppa in the morning .. just nostalgic …

  17. omg people! it’s humour… get it?!!

    … if i ever move to the states i am sorely going to miss my regular tim hortons cup of coffe!! mmmm…. and you don’t even need an indian accent to get one!

  18. i’m surprised no one has mentioned Desi-owned subway sandwich shops. I always look forward to practicing hindi slang as i order my veggie delight..

  19. I think this is a plot of Abhi’s to make us fat and docile so we spend more time reading blogs.

    /whimpers into her nonfat yogurt, longing for maple frosted donuts.

  20. And my broken Punjabi would be worse off were it not for the occasional practice I get at petrol stations across New Jersey, which doesn’t permit self-service. : )

  21. All I can say is, I’m looking forward to the Indian version of Dunkin Donuts (not that I’ve stepped into one; the closest one from my location is apparently in a strip mall in Chaing Rai, Thailand). It’d be awesome if they were to serve chocolate-coated vadas with sambhar and south Indian filter coffee.

  22. To make sure all our non-immigrant brothers can avail of donut supply services, I am starting accent-induction classes. Please call 1-800-SPEAK-LIKE-APU for more information. Pizza hut coupons not valid for discount.