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.
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:
MANAGEMENT RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REFUSE SERVICE. [Link]
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]