September 3, 2016


The Disgusting Breitbart Smear Campaign Against the Immigrant Owner of Chobani : Chobani yogurt head Hamdi Ulukaya is a wildly successful capitalist. So what did he do wrong, by alt-right standards? He hires Muslim refugees. (James Kirchick, 09.02.16, Daily Beast)

Hamdi Ulukaya is the model American immigrant success story.

In 2005, the Turkish-born Kurdish entrepreneur purchased a defunct Kraft foods plant in upstate New York with an $800,000 loan from the Small Business Administration. In just a few years, his Chobani yogurt went from selling a few containers at a Long Island kosher grocery to being the No. 1 selling yogurt brand in the country with annual revenue topping $1.5 billion. In addition to employing more than 2,000 people directly--all of whom earn above minimum wage and enjoy generous benefits--the company purchases 4 million pounds of milk from American farmers every day.

Ulukaya dotes on his employees like a parent. "To me, there are two kinds of people in this world," he told The New York Times. "The people who work at Chobani and the people who don't." Earlier this year, he gave shares amounting to 10 percent of Chobani to his workers; a rare move for a CEO to make after the value of his highly profitable company has been established. Chobani is also a corporate sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team. Not bad for a Turkish guy selling Greek yogurt--that in itself a subtle rebuke to centuries of enmity between the two countries.

In addition to earning a raft of honorary Ph.Ds., Ulukaya has been named a World Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, is the recipient of the United Nations Global Leadership Award, and has committed himself to Warren Buffett's "Giving Pledge," promising to donate at least half of his wealth to charity. To that end, Ulukaya founded an organization called Tent, which assists refugees in achieving new lives. Ulukaya, who grew up in a town near the Syrian border, says he was inspired in his activism by the plight of the some 2 million Syrians now living in Turkish refugee camps.

And that's where the nativist forces supporting Donald Trump's presidential campaign enter the picture.

Posted by at September 3, 2016 9:12 AM