Petition criticizes food truck for insulting foreign cultures

The Fojol Brothers of Merilindia food truck employees serve Indian food while donning turbans and playing Punjabi music. Photo courtesy of Dave Kleinschmidt under Creative Commons License

The Fojol Brothers food truck that brings turbaned employees and Punjabi music to H Street to serve up Thai, Ethiopian and Indian specialties is being called out for “brazenly insulting of others’ cultures.”

Change.org posted a petition Tuesday that garnered more than 400 signatures as of 3:42 p.m. to tell the food truck’s owner to “stop the brownface minstrel act,”┬áciting employees’ stage names like “Dingo” and “Ababa Du.”

The petition follows “An Open Letter to the ‘Fojol’ Bro-dawgs” posted Friday on Facebook, blasting the truck for “brazenly insulting of others’ cultures.”

Drew Franklin, the author of the post, called the owners “a bunch of callous opportunists banking off the ever profitable enterprise that is Western Orientalism.”

One of the truck’s owners, Justin Vitarello, told The Huffington Post that Fojol Brothers will not change anything about their costumes or “Merlindian” personas.

“We’re not going to stop doing that, is what it comes down to,” Vitarello said. “The people and the market will tell whether they like this or not.”

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