Rocky's VP of Sales, Dave Bullock, was photographed wearing "blackface" at a party. In response over the last 48 hours, Rocky has done... well, nothing. Except remove Bullock's Linkedin page and Facebook page, sanitizing comments from their official social media, and quietly hoping the controversy goes away.
Before the equivocating starts:
Yes, it's blackface even though he was imitating someone of Indian descent.
Yes, blackface is racist.
No, it doesn't matter if the Wayans Brothers did whiteface in a movie -- this is not that, and that's not what we are talking about.
No, it's not excusable if an Indian at Rocky's party thought it was "funny" or "ok." If you're white and have one black friend who is "ok" with you using the n-word, you're still a racist for using it.
You're sick of "cancel culture" and people being "PC" and "when did people start getting offended at everything" -- good for you. Feel free to move along and not comment. Some of us feel it is important to call out acts of racism, especially if it informs where to spend our money. If you don't, maybe think about why.
Doing nothing about it is tantamount to okaying it. No word yet if there is a connection between making shitty cigars and having racists at high levels in your company, but, Gurhka and Rocky Patel? It's a pretty strong correlation. Rocky makes a lot of money, and this news is already all over the cigar community. When we found out about Hansiota, he had to "resign" as President of Gurkha, and there were some vague promises that he would also sell off his financial interest there (absolutely no confirmation that this has happened or is seriously being considered -- if you weren't already, due to poor quality, surely stay away from Gurkha now). Will Rocky Patel himself, or somebody at his company who actually cares about sales, and -- dare we say it: the right thing to do -- actually make a statement about this racism at the VP level in their organization? Does the fact that the blackface appears to have been tacitly approved by at least one of the Patels make this a very sticky situation for all of them?
Here's the photo.