Chobani Founder Gets Threats, Calls for Boycott for Employing Refugees | NBC Chicago
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Chobani Founder Gets Threats, Calls for Boycott for Employing Refugees

Many have taken to social media in support of the yogurt purveyor

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    In this Jan. 13, 2012 photo, Chobani Greek Yogurt is seen at the Chobani plant in South Edmeston, N.Y.

    Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant, is a self-made billionaire thanks to the yogurt empire he founded in 2007.

    The head of the nation's number one-selling Greek yogurt wants other immigrants to have a shot at the American Dream, hiring 300 refugees to work in his factories.

    See Portraits of Some of the 700,000 Syrian Child RefugeesSee Portraits of Some of the 700,000 Syrian Child Refugees

    Now there are calls to boycott Chobani, driven primarily by members of the extreme right, NBC News reported. Ulukaya and the company have been taunted with racist epithets on Twitter and Facebook. Conservative websites have published false stories connecting Chobani refugee hires with rapes and a spike in tuberculosis, without providing actual evidence actually tying them together. And the mayor of Twin Falls has received death threats, partly as a result of his support for Chobani.

    But many have also taken to social media in support of the yogurt purveyor, tweeting photos of their Chobani yogurt cups and urging others to purchase "as many Chobani yogurts as you can afford, or as your fridge can hold."

    In the local communities where Chobani operates its two plants — New Berlin, New York; and Twin Falls, Idaho, both Republican-leaning areas — the feeling toward the yogurt giant is overwhelmingly positive.