Editor’s Note: Ed Morales is a journalist and lecturer at Columbia University’s Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race and the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY. He’s the author of the book “Fantasy Island: Colonialism, Exploitation and the Betrayal of Puerto Rico.” Follow him on Twitter @SpanglishKid. The views expressed are his own. View more opinion articles on CNN.

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Like most of my friends and family I have Goya products in my cupboard. Adobo, Sazón with Coriander and Anatto, Sofrito (Tomato, though sometimes I’ll get the Recaito Cilantro, and black and pink beans.)

Ed Morales

Along with strong café con leche, 1970s salsa records, and a dark brown fedora someone gave me for my birthday 15 years ago, I signal my ethnic identity with Caribbean cooking. I had never really liked how Goya monopolized the shelves of my grocery store, crowding out other brands that I had imagined were just as authentic and perhaps even cheaper. But Goya was there, it was edible, and it allowed me to continue in the tradition of eating rice and beans, which is an enduring part of how I make sense of the world.

Then came yesterday. Goya Chief Executive Robert Unanue stood the world on its head when he commented on the White House lawn that “we are all truly blessed … to have a leader like President Trump.” Unanue was making his remarks at a press event that announced something called the “White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative,” in front of a gathering of a dwindling number of Hispanic Trump supporters.

All at once, Latinos took to social media, organized around the hashtags #BoycottGoya and #Goyaway, announcing they would no longer be consuming Unanue’s products. There have been admonishments from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (of Puerto Rican descent) Julián Castro, (Mexican-American) and former US Representative Luis Gutiérrez (Puerto Rican). Journalist Roberto Lovato tweeted himself pouring a container of Adobo down his toilet bowl.

But the debate seems to involve more than just Latinos, since Goya has long been concerned with attracting non-Latino consumers, from Asians to white Americans, using English-language advertising slogans like “Goya, O-Boya.” Even former Clinton cabinet member Robert Reich has used the “pass it on” meme on Twitter about the boycott, as well as model Chrissy Teigen. For many non-Latinos, consuming Goya products is a fairly authentic, if superficial way to practice Latinidad.

While they fit into a pattern of the 26% of Latino voters who support Trump, Unanue’s comments seem perplexing to the majority of Latino voters in the US. Trump has been enraging US Latinos going back to the dawn of his campaign, when he attacked immigrants from Mexico and Central America as criminals and rapists, as well as his callous indifference to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017. In Trump’s extreme version of Republicanism, scapegoating Latinos have engendered a climate of uneasiness and at times fear, all in the service of being meat for his xenophobic base of support.

In an interview with Fox News on Friday, Unanue doubled down on his comments, claiming calls for a boycott are “suppression of speech,” while conservative tweeters like Senator Ted Cruz pushed back against “cancel culture.” Unanue, who comes from a family of immigrants from Spain who have made Puerto Rico and the New York metro area their home, is fanning a controversy that feeds right into the culture wars that Trump seems to want to encourage. Over the last few months, in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, it has only seemed to get worse. There have been recent on-the-ground clashes between mask-wearers and non-mask wearers, statue topplers and “heritage” defenders, black vs blue lives matter slogan wielders, and even the highbrow kerfuffle over a letter in Harper’s magazine about free speech.

The “White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative” executive order that Trump signed on Thursday creates a 20-member commission designed to work with various Cabinet members to implement vague initiatives concerning employment, education and small business development. But most Latinos will find this effort too little, too late and too much like election-year pandering. Present at the gathering were conservative Republicans from South Florida, ex-CNN contributor and Trump surrogate Steve Cortes and recent special-election winner, California Rep. Mike Garcia.

While there is a little online hand-wringing by Goya fans about whether to go through with the boycott, judging by social media, a sizable number plan on ending their attachment to the brand. Some have posted recipes for making adobo and sofrito, and recommended buying old-school bagged, dried beans and soaking them over night, like my mother still prefers doing. Others have posted suggestions of less-ballyhooed brands like Sun Vista, Pilón and Badia.

But even if the boycott strengthens, it seems unlikely that it will bring change – this is not like taking Aunt Jemima or the Land O’ Lakes Native American off packaging, or changing the name of the Cleveland baseball team. Unanue will most likely hold firm to his vow never to apologize, and it’s not clear what even an apology would change.

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Goya the brand will have to contend with a significant drop in sales – at least in the short term – during a moment when so many economic indicators are on the downturn. It seems Unanue is willing to ride this out, whatever the cost, for a set of political beliefs that are largely antithetical to most of his consumer base.

One might think Unanue’s dogged political conviction should be respected, but in this case he seems to be shooting himself in the foot to defend an increasingly unpopular president who is going nowhere fast. Meanwhile, it’s not going to be that difficult for Latinos to find their way to keep cooking up Caribbean and Mexican savory dinner dreams without him.