A Dallas activist is calling for a boycott of two popular Tex-Mex restaurant franchises because of the owner's ties to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. As reported earlier by NBCDFW and D Magazine, Carlos Quintanilla, head of the organization Accion America, is calling for a boycott of both Mi Cocina and Taco Diner, two MCrowd Restaurant Group franchises, and is organizing a Saturday afternoon protest at Taco Diner's Preston Center location. Ray Washburne, one of MCrowd's founding partners, is the vice chairman of the Trump Victory Committee and has been helping to lead Trump campaign's fundraising efforts. Trump is planning a visit to Dallas next week, a visit Washburne confirmed to The Dallas Morning News.
That doesn't sit well with Quintanilla, who spots some hypocrisy in the restaurants' making money off dishes like the "Quinceañera Salad" while Washburne supports Trump, who's come under heavy fire lately for claiming that a judge born in Indiana can't impartially adjudicate Trump University litigation because his parents are Mexican immigrants, and for the presidential candidate's plans to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
Quintanilla claims Washburne was planning to host a fundraiser at his home for Trump. Washburne, in talking to D's Nancy Nichols (who admits to being a friend of Washburne's and to having dated his older brother), says there was never a fundraiser organized at his home.
“Don’t you people fact check stories?” Washburne tells Nichols. “I am a contributor and a volunteer for the Trump campaign. I’m not hosting any dinner.”
Nichols' writes that MCrowd "has employed over 30,000 Hispanics" and that "Washburne is right about the fact checking. Too many of us in the media pick up the story with making a call."
A Washburne spokesperson reached out to Quintanilla to tell him that there's no fundraiser at Washburne's home, the activist says, but he's still organizing multiple protests and encouraging the boycott.
"... The fact of the matter is that Trump is still coming to Dallas and that Mr. Washburne continues to raise money indirectly and or directly for Donald Trump and that our campaign will continue until he publicly repudiates the hate-based anti-immigrant, anti-Mexican message of Donald Trump," Quintanilla said in a statement on his Facebook page. "We call on Mr. Washburne to repudiate Donald Trump and publicly apologoze [sic] to our community, and to end the hate and racism against Immigrants and Mexican Americans in general."
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the Observer's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Dallas's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
He's also encouraging that MCrowd's Hispanic employees speak out against Washburne's involvement in the Trump campaign.
"A boycott by Hispanic employees might take the entire restaurant chain down," Quintanilla posted on his Facebook page. "They've grown to the point where losing 10% of their staff could have a major impact on the business model. And with limited resources to fight against this Trump in Dallas, it might be a better way to concentrate your voice. Not that people love 'strikes' here, but it's not about wages in this case and would send a powerful message throughout the Hispanic community."
Washburne, meanwhile, tells Nichols that people should "Look up this Carlos guy," according to D's recently updated post. “He’s got a rap sheet a mile long. ... I had my marketing people call him and tell him I am not doing a dinner. He is only hurting the 2,000 people, most of them Hispanics, that work in my restaurants, but he didn’t care.”
Along with a protest at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Preston Center Taco Diner, Quintanilla says he's also planning a protest at Washburne's home on June 16.