Thursday, May 19, 2005


PepsiCo president Indra Nooyi, speaking at the Columbia University Business School graduation, lectured to the graduates and their families about the U.S. giving the world “the finger.” In Ms. Nooyi’s sophomoric analogy the Earth is a hand and the continents are the fingers.

In her own words:

“This analogy of the five fingers as the five major continents leaves the long, middle finger for North America, and, in particular, The United States. As the longest of the fingers, it really stands out. The middle finger anchors every function that the hand performs and is the key to all of the fingers working together efficiently and effectively. … However, if used inappropriately – just like the U.S. itself - the middle finger can convey a negative message and get us in trouble. You know what I’m talking about.”

“What is most crucial … is that each of us in the U.S. – the long middle finger – must be careful that when we extend our arm in either a business or political sense, we take pains to assure we are giving a hand...not the finger.”

“Unfortunately, I think this is how the rest of the world looks at the U.S. right now.”

Pepsi is the same company that employs the gangsta rapper Ludacris as its spokesman, the same mobster whose albums require a parental advisory. When they also employ an America-hating immigrant as president, we know whose products to avoid. I say divest their stock before it goes into the tank. And send Ms. Nooyi back to India.


Blogger Stephanie said...

If it were up to me, we wouldn't buy any company's sugar water... what it's doing to the health of our kids and our country is atrocious. But my husband is partial to this vice, so we'll be switching to Coke.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a new fan of your comments, I was extremely disappointed by your statements regarding Indra Nooyi.

To call Ms. Nooyi an "America-hating immigrant" because she believes the US should be careful in its political and business dealings with the rest of the world is, quite simply, wrong.
Obviously, Ms. Nooyi disagrees with the US's present international policy; her dissent does not make her a traitor.

Realistically, I bet Ms. Nooyi loves this country: where else could a woman of color earn a top-notch education and work her way to the top of corporate America? ONLY IN THE USA. As a fellow well-educated Indian woman formerly in the ranks of a Fortune 500 company, I know I would not have been offered the same fantastic opportunities in any other country. And I love the US for that; I assure you Ms. Nooyi does, too.

To command Ms. Nooyi to "go back to India" is absolutely offensive. Ms. Nooyi is a US citizen and has contributed to the welfare of this country. Her track record at Pepsi is outstanding; her excellence has allowed Pepsi to prosper for the benefit of the American economy. She has also been involved with multiple artisitic and charitable organizations. She is a role model for young professional women. I think it would be sad if Ms. Nooyi were "sent back" to India- I think Pepsi would agree.

Renu Parker

And by the way, Ludacris has been heavily involved in community outreach organizations. Yes, his lyrics are not for children; it does not mean his art is without merit.

6:39 PM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

I accept your criticism of my harsh language. However, Ms. Noori was speaking to a graduating class at a prestigious American university. Her remarks will be widely read around the world, and used as propaganda by the enemies of our country. In that public setting she should not have been bashing her adopted country.

You are right that Ms. Nooyi should "love this country....ONLY IN THE USA." But her carefully chosen words do not support this view.

Anyone who would take such a critical position on America's foreign policy, when we have been and will long be the best hope for the downtrodden in this world, is not a true American in my view.

Immigrants, like you and Gov. Arnold and my grandparents,tend to be the most patriotic Americans. Ms. Nooyi is a disappointment.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recently I called the customer service line for Aqua Fina bottled water to make a comment. (Pepsi is the parent co. of AF water). I was sent 4 coupons for four 24-packs of water for FREE! I was delighted.

After reading what you wrote here, Bill, I am saddened by Indra Nooyi's comments esp. at a school's graduation ceremony. It's a slow but slippery slope, I believe, of accepting much too much criticism of our country under the guise of free speech, political differences or political correctness.

Yes, Indra has prospered in this country probably to a greater degree than she would have anywhere else in the world. In my opinion, to call her comments merely disagreeing with the current US int'l policy -- is ridiculous. How dare she bite the hand that feeds her in such a manner. I was angered by her comments because I too, am sick and tired of the America bashing. Sick and tired of it.

America, the country (that's US folks...we the people) is the only entity that has held back some of the greatest atrocities of human history. Who else feeds the world? Who else is there with BILLIONS of dollars in aid? Who else has sent thousands upon thousands of military personnel to fight and die for others' sakes? Who else does the world call on for the kind of help only America can give? Why do so many millions risk their lives to get here? I could go on, but you get my drift. This is not a perfect, or even close to perfect, country because it is inhabited by imperfect beings. But throughout history, the United States has stood for the closest thing to right that mankind can produce.

I believe we have to stop allowing those who hate this country to whatever degree, to speak without calling them into account. I do not believe I would hear ever Indra Nooyi say she loves this country. I just don't. If that were so, she would have included that in her tirade and she would not have used such demeaning, low-life, uneducated language in describing the U.S. A role model for young women? God in Heaven, I hope not.

Back to Aqua Fina water...I am going to write to PepsiCo and send back the 4 coupons they sent to me & tell them why I'm returning them. And I will buy Desani (Coke's brand) water from now on (I like the reverse osmosis thing only these 2 brands do to purify!).

God bless America because we are so imperfect and greatly need His blessing!
Dori Medina

11:41 PM  
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Anonymous No Cost to You said...

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8:28 PM  
Anonymous No Cost to You said...

Hi Bill Lama, I am enjoying some idle time and looking to see what No Cost to You will bring up. Give Pepsi THE FINGER is certainly interesting and informative. No Cost to You is a good word to bring into the conversation. Great post. Enjoy your day!

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Global Business said...

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9:08 AM  
Anonymous Permanent Income said...

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12:53 AM  

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