Sometimes, a bag of Doritos can be a delightful snack for the office in the middle of day. Recently, I looked more closely at the back of a bright blue bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and saw a photo of a young man. My first reaction was Doritos was spearheading a missing persons campaign similar to what dairy companies used to do, when they would place photos of missing children on their milk cartons. In this case, Frito Lay took a turn into the political realm. This photo was of Jeremy Dias. A 24 year old Canadian who Frito Lay, Inc. describes on the back of their Dorito bag as the following:
CANADA’S YOUTH DIVERSITY INITIATIVE
“After being a victim of discrimination in his own school, Jeremy sought justice in the courts. Proceeds from a settlement were used to create a youth-driven charity to address discrimination and promote diversity in Canadian schools. His organization works with school boards to implement new guidelines for staff diversity training, library book and policy revisions. Their work includes scholarships, workshops, conferences, art projects, theatre, and more. The Youth Diversity Initiative addresses more than 20,000 youths in over 300 schools a year.”
What Frito Lay fails to mention is Mr. Dias filed a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Commission in November of 2002, claiming that Sault Ste Marie’s Sir James Dunn Collegiate And Vocational School staff members would not allow him to start school clubs for gay and lesbian students, according to a news report. Mr.Dias took the issue to the Human Rights Commission and eventually filed a complaint against the school board. He entered into mediation with the school board and settled out of court in 2005, long after he graduated. With the settlement money, he started a LGBT schlarship fund in his name at his former school.
Interestingly, Frito Lay never mentions Mr. Dias’s homosexuality as the reason for the alleged discrimination in the first place. The question here is, why is the snack food company celebrating something they appear to be hiding at the same time? If they are going to be “recognizing” something or what someone did as they say on the back of their Doritos’ bags should they not let us know some of the more important details?