Petrolicious fans took to Social Media, doubling down on deleted comments before them, asking Afshin to reconsider his positions and to educate himself.
Update 6/30/2020 – Afshin issued this statement earlier today –
Petrolicious founder issues statement pic.twitter.com/MmsVawQVZs— TireMeetsRoad.com (@TireMeetsRoad_) June 30, 2020
Afshin Behnia, Founder of premium car content creator Petrolicious, is in hot water after being called out on Facebook, and now Instagram, for controversial takes about the Black Lives Matter movement. In Afshin’s most scathing take Afshin calls the movement “domestic terrorism,” a stance that not only upset people that came across his opinion but fans of Petrolicious and, by extension, the entire car community.
Here are the receipts below.
big yikes! pic.twitter.com/jiLSoyi7rt— Daniel Golson (@dsgolson) June 30, 2020
Both Afshin’s Facebook and Instagram are public, opening the door to Black Lives Matter supporters to write comments denouncing these terrible and wrong takes on his most recent post. If the below post is no longer viewable, the account has since gone private.
One commenter @ModrianBlues hit the nail on the head.
It’s really sad that someone who appears to be so educated can be so wrong when it comes to BLM. I would urge you to please reconsider your position and educate yourself the same way you can on vintage Porsches and Ferraris on the origin of Black Lives Matter because regardless what Fox News tells you it’s not a ‘terrorist organization’ and there’s very valid reasons for movements like it to exist #blacklivesmatter
Fellow Iranian- American @Shervinator commented,
“As a fellow Iranian-American, I would have hoped you would be able to empathize with other minorities—let alone the one that has historically been treated much worse than ours in this country…At its core, BLM is just trying to gain equality for people of color, meaning ending police brutality (like George Floyd) and systemic racism. It’s not that complicated, and it sure as hell isn’t terrorism. As a fellow Middle-Eastern man, I’m sure you know what it felt like when people suspected you of terrorist tendencies every time you spoke Farsi out loud in the years following 9/11. We’re not terrorists, and neither are these people.”
Car enthusiasts and those in the industry on Twitter are equally, if not more upset, some of them even dredging up Afshin’s political leanings on the question-and-answer site Quora.com
This deadset legend whipped this work of art up.
Petrolicious?! who could have seen it coming pic.twitter.com/hKqwBt1SEJ— kevin mccauley (@kmccauley) June 30, 2020
The car community is one of the most inclusive niches in terms of an overall industry and as an enthusiast space. So it was a simple decision, and not even a thing, for most car outlets, like Road and Track, to put up headers, banner ads, and social media posts in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Here’s a screenshot of what Road and Track’s website looks like and a Tweet from Car and Driver.
At Car and Driver, we stand in solidarity with all those calling for justice and an end to police brutality. #BlackLivesMatter— Car and Driver (@CARandDRIVER) June 1, 2020
The real “wake up call” for motorsports came when NASCAR itself took a firm side to support Black Lives Matter, taking specific actions to make its tracks even more inclusive, banning Confederate flags at all future races and throwing their support behind NASCAR Driver Bubba, the sports only African American driver.
It’s clear where the car community stands with the Black Lives Matter Movement and, for someone with so much influence in the car community, proud to put his brand next to his name, it’s irresponsible to write several takes so tone deaf.
It’s just as confusing since Petrolicious, at one point, allegedly supported Black Lives Matter in the least possible way with this post.
It’s a shame as Petrolicious is one of the most polished and brand-friendly car outlets out there. As Afshin said himself in his Quora answer.
Our business model is simple: we work with top brands in automotive and luxury to created branded content, both short films as well as editorial.
It would behoove Afshin, if not for the Petrolicious brand, to reconsider his take considering his fans calling him out.