These are trying times for Chick-fil-A employees. First, the company's CEO makes a jackass
of himself by taking a stance against gay marriage. Then comes a public
backlash. Then, conservatives descend on the chain's restaurants after being
instructed to do so by their talk-radio masters.
Following that, same-sex couples
show up at the stores for a 'kiss-in.'
Meanwhile, the employees still have
to prep the next day's food, clean out the fryers, scrub the bathrooms and do
all the things that make working at a fast-food restaurant a really crappy job.
It's not that big a deal that
Chick-fil-A has a CEO with zany religious beliefs.
Some of the bosses I've had in my life have been bigots, sex addicts,
Republicans and other kinds of moral degenerates. You show up to work, do the
job, collect the checks and go about your life.
I haven't had Chick-fil-A in 20 years or more and have no plans to eat there
anytime soon. But if I were on a road trip, starving to death, and it was the
only restaurant available, I wouldn't feel any moral
guilt. They sell good food.
We've reached some strange state
of affairs in our country where any kind of dissension from the norm is
considered treasonous. The Dixie Chicks trashed President George W. Bush and
their career along with it. Hank Williams Jr. said some ignorant redneck things
about President Barack Obama and ruined what was left of the country singer's career.
Why is there a need to organize
boycotts against businesses and individuals with different beliefs than our
own? The capitalist system in the United States has never been like this until
recently. We had no problem buying gold mined by slave laborers in Soviet mines
in the 1930s or clothes and toys made by Chinese slave workers now.
And holding legitimate political
viewpoints is no reason to organize mass boycotts of businesses now. Chick-fil-A's owner may have beliefs I find offensive but that
isn't the fault of the people who work there. Charlie Daniels and Ted Nugent
talk shit about the president all of the time but they still can play music
is a $4 billion a year business, according to published reports. If the company
wants to give a small fraction of that to anti-gay marriage groups, who am I to
tell them not to? If I ran a $4 billion business, I'd be supporting strip clubs
and radical political groups of my own choosing.
Right now, there are Christian
groups outraged about an Oreos ad in support of gay pride showing a cookie with
rainbow filling. Liberals are angry at Urban
Outfitters because its owner gave money to Republican presidential candidate Rick
Santorum. And the list of other boycotts seems endless.
If one judged companies solely on
the actions of their chief executives, then I'd never be able to consume a lot
of products. Coca-Cola gives money to the parties in power, which means I'd
only be able to drink Coke Zero during Democratic administrations. Pepsi
employed Richard Nixon as a lobbyist in the 1960s; should I not drink Diet
Pepsi because of his alleged war crimes during the Vietnam War?
If I cared that much about the
political beliefs of the companies whose products I consume, I couldn't order a
pizza, make a telephone call or even watch cable TV or use the Internet.
If it gets to the point where we
have to Google each and every company with which we do business just to make
sure it is on the right side of the issues, then we have truly lost something
The CEO of Starbucks, a company I
support several times a week, has taken a positive step by vowing not to make
political contributions and has gotten more than 100 peers to agree with him.
That puts Starbucks in a neutral territory. If, like me, you enjoy their coffee
and pastries, please continue to support them. If, like some of my friends, you
think their coffee tastes like pee, then don't go to their stores.
The same with
Chick-fil-A. I've never really enjoyed their
sandwiches. But if you're a gay person and you love their food, I'm sure they'd
be happy to take your money and treat you in a dignified manner. The person
serving you the food might be gay, for all you know.
Base your decisions on goods and
services by their quality and value, not the political beliefs of their owners.
When people organize boycotts against Rush Limbaugh advertisers or Dixie Chicks
concerts, it reminds me of the purges of the Stalin era in the Soviet Union. I
vote against Limbaugh by not listening to his idiotic show.
But I don't waste my time trying
to get other people to do the same or not to buy products advertised on his
show. If I ran a company and I needed to reach a lot of narrow-minded, elderly
and poorly educated people in a hurry, damn right I'd buy time on Rush's show.
We have too many real problems in
our country without creating phony ones. So either go
to Chick-fil-A or don't, but please be quiet about
it. We need to get back to work fixing America.