Thursday, August 2, 2012


It’s amazing – threaten a woman’s very right to privacy, and many people don’t bat an eyelash, but threaten someone’s access to peanut-oil fried chicken, and the Facebook world loses its collective mind.

The Chick-fil-a case is really more interesting in the responses it has generated than in the actual novelty of the situation. The president of the company is a bigot supporter of biblical marriage (funny, I feel like this country is suspiciously short on pet goats, if we’re really supporting biblical marriage), he uses his profits from his company to support anti-LGBT hate groups, and that’s his prerogative.

He absolutely has the right to believe whatever backwards, anti-progressive, hate-filled religious nonsense he wants, and he absolutely has the right to use the money he has earned to support his beliefs. In fact, I respect Chick-fil-a for how successful they’ve become while maintaining their closed-on-Sunday status.

What I don’t respect is the people who try to intellectualize the fact that they prefer chicken nuggets to equality.

As consumers, we have something called personal agency – when we find out that a company is behaving in a manner we find unethical or morally reprehensible, we can use our buying power to hurt that company’s profits and force them to change their ways.

As a customer of any establishment, your money is going toward the profits of that company. In this case, the president is taking that profit and investing it through a private foundation in groups that actively promote inequality, intolerance, and hatred. Maybe it only averages out to about 1 cent of your sandwhich, but your money is being used to directly further the cause of bigotry in this country.

If you disagree with that, you have the right and the power to change it. But rationalizing that “oh, well  it’s only 1 penny…” or “…but the waffle fries! I’ll just donate to GLAAD as well…” doesn’t help or change anything.

If greasy chunks of chicken are more important to you than living in a free, secular and tolerant society, that’s fine, but call it what it is. Have the courage that Chick-fil-a’s president had to stand up and proclaim that you don’t think LGBT people are humans or citizens deserving of equal protection under the Constitution. Embrace and announce your bigotry, so we know whom to leave on the wrong side of history.

Maybe we can’t investigate every company we need to do business with, but we have the privilege and the opportunity in this country to be smart consumers and to support people who deserve our support.

Sure, the waffle fries are great, but you know what’s even better? Equality, damnit. 

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