Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chicken Out


As promised, my column at the Daily Banter today elaborates on the current dust-up over Chick-Fil-A's stand on gay marriage and gay people in general.

Here's the opening shot:

"I’ve never been one of those people to let a little corporate malfeasance stand in the way of getting what I want. Call me an asshole, but the fact is that I’m cynical and realistic enough to understand that every company is probably engaged in some kind of behavior I’d find reprehensible were I to look closely enough. So, no, I don’t avoid shopping at Target and Best Buy because they occasionally funnel money to the Republican party and I haven’t hacked my Mobil card up with a kitchen knife, even though Exxon Mobil was behind one of the worst oil spills in history and has a lengthy record of inequity when it comes to how the it treats its employees. I’m not saying that I won’t try to avoid giving money to companies that engage in particularly egregious activity, but in a pinch convenience and selfishness will generally trump ideals. It’s just how it is.

That said, I kind of have no choice but to not eat at Chick-Fil-A from here on out..."


Read the Rest Here

22 comments:

Heather said...

Since the allergy discovery I've found it difficult to avoid Chick-Fil-A cravings, made worse by the fact that the one on Sunset is really right down the street. Chicken nuggets? YES. Chicken sandwich? Don't mind if I do. I swear there is an addictive chemical in it, just like the father in "So I Married an Axe Murderer" swore there was in KFC. All that being said, their stance will certainly make it a tiny bit easier on me to turn away and go elsewhere.

J. Dack said...

Some hilarity to be found in that right now the ad banner above your article is for Free Chick-a-fil coupons.

Anonymous said...

FYI...the secret to their chicken is that they brine it in pickle juice before the cook it. ;-)

Brett from Ojai said...

Everyone who cares about the future of this planet needs to shop and eat locally. Sustainability starts at your kitchen table. Chick-fil-A is a homophobic, racist company that needs to be stopped.They are a bunch of right-wing fundamentalist Christians who are probably closeted. They should call the place Dick-fil-Gay.

Chez said...

You lost me completely at the Portland-approved Food Nazi rant. Also, you could've left the silly wordplay at home too, dude.

rollj420 said...

What pains me the most about this whole situation(I also am a fan of the Chicl-Fil-A menu) is that this bigoted douchebag will not suffer much if at all from anyone's or any group's "boycott" of his restaurants...He's got enough personal wealth to be driven completely out of business and still remain relatively unscathed...the ones that will truly end up paying the price for this jerk's comments are the good decent employees below him(most of whom do not agree with his stance on equality and marriage)by losing wages,jobs, and their livelyhoods...I don't taste the clowns in McDonald's burgers, I don't taste the homophobia in Chick-Fil-A's chicken...

Heather said...

Really, Anon 1:35? Hmm. Must try this at home. I'm assuming it is dill. I wonder how long it has to sit. Hmmmmmmm.....

Jester said...

I've been aware of Chick-fil-A's background for some time and refused to eat there as a result. I also travel quite a lot on business.

On a recent trip to the Ontario, CA area, I ended up staying at a Residence Inn or some-such for a couple of months. Every Friday evening as a sort of "happy hour" event, this Residence Inn would serve a free evening meal provided by one or another local business. The obvious intent was to get people like me who were living at the hotel to eat at these places. Business travel reimbursement accounts being what they are, these free Friday meals were a must-visit.

And of course, one Friday the provider was the local Chick-fil-A. I stopped cold for a second, then shrugged. I rationalized it to myself under the notion that I hadn't paid for the food (at least directly), went inside and had my meal.

It was far and away the best fast-food chicken I've ever tasted, bar none.

And I still don't give them my money.

Chez said...

Telling you -- their chicken salad sandwich kicks ass. I'm gonna miss it.

agrazingmoose said...

I am waiting for universities to start boycotting. Ask Coke how long it was able to stand up to that.

(See UMich threatened boycott of Coke due to water theft in India).

alopecia said...

First, Dan Cathy complained bitterly that he wasn't talking about banning gay marriage, he was talking about protecting traditional marriage—a distinction without a difference, as far as I can tell—then told the tall tale about a safety recall of Jim Henson Company toys.

I might actually admire him, if only a little, were he less disingenuous. Still wouldn't eat his food, mind you …

Claude Weaver said...

Yeah, living in the home of CHick-Fil-A, avoiding them is going to be easier said than done.

Thing is, I had a lesbian friend of mine put another view on the situation: she doesn't really agree with boycotting Chick-Fil-A over their views, because that would be like conservative customers boycotting the comic book store she works at. And she knows that while they can have their position on such things, the fact is that unless they are going to prevent gay customers from eating there or fire any gay employees (and like most Southern church choirs, gay people love to "hide" in Chick-Fil-A restaurants), she doesn't really give a damn about their idiotic views. She really sees LGBT rights as an eventuality (set back by the AIDS crisis) and focuses her attention more on the politicians trying to make law that some a-hole restaurant owner.

It really made me think about it for a second. By boycotting Chick-Fil-A, you are pretty much enforcing the idea that they are being picked on and may inadvertently lead to more conservatives supporting them, reinforcing the very attitudes we want to change.

I think about it like this: plenty of places didn't want black people in them. Actively kicked them out. Boycotting them just made the job easier. But the sit-ins, where they had to show their faces there almost every day? That made a difference.

P.S. I think their chicken is infused with heroin. No other explanation.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I didn't specify on the brining. Yes, it is dill pickle juice.

And don't think that employees don't necessarily share the religious views of the owners. I went to school with a girl whose family is Evangelical Christian. The only job she was allowed to have during high school (this was in the late 80s) was a Chick-fil-A, because their owners practiced the "right kind" of Christianity. I know this may not be true of everyone who works there, but I would not be surprised if it is not true of a lot of them.

My friend is how I got the inside scoop on the dill pickle juice brining.

Bellwether Meltdown said...

My question here is, what's the end game? Right now Chick Fil A is owned by people who openly hate and try to oppress gays. Say you somehow got a boycott to work, the end result is Chick Fil A is run by a company who lies about how much they hate and try to oppress gays.

I'm not trying to say you shouldn't boycott them, but I think if you're going to be consistent about this, the only way you could ever eat there again is if they get bought out by some multinational.

Stephen said...

Like the toxic green vlasic dill pickle juice or the kind that's in the refrigerated section?

Anonymous said...

You know, it's certainly Chik-Fil-A's right to make this decision, stand firmly by it and declare "To hell with the consequences."

Of course, when I say that, I feel like Jack Crabb - particularly Dustin Hoffman's portrayal - when he looked General Custer in the eyes and dared him:

"You go down there, General."

Jester said...

Claude, your friend is wrong for a couple of reasons.

One is on the basis of being a customer. By taking a live-and-let-live attitude about a company that despises your friend's way of life, your friend is both limiting the number of businesses she can (should) do business with AND making it seen as acceptable for a company to be openly hostile about her way of life. If the LGBT community won't fight and oppose the first three businesses that openly despise their way of life, and there's no blow-back to that decision economically, before long you have ten businesses that openly despise their way of life. At that point, the chance to impact these companies economically diminishes for each new company added to the pile.

The second is on the basis of being an employee. Again, by not fighting this company that openly despises her way of life, she is limiting (by one) the number of companies that members of the LGBT community can reasonably work for and gain professional advancement in. Sure, she can go all "don't ask, don't tell" and work for them anyway. But say you're a Chick-fil-A Regional Manager looking for a new District Manager. You have two candidates. One is head-and-shoulders above the other... but you've heard a rumor that they're gay. Which one are YOU going to promote? It's illegal as hell to think this way but in that kind of corporate culture, I guarantee it's going to happen anyway.

Sure, it's easier for your friend to take a live-and-let-live approach. But there's a counter-argument: evil must be opposed.

Anonymous said...

I envision a fabulous scene where the muppet Animal walks into Billy Graham's hospital room during one of the Billy's bouts pneumonia or whatever that decrepit piece-of-shit checks in for in his final days. Animal is carrying some Chik-Fil-A sandwiches, and he begins removing them from those white paper bags and frantically shoving them into Billy's mouth until Billy's starts to gag. EAT...MORE...CHIKIN!!!!

Michael J. West said...

I don't eat there either. Haven't since 2010. And yet...I can't bring myself to make it something I push, or even encourage, people to join me in. And the reason is best explained in a passing comment you made: that even a chicken sandwich is now a weapon in the culture war.

You know what? That offends me, too.

You talk, Chez, about drawing a line in the sand and I agree. But I'm also drawing a line in terms of turning every aspect of life into a political football. And if there are people out there who want to order a fucking sandwich without piling a whole lot of drama on it, I'm willing to let them.

I feel the need to stress again that I and my family made the decision not to spend our money there, lest anyone accuse me of giving aid and comfort to the enemy in time of culture war. It's just that I'm aware that for some people fried chicken is just fried chicken, and if they want to avoid letting all of their everyday minutia become a serious social issue, then for Christ's sake more power to them.

Claude Weaver said...

Jester:

I can't really speak for my friend (and I don't really appreciate the "she's wrong!" first line), but my view is this:

Both as a customer and an employee, we have laws in place to prevent such discrimination. Sure, Chick-Fil-A could find ways around it, but to my knowledge, they have not. Instead, the family makes their own donations to organizations and politicians they wish to support. They are fully within their rights to do so, and regardless of your opinion on the matter, they are not doing anything particularly criminal. What those organizations do with the money once given (which again, regardless of what you feel about them, they are not doing anything illegal or illicit to our knowledge) is out of Chick-Fil-A's control, as it should be.

Sound familiar? This is the same argument being made against the repeated attempts at pulling funding from Planned Parenthood because of their women's services divisions. Sure, that is mainly federal money, but the same concept applies. Hell, even stronger than that. since it is essentially a private citizen that donated his fairly earned money.

My friend really doesn't care what Cathy's opinions are. And she knows full well the pain of religious fundamentalists sticking their noses in her life. But she would rather spend her time a) giving support to the politicians and laws she desires, just like the Cathys are, and b) showing any asshat that wants to bring static that she isn't any different than anybody else and isn't changing anytime this lifetime. I can respect that.

You may feel her approach is wrong, and that is fine. But in the Age of Outrage, where a controversy can fade out in the blink of a Tweet, I like to think she is playing the long game rather than a quick fix.

P.S. She really doesn't eat there due to being a vegan. She just doesn't see any reason for anyone to stop on her behalf. I know, a nonjudgmental vegan, they DO exist!

me said...

It is a travesty that the Left and advocates of the Gay community are trying to redefine tolerance. As an American it angers, and disturbs me that Chez and the LEFT wing democrats appraises difference in beliefs as an assault on individual rights! Chez I totally disagree with your sentiments on the Cathy family and Chick-fil-a. Just because Dan Cathy believes that marriage is between a man and a woman does not make him a lunatic and he should not be berated or verbally degraded because of it! The gay community is not big enough to decrease the margins of Chick-fil-a, nor should it seek to. 31 states have spoken through their votes, the majority of Americans share the views of Dan Cathy, does that make everyone a lunatic and stupid? Tolerance is the key. Americans can disagree without being degrading and distasteful.

Chez said...

Go fuck yourself, me. And how many people disagree with the idea that gay people should have the same rights as straight people is meaningless. Civil rights don't get put to a vote; they shouldn't be subject to the whims of the occasionally dumb and terrified electorate.

Oh yeah, and if you believe that the invisible sky god dictates who and who isn't acceptable as a human being, guess what? You're fucking stupid.