I love a good culture war. I don’t think we have enough of them; but luckily, especially around election season, all of these great varying views in our country come to the surface. Case in point: Chick-Fil-A.
The latest culture war has made eating a fried chicken sandwich a political statement. While never being soft spoken on their faith-based approach as a company, Chick-Fil-A President Dan Cathy has created a public outcry from the LGBT community over his statements against gay marriage: the mayors of Boston and Chicago have said that the chain is not welcome, gay rights groups have called for a boycott, and even the Jim Henson Company has pulled Muppet toys from kids’ meals.
In an effort to stop the negative PR, Dan Cathy said at the end of last week, “Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.” Still, all of this talk has put a bad taste in the mouths of many potential customers and made me think about the fine line a company needs to walk between personal beliefs and public actions.
In the day of social media, I’ve seen rumors spread like wildfire. How many times have you seen a “boycott (insert large company or brand here)” picture posted by a friend? My favorites are usually political, and this election season, we’ve seen more than enough posts saying this or that company supports conservative attack ads. Usually, that is true because large companies give political donations.
What the post doesn’t say is that the company also gave money for liberal attack ads, because smart companies give to both sides as a matter of self-interest.
However, when it’s a Chick-Fil-A situation, things are much more clear. To this day I will not eat a spoon of Oberweis ice cream because of the negative ads their president Jim Oberweis ran on immigration. How can you expect the LGBT community to support the family income of a man whose views are contrary to their own? This is what we should love about capitalism, because while I fully respect the right of Chick-Fil-A to express their views, the public has the final say by supporting with their wallets.
Fox & Friends did their traditional spin Monday by asking viewers “Are the Chick-Fil A boycotts un-American?” You know conservatives are scrapping the barrel when they challenge an idea’s patriotism, yet these days that is usually their only defense to everything.
In fairness, I would agree with them that it would be “un-American” to prohibit Chick-fil-A from opening a restaurant in any location. But as usual, Fox is playing to their demographic and trying to soften the hit Chick-fil-A has taken for their stance. Have no doubt, fried chicken sandwiches have now become political.
Chick-fil-A has publicly come down against same-sex marriage, and be sure that those that support them are making dinner plans at a local Chick-fil-A tonight.
If you disagree with Chick-fil-A’s views. then you should boycott them, tell all your friends to boycott them, and share every article you can on what they said. The last big conservative movement (the Tea Party) is named after a bunch of people who actively protested the actions of the English government of their time. Conservatives love a boycott when it suits their agenda. Liberals have every right to do so when the battlelines are this clearly drawn.
Bring on the culture war!
Jose Cruz is the editor of OurTiempo.com worked in the Clinton White House and on three Presidential campaigns. He is the founder of ImmigrationPAC a pro-comprehensive immigration reform Federal Political Action Committee and active political commentator.