I didn’t go to Chick-fil-A yesterday. But I didn’t not go either.
I am done with this whole exercise in protest, and protesting the protest. Not because the two sides are protesting, but because the grounds from which both sides are protesting are so shaky.
Everyday, everyone of us patronizes some private business that is owned by someone who, if we knew his or her views and choice political causes, we’d have such severe disagreement that we’d be inclined to cease patronage. However, in these multitudinous transactions, we rarely know each owner’s views and therefore blissfully we buy buy buy.
But our ignorance does not exonerate us fully. If we were the socially conscious shoppers this Chick-fil-A fiasco implies, we’d do our research to know as much as we can about where the money we spend goes after we spend it so as not to compromise our own self-constructed, self-applied moral codes. Yet, we don’t.
This Chick-fil-A situation makes it seem like Mr. Cathy is the only man on earth who leverages his wealth and position to accomplish his political views. He’s not, and what’s worse is that his views, in this instance, have little or nothing to do with how he runs his business. Chick-fil-A exists to sell “delicious” chicken sandwiches. I doubt very much the company’s executives were hoping that the chicken sandwich market would be a great vantage point from which to steer the winds of American culture as it relates to gay marriage.
I mean, it’s not like Chick-fil-A is denying the androgynous chickens that it cuts up and serves the right to marry another androgynous chicken. Anyway, chickens are notoriously non-monogamous, so marrying them would just be a waste of time and money.
Chipotle, on the other hand — a restaurant I’d wager many of the Chick-fil-A boycotters frequent en route to Red Herring-fil-A — still has not signed an agreement that would help ensure that the field workers picking the tomatoes Chipotle uses in its burritos don’t have to labor in actual enslavement. Literally, slaves in Florida are picking the tomatoes that you eat when you go to Chipotle. Hell, EVEN McDONALD’S has signed the agreement!
Let’s not even start examining the ways that the protest-the-protest side selectively decides which moral outrages are worthy of their reposting crappy-photoshop-hack-job-memes on Facebook ten times a day.
I support both sides’ right to voice their opinions on important issues, of course. But I wish we could lose the self-righteous acrimony that always seems to accompany the outrage.
Besides, as Americans, don’t we all like burgers better anyway?
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