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I grew up eating Chick-Fil-A and craving it on Sundays when it wasn’t open. Every time we went to the mall, I’d hope to get that kid’s meal with waffle fries, chicken nuggets and a book instead of a useless plastic toy. High school consisted of driving through Chick-Fil-A on some mornings and grabbing a biscuit and coffee, visiting the restaurant on Friday evenings with friends before the movies, and getting a huge Oreo milkshake after beating my mile PR in outdoor track. In the North, I crave the greasy and delicious chicken sandwiches on Val’s “chicken chunk” days.
When Dan Cathy admitted his support for the “biblical definition of the family unit,” I didn’t bat an eye. Coming from the South, I’d known this for at least 2 years or so. The man is Baptist. The store closes on Sundays. How many more red flags do you need? This was old news.
I’ve been having a moral conundrum with Chick-Fil-A since I learned of their unsavory investment practices; they donated $3 million to anti-gay groups from 2003 to 2009, according to the LA times. Supporting the company felt wrong, immoral, and for very clear reasons. Yet why should businesses be involved in these discussions in the first place? I find it great that Nabisco and JC Penney have come out in support of LGBTQ community, don’t get me wrong. I just wonder what the gay marriage debate has to do with Oreos or clothing.
It’s easy to be “tolerant” to those who agree with your views. But when these views swing to the opposite direction, people lash out. I’ve been trying hard, for years, to develop a tolerance of not just supposed “liberal” views, but conservative ones as well. Anger becomes so much easier than meaningful discussion. Brushing people off as conservatives and rednecks becomes the better option.
In my humble opinion, the products you buy do not necessarily define your political views. NOT buying a product can be perceived as a political act, true. But choosing not to buy something is a privilege in and of itself. The same thing goes for boycotting Wal-Mart. For some, avoiding Wal-Mart is easy. Wal-Mart is perceived as a place where “poor” people shop. For those living in low-income families, avoiding Wal-Mart is not an option; it’s cheap, convenient, and has almost everything you need for daily life. And what if you do boycott Wal-Mart? You could go to Target for a bit pricier, but quality goods. The thing is, how many people are complaining about this? Then, you could also go to Urban Outfitters for your daily hipster attire. But what about this? Issues.
I was torn for a while. I was torn while writing this. Then, I did more reading, and found out that their money goes to groups that actively fight against LGBTQ legislation, and that is an issue. Someone having a bigoted opinion is one thing, no matter how uninformed and unintelligent it seems. But if the group actively tries to deny rights to LBGTQ people in the US? No way.
Those waffle fries are so delicious, but they are fried in bigotry. Lots and lots of bigotry.