Column: Chicken only part of the issue
Published: Friday, August 24, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 24, 2012 16:08
It’s a hot summer’s day, and this cute girl totally wants to make out with me at a Chick-Fil-A. I should be excited, but I’m not. See, Chick- Fil-A has always exhibited religiously conservative business practices, like not being open on Sundays. It’s no big shock that the chain has recently come under scrutiny for co-sponsoring organizations opposed to gay marriage.
I personally support gay marriage. Chick-Fil-A, by contrast, supports a narrow view of “family” in which man and woman marry, procreate and eat spicy chicken deluxe sandwiches—as the Lord intended. Logically, I should boycott Chick-Fil-A for this reason. So why am I still craving waffle fries?
The truth is that if I boycotted every evil corporation, I would likely arrive to the Chick-Fil-A make-out party protest hungry and naked. Take my shoes, for example. They were made by Nike, which means they were likely manufactured using child labor.
If I’m going to give up delicious nuggets just because I disagree with the company’s practices, I’m probably not the kind of person who buys shoes from companies that condone child labor, and yet throwing away my shoes wouldn’t help much either. To protest one and not the other is hypocritical.
The drawback to not participating in this protest is that I won’t get to post my pics of it on Facebook, which, according to my newsfeed, is the totally political thing to be doing right now.
See, Facebook doesn’t really judge me for wearing Nike products, probably because I’m not FB friends with any child laborers. I am, however, friends with a lot of gay people who want to get married. Therefore, despite countless other evil corporations, the gods of social networking reserve the highest level of cyber hell for Chick-Fil-A alone.
Wal-Mart has found itself embroiled in a similar controversy after refusing to carry queer singer Frank Ocean’s new album. Chick-Fil- A’s product selection is not inherently homophobic. Wal-Mart’s decision not to carry gay music, however, does result in an inherently homophobic product selection in a mega store that is, for many small communities, one of the only places to go to buy most things.
Suppose you are a gay teen in a small town and don’t have an MP3 player. What’s a queer kid to do but hitch a ride to Wal-Mart with Mom and Dad, then sneak off with a handful of cash from your crappy summer job and buy your own music when nobody’s looking?
Chick-Fil-A has done its business a great disservice by alienating its gay customers. What Wal-Mart has done affects its young gay customers directly and deliberately. Most people have other sources of music and won’t be affected. Only those less lucky will be affected, and aren’t they the ones we can help the most?
Chacha Murdick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org