Are we all sick of the Chick-Fil-A thing? Good! Let’s talk about it.
I have no idea what happened here. All of a sudden, the world blew up about Chick-Fil-A’s president donating to anti-gay groups and we are supposed to boycott the restaurant. First, yay for standing up for your beliefs! Second, this is not news! There was even an article on the whole thing right here on Persephone Magazine a little over a year ago.
Donations of Chick-Fil-A profits to anti-gay organizations has been a fact of life for some time now. Everyone knows about it. Every few years, people get up in arms about it again, and say that it’s a travesty. Which, okay, it is. But as I have always enjoyed saying, “Yelling really loud doesn’t get much done. And it annoys everyone else.”
I understand that progress will never be made without someone pointing out what’s wrong. But boycotting a fast food place will not make gay marriage legal, it will not help gay couples adopt, and it will not keep kids off the street who are kicked out of their homes after coming out. What it does do, though, is give the fast food place record daily profits as people on the other side of the argument come out in droves to support the Chick-Fil-A’s President’s beliefs. Lines for Chick-Fil-A on August 1, 2012, “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day” were so long that they literally wrapped around city blocks.
Eating at Chick-Fil-A does not make you a bigot any more than not eating at Chick-Fil-A makes you some kind of righteous hero. Participation in a moral boycott of Chick-Fil-A is not a baseline of decent human behavior, nor is it a way to change the law or the minds of bigoted people. To be honest, it makes you look kind of silly. Especially since it detracts from the real issue: What are basic human rights and who deserves them? Instead we’re talking about chicken and whether or not we should eat it. It’s a sideshow and an example of armchair advocacy at its worst.
I’m not saying anyone should betray his or her ethics. If this is important to you, by all means, keep up with it. Tell other people about it. Try to get the rules on corporate profit donation changed. Work for a local non-profit that wants to change state law on civil rights. But actually changing the world is going to take a little bit more than not eating chicken. Besides, all the yelling is giving me a headache. Can’t we just get past it and get back to posting pictures of adorable puppies?