I’ve thought about posting this several places for awhile. I’ve finally decided to just go with tumblr! Congratulations, if you’re here; you’re in the chosen place.
The short gist of this essay is: You may have stopped boycotting Chick-fil-A because they stopped supporting anti-gay groups. But they actually still support them! I’ll explain:
So if you know me you probably know that last July/August/September I led a campaign on Davidson’s campus to get our Union Board to stop serving Chick-fil-A at their sponsored events. Spoiler alert! … it worked! We stopped serving Chick-fil-A AND lots of people stopped eating there, because they didn’t want their money going toward anti-gay advocacy groups.
FASTFORWARD A WEEK OR SO:
Chick-fil-A announces they are not funding these groups any longer!!!
A week after the Union Board made this announcement, we happened to hear a big announcement, not from Chick-fil-A, but from an alderman in Chicago.. the same one that had previously (and controversially) declared he would keep Chick-fil-A from settling in his area because of Dan Cathy’s remarks on gay marriage. This time, he was backing down, because, according to him, Chick-fil-A had stopped supporting these groups. Many media outlets, like the Huffington Post (who had earlier hyped Davidson’s story!), were quick to spread the word.
This was great news for a lot of people! Included are several of my friends who, after hearing this great news, immediately began frequenting Chick-fil-A once again. ”I am so excited that we can go to Chick-fil-A again!” one friend wrote on another’s Facebook wall. I am paraphrasing. But this is almost completely what happened.
Not long after this announcement, it was shown to be false. Chick-fil-A itself came out to refute the rumors (right here); after all, it was in its own business interests to do so. If Chick-fil-A were to stop supporting anti-gay groups, and the world were to find out, they would lose the new, magnified, Mike Huckabee-cultivated consumer base that has ironically driven up chicken sales since the initial Chick-fil-A backlash began.
Yet the media, for whatever reason, didn’t catch on quite so loudly to this update. And so, now, we have a lot of people in the world, who had previously stopped buying Chick-fil-A out of outrage over their business practices (or for the less rational, over their owner’s public remarks), again frequenting Chick-fil-A because the restaurant has “changed.”
So why does this bother me? I mean, there are obvious reasons. I don’t want the progress of successful campaigns like my own being nullified. But more importantly, I want people to be making informed decisions. I originally campaigned at my school and pushed for votes and referendums because I wanted my student body to decide what it wanted based on facts about a company’s business practices. And unfortunately, fact-based knowledge has been offset by media reporting. So if, given everything I’ve said in this post, you still want to buy and eat Chick-fil-A, that’s fine. I fully respect your right to give no shits and I also respect your right to sign a petition and then change your mind about it later.
But try to make sure you aren’t basing your decisions on lies. You now have one less excuse to do that.