This is probably not the proper venue, but I have to get this off my chest.
I think that 99.5 percent of the people who read this site can all agree that Chick-Fil-A is a terrible corporate organization, and that the opinions on “family values” of COO Dan Cathy are not so much reprehensible as they are simply misguided, wrongheaded, and backwards. He doesn’t value gay marriage, and I think that’s wrong. He may also be a terrible person, but that’s not because of his politics.
I’m also a huge supporter of gay rights, obviously. Growing up with a gay father in the Bible belt, you see a lot of the insidious ugliness fomented by the likes of Dan Cathy. My father had the shit beat out of him with a glass coke bottle simply for being seen with another man, never mind the fact that he was hiding away in some hidden area when he was spotted with another man. In Arkansas, you had to keep your gay relationships on the down-low for fear of exactly what happened to him. Did the redneck who beat the shit out of my Dad give any consideration to the possibility that the man he put in the hospital had three kids at home who depended on his meager income to occasionally eat? Probably not. He just saw two men together and decided that their affection for one another was unacceptable, and took it upon himself to stamp it out. Did it change anything? Did he make my Dad straight? No, but he did make him terrified of being seen with another man for fear of losing an eye for the rest of his life.
But things in most of the country have come a long way since then. A majority of Americans either support or are at least are indifferent to gay marriage (we’ll take it!); gay marriage is allowed in five states; the gays are running around our television sets and movie screens, gaying it up! If you’re under the age of 25, unless you’re a 5-year-old shithead with terrible evangelical parents or Bristol Palin’s kid, gay relationships are not that big of a deal.
Indeed, we live in a world where — at least in certain parts of the country — this is cool (and in fact, adorable):
and where an A-list director can get a sex-change operation, and for the first time in her life, truly be herself without it being a huge deal.
More needs to be done, obviously (and if you live in Maine, please make sure to vote to legalize same-sex marriage in our state this November!). But we’re definitely on our way, and this meme will likely be a reality in closer to 10 years rather than 40.
However, you’re not going to advance any progressive cause by being an asshole bully. Leave that to Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. Being an asshole bully is how you fight to maintain the status quo.
Which brings me to a video I stumbled upon yesterday, where a man named Adam Smith — the CFO/Treasurer of some company called Vante — went the Chick-fil-A’s drive-thru, ordered a free water, and then berated the woman at the drive-thru window who handed it to her about the corporate policies of Chick-fil-A.
To be honest, I haven’t made it through that entire video because I can’t make myself watch it all. It makes me too uncomfortable and too embarrassed for the poor woman. Because here’s the thing: I don’t know who that woman is, but for $8 an hour, she should not have to put up with that guy’s sh*t. He may be fighting the good fight, but he’s taking it to the wrong goddamn person. That woman has no control over Chick-fil-A’s corporate policies. I don’t know what her position on gay marriage is (she may reveal it at the end of the video, but like I said, I can’t watch that far), but all she did was take a f*cking job that requires her to put on a sh*tty goddamn uniform and put up with assholes for, at most, $70 a day.
Again, I don’t know her position on gay marriage, but I do know this: Nobody chooses to work at Chick-fil-A. I guaran-damn-tee you that she didn’t wake up one morning and say, “Hey! I’m going to take a degrading, thankless, crappy job that requires me to deal with awful people in Tucson, Arizona all day for barely enough money to make my car payment because Chick-fil-A hates the gays!” She probably took it because she was desperate for a job, and she may in fact have three kids at home who depend on her meager income to support their addiction to food, water, and shelter.
This is not the way to behave. This is not how you show your support. You want to go to Chick-fil-A and make out with your same-sex partner today to show your support for gay marriage? Do it! That’s awesome. We’ll all applaud that. You want to have sex with your gay partner on the benches outside of Chick-fil-A? Please, be my guest! Just do me a favor: Clean up after yourselves, because the dude being paid minimum wage to stand on his feet, clean out the trashcans, and wash dishes all day doesn’t need to have “picking up used condoms” added to his job description.
Be mindful. Be respectful. Fight the power, but leave the minimum wage workers out of it. All bullies suck, no matter what their politics.
(And for the record, Adam Smith was fired from his job for his actions.)