Ok, posting my tweets is just annoying - sorry about that, they're gone.
I have been thinking a bit about the whole Chik-Fil-A (Hate-fil-A?) kerfuffle. What's sad is that all this shouldn't come as any surprise to people who knew the owners - they've been closed on Sunday ever since the beginning. So why the overheated rhetoric now...? Just another skirmish in the Culture Wars.
Having politicians pander and say that the company isn't welcome in a city is good politics, but not good American Values. Sorry Mr. Mayor! Unless you can find a good reason for Hate Sandwiches to not be in your town they really can setup biz. Now I have heard that people have been let go because they are gay, and that might make for a far more interesting discussion: is discrimination in hiring "free speech?" For a while now, we've said no. Granted, employment discrimination is very hard to prove, esp. nowadays with people scrambling hard drives so emails aren't available, but just the hint might be enough to put them on notice.
So, to that end, I'd like to start on a drive to work on some more positive focused activities. To whit:
1) Follow up on the discrimination thing. Letting the CEO express political speech is off limits (other than branding it Hate Speech and Un-Christian which has its own power) but maybe asking the living wage, union and discrimination questions might be more instructive. I wonder what their minority employment figures are ... hmmmm...
2) See about working from within: franchisees are basically held hostage to corporate's wishes, but do not have direct ties so corp can threaten all kinds of repercussions if the franchisees don't toe the line. But corp gets the best of both worlds: there is deniability if the locals come under fire but corp can't be held liable.
Let's test that, shall we? I have to think there are franchisees who deplore (or are just uncomfortable) with the CEO spending money on Hate Speech. Perhaps they should be allowed their 1st amendment rights to disagree and withhold that portion of the franchise fee that supports that. I can't imagine it'd be a lot, so having corp go after a store that didn't fork over (let's say) $200 is going to make for some interesting theatre.
If the stores are so fearful they can't do that, perhaps identifying how much the value is and then asking for charitable contributions to offset them would be instructive as well. Then, as long as you were donating to offset the blood money, you could freely support your local store that does share your ideals.
3) In addition to the money itself, which might be a little more than a store would want to do, but maybe there'd be other stores that just don't like it and would be willing to put their names on the line and sign a petition to ask corporate to layoff the Hate Spending. Or allow other spending choice like we do at our work: we vote every year what charities we'll support. Abortion and other reproductive care charities still have their detractors, so there's usually a choice that doesn't include that. Hey, if corporate declines, maybe stores would be emboldened to try 2) after being rebuffed.
The painful truth is corp is holding the franchisees hostage: they are stuck trying to explain their approval/support of corp while just trying to sell some chicken and feed their families. The store here in Chicago is actually pretty pro-gay so boycotting them is sorta shooting yourself in the foot. Yes, putting them out of biz and getting a KFC in there would be best, but why not try to play the game with the cards you're dealt? As John Stewart so artfully pointed out: they've already lost, they just don't know it. We will have marriage equality and they will be consigned to the dustbin of history and remembered as the bigots of a bygone time. So why not encourage and empower our allies on the inside of Hate-Fil-A and help us get to the day when corp gets with the program?
Just some random thoughts for now. Boycotts don't really work economically, but the heightened awareness and bad PR are usually what ends up working. So my thought would be to do more awareness/PR and less buying or not-buying.