After my post yesterday about how hurtful I think it is to call for a boycott of a national business I had the opportunity to hear from a couple of friends of mine who happen to be gay. In both instances the people were reasonable, kind, and non-argumentive about the fact that they feel they have the right to not support a business that spews hate about them. I thank these two friends for their input, and feel that I may not have been clear on my feelings.
Let me make it clear that I do believe we all have the right to not support a business that has done something that we feel is ethically wrong. However, when it comes to calling on a whole group nationwide or world wide to boycott every location of that business in the world I still stand by my words. Usually. To hurt employees and people who put life savings into a franchise all across the country would indeed by unfair. Usually.
However, this got me thinking. How much do I know about Chick-fil-A really? I know they are franchises. I know franchises usually cost a lot. A whole lot. Life savings. Over 1,000 people putting that into a business that they can own. Still...it bothered me. What if this was different? So this morning I did some checking.
This case is different. This franchise group publicly claims to be of a certain relgious belief and trying to perpetuate that belief on others. After doing more research on Chick-fil-A I find that the investment of $5,000 only gives you the right to manage one. You never own it. And guess what? The head of Chick-fil-A makes a whole lot larger percentage off each franchise than other chains. You can't even decide to be open Sunday! The owner of this chain also donates large amounts to an anti-gay hate group, The Family Research Council.
Therefore, although there are 1,614 locations in 39 states, he still is the real owner of each. As such, and because people who sign up for a franchise hear about his moral beliefs, these people have signed on to become part of a group that discriminates against gays. Knowingly. The company's official statement of corporate purpose says the business exists "to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted in us. To have a postive influence on all that come into contact with Chick-fil-A"
Odd, that. How is contributing to an anti-gay group a postivie experience for gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals or straight people who believe in human rights? Since he states up front what they stand for, it stands to reason that owners of these franchises agree. Yet, some gays work there. Huh???
Perhaps a boycott of this chain is not so over the top after all. When people knowingly sign on to manage, semi-own, or work at a place that takes a stand against certain groups of people then is it unfair for them to have to also suffer the repercussions? I don't think so. Not any longer.
I was the dunderhead for thinking these were actual owned franchises and for not researching this enough. I apologize. These are quasi-owned businesses based on a model of a bigot who happily shares the fact that he gives large money to a hate group. I was the one who was stupid, as I did not realize that. I thought it was a normal franchise where the point is to make money for a real indiviual owner, not to make money as a quasi-owner and support this idiot's donations to a powerful lobbying group that is hell bent on destroying many other rights besides freedom of speech.
Therefore, in this case, I stand corrected. Yes, employees will lose jobs if enough people stay away from Chick-fil-A. But, in this case, those employees are aware of their "proud" stance in the political area, or should be. Proud? They should hang their heads. And, if they lose their jobs, there are other fast food places to work. Places that don't gleefully announce that they want a postive experience for everyone on one hand while with the other they work to suppress and hurt them.
A national boycott? Usually not. In this case, I can see where it seems to be the only reasonable response to a man who has built an empire and uses it to enable a lobbying group for hate. In this case, many more people stand to be hurt than the employees of Chick-fil-A because of his contributions to The Family Council. Does he have the right to donate to them? Sure. But people with a heart for humanity have the right to try to shut down his revenue in order to stop the donations. Not only a right, but a social responsibility.
Franchise indeed. He simply owns over a thousand sources of revenue to support his hate. Years ago, it could have been blacks he financed hate against. Or women. He offers the carrot of a good income to anyone who wants to pretend to be an owner and really only be a pawn in his financing of hate. The trouble is, the pawn is told about it up front. And still they choose to play. Therefore, it is only fair if they soon hear "Checkmate."