Today we have a few bits of news, followed by a rant of sorts.
We're going to jump on the so-called bandwagon for a day. I'm going to talk about why the anti-gay Chick-Fil-A is not okay.
Oh, and also, it's finally raining here. It's been so long since it rained. I've been finding myself standing at my patio door, staring out at it in awe. Even my pets are amazed by it. It's too little, too late for our farms around here, though. Poor farmers. Poor animals. This drought is horrible. I know that there are other places and people going through much worse, but I can feel for them as well as for the people around here. You don't have to compare them. It's all just sad.
-- While this story isn't about Occupy exactly, it does show a lot of the turmoil that we are fighting against. A new documentary called "You've Been Trumped" opens in August, and details how a man with a lot of money can lie to a government, get the government to lie to the people, and destroy a beautiful area. Donald Trump wanted to build a golf course in Scotland, so he told the local government he would be creating 6,000 jobs in doing so. He bulldozed the landscapes, bullied the people, and lied through his teeth. This documentary shows the people attempting to rally together to get back at him. This is just a review of the film, which will be out in certain places next month.
-- The protest at Disneyland yesterday was the opposite of earlier protests, according to reports from the media. Protesters were peaceful, telling their message to all who would listen. They chose the theme park because it is the driving force behind the economy in Anaheim. Another larger protest is planned for today, outside the Anaheim police offices.
-- The FBI have been making surprise visits to the homes of activists in Burlington, wanting to question them about the planned demonstration at the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers on July 30. Several people have come forward under assumed names, to let people know what is happening while protecting their identities from repercussions. The FBI has refused to comment, and the Burlington Police Department says they no nothing of it, admitting that they aren't always told what the FBI is up to. Even city officials were unaware of FBI activity, saying that they actually welcome peaceful protesters to their city. But why are they interviewing activists?
Okay, so let's talk about Chick-Fil-A.
Now I want to get something straight here. Most people who are concerned with anti-gay rhetoric already knew that Chick-Fil-A was against gays. I've known for a few years now. At our university, we have a Chick-Fil-A (I'm going to refer to it as CFA from now on, because it's easier) and I've for the most part avoided it. The people that work there are extremely pleasant individuals, and if every other place is closed or has a long line, I will stop in and grab a sandwich. I'll admit to that.
So a lot of people are like this guy.
They are freaking out over the debate going on right now. They are claiming that people are trying to silence the Free Speech that CEO Dan Cathy deserves. They say that cities have no right to deny a business just because of what the CEO believes and does.
And they are right!
If the only problem was Dan Cathy's beliefs, I would even eat there. I firmly believe that a person has every right to say what they believe. He doesn't believe in gay marriage. That's fine, because that's what he believes. Of course he can come out and say it. He can even donate his own money to any damned organization he feels.
You know what's not okay?
Using your business to donate to "community groups" in bids of "charity" when most of those groups focus on anti-gay rhetoric. That's when it becomes a problem.
We already are fighting against the "Money=Speech" problems. This is another one. CFA, as a COMPANY, not as in Dan Cathy CEO; CFA itself has donated millions (MILLIONS) of dollars to anti-gay organizations since 2009 alone.
MONEY DOES NOT FUCKING EQUAL SPEECH. Legally, it does now, and that's why they can get away with this crap. I mean, seriously. Why is this okay with people? Blah blah, religion, blah, morals, blah, I'll get to that another time.
BUT, are we really talking about one CEO's personal beliefs? The answer is NO.
Here are the donation tallies for 2010.
Marriage & Family Foundation: $1,188,380
Fellowship Of Christian Athletes: $480,000
National Christian Foundation: $247,500
New Mexico Christian Foundation: $54,000
Exodus International: $1,000
Family Research Council: $1,000
Georgia Family Council: $2,500
Every one of these companies has ties to, or IS, an anti-gay group. So let Dan Cathy talk. But when he puts the COMPANY'S money in the pockets of groups that have agendas meant to "fix" the gays, belittle them, and take away their rights, I have a problem with that. There are gay employees of CFA. I bet it feels great to know that your company so greatly disapproves of "your kind" that they are willing to donate money to those who would hurt you.
Do I agree with Dan Cathy? Not even close. Do I think he should be able to say what he feels without repercussions? You better believe it. Do I think that his company should be giving money to these organizations? NO.
My opinion on this doesn't really matter. But the truth is, if a company openly donated millions of dollars to KKK type organizations, cities would be blocking them from coming on the grounds that the organizations supported could potentially harm residents of their cities. This is the SAME THING. It doesn't matter who the hate is against, it's still a hate group.
So, Dan Cathy. Say what you want. Do what you want with your own money. But when you decide to take COMPANY money and donate it to groups that are defined as "anti-gay" or "hate groups," it's time to put on your big boy pants and deal with the damned consequences.
These cities should not have to allow a company into their cities if said company donates to groups that could possibly damage the welfare of the people living in the city. (That's my opinion.) If cities can block strip clubs from opening up due to the morals and values of the city, shouldn't that go for any business? Or is that just something we use to criminalize sex?
Anyway, for these numbers and others, you can check out Snopes and "An American Democrat" at these links.
My cheers to the cities not willing to have vitriolic companies join their ranks. You have my support, and my sympathy that you're probably going to have to go through a giant legal battle to simply protect your gay residents from vile hate-filled vomit at the mouth of a company that makes soggy, sub-par chicken.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(If you disagree with me, I understand. We are all allowed to have our own views on things, of course. Also, if you don't think their chicken is soggy, wait five minutes until you eat it next time. You'll get what I mean. Your opinions on any or all of this are completely welcome. I do support the cities trying to stop CFA from coming in. That's not a legal view. I know that it's likely completely illegal for them to do so. But in that case, what do you think about the strip club thing? Why is it okay to block one business but not another? Is that fair?)