By Jasmyne A. Cannick, Community Contributor
Gays upset about Chick-Fil-A’s supporting the anti-gay marriage movement have just as much as right to be upset as Chick-Fil-A does to share their money and support where they want to—and this is coming from a lesbian.
There are lots of things I could be upset about, but what Chick-Fil-A is doing with its profits is not one of them. You see for me the answer is easy, I just won’t eat there. One piece of greasy chicken is as good as the next—and these days there’s plenty to go around.
But consider this, what do gay cigarette smokers think is being done with the money they spend buying a product that they know isn’t good for them? It’s not like Big Tobacco is taking all of that money and using it to find a cure for lung cancer. No–they are using it to make more of a product that will eventually kill them—and I’ve got news for you, there’s no getting married from the grave.
And then there’s the churches, where Sunday after Sunday the preacher man tells his congregants, many of whom are gay, gay marriage is a sin, but yet doesn’t separate out gay tithes from heterosexual tithes when it’s time for a new Cadillac, zoot suit, or mini-mansion. Knowing all this, we still show up every Sunday with tithes in hand saying, “thank yuh Jesus!”
We all know where the Boy Scouts stand on all things gays, but that hasn’t stopped parents—both gay and straight—from enrolling their sons or young gay men from themselves joining and assuming leadership positions in the organization.
It’s all about choice and every day we choose whom to support with our money. We do it without fanfare, without protest, and without engaging in tasteless demonstrations like kiss-in’s to make our point.
The Chick-Fil-A protest is not the same as in 1965, when African-Americans in Montgomery boycotted public buses for racial segregation. Blacks didn’t have a choice of what bus to take to and from work and even if they did, they were public buses funded with public dollars. Chick-Fil-A is one of a dozen fast food chicken chains. If you don’t like what’s on the menu, go somewhere else. Write a Facebook post, send out a tweet, but most importantly just don’t patronize them.
Engaging in bully like demonstrations don’t help the cause. They especially don’t win any points in the Black community where the gay rights movement is already seen as an inferior copycat movement using the tactics and strategies of the 1965 Civil Rights Movement only without any of the civility and rationality it’s known for.
While it’s clear that very few Black people are leading the gay rights movement, it would be nice if for once, they’d stopped and ask themselves how people like myself, being Black and lesbian, feel about some of the campaigns waged allegedly on our behalf.
If I did research on every company that I spent my money with to see how my money was being used, I’d probably be very disappointed and my options on where to shop would be severely limited. I’d have to first track the history of who profited from the U.S. slave trade and who supported apartheid in South Africa, before I could even consider who’s currently aiding and abetting in the demise of Blacks, how many African-Americans work and are leaders in the company at question—and then maybe I could begin to consider companies who are against gay marriage. And let me tell you, I seriously doubt the gays upset over Chick-Fil-A would be willing to give up shopping with a company because they profited from the slave trade just to be in solidarity with their African-American gay counterparts.
The reality is that everyone doesn’t have to support gay marriage. As a lesbian, at times I don’t even support the tactics and strategies used by the gay mafia to achieve world domination—I mean gay marriage.
This idea that everyone has to support gay marriage or else risk coming under attack is why gay marriage is not federally mandated now. Nobody likes a bully and gays can be bullies too.
Gays whose feathers have been ruffled by Chick-Fil-A need to demonstrate a little common sense—find somewhere else to eat and take ten of their best friends with them. Staged flash mobs of gay couples kissing is not going to do much to win public support for gay marriage—in fact, it might just have the opposite effect.
Chosen as one of Essence Magazine’s 25 Women Shaping the World, Jasmyne A. Cannick is a radio and television politics, race, and pop culture critic. Follow her on Twitter @jasmyne and on Facebook at /jasmyne.