The Corner

PC Culture

Chick-fil-A Protestors in Canada Role Play as Freedom Riders

Signs on a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Manhattan. (Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

You’ll recall that Chick-fil-A recently divested from three “anti-LGBT charities“– a category which, apparently, includes the Salvation Army, and two other charities with traditionally Christian views on sexual morality — all in hopes of assuaging the angry mob who had hampered the company’s ability to “go into new markets.”

The mob is predictably unimpressed with its efforts. Once again, protestors are giving the chicken-sandwich colossus a hard time as it seeks to expand into those “new markets” its COO was so eager to reach. Mammon is a cruel mistress.

In Ontario earlier this week, a group of demonstrators gathered outside the Windsor city council office to oppose the Chick-fil-A location which was slated to open on Division Road in Windsor. The Windsor Star noted that while Chick-fil-A “underwent a significant change in its philanthropy strategy, announcing that would be focusing on three causes: education, homelessness and hunger,” the incensed demonstrators “were not buying that the restaurant chain had turned a new page.”

“Canada supports diversity,” said one protestor, who called the chain “un-Canadian.” Many others wielded signs expressing their displeasure. One demonstrator, apparently a voracious defender of corporate personhood, held a sign that said “Chick-fil-A is a homophobe.”  Hedy Halpern, another protestor, said that Chick-fil-A is “fear mongering,” and is “pushing an agenda that is hateful and is something that should not be welcomed in Canada. I really don’t want to see them in this country.”

Build the wall, and make Chick-fil-A pay for it.

The anti-Chick-fil-A mob is not bad because it’s a mob. Not all “mobs” are bad — not for business, anyway. If you’re a corporation, and a large group of consumers wants you to add this or that feature to your widget, it makes good fiscal sense to oblige. The mob gets what it wants, the mob buys more widgets, profits go up. Capitalism in three parts.

But the mob has to want to be rewarded. In the case of the anti-Chick-fil-A agitators, I don’t know that they do. In any case, the reward they’re after is not the one that they say out loud.

The sandwich giant’s opposition (real or perceived) to the mob is itself the reward. It gives a group of activists with a dearth of real problems a pretext to act out their strange little Freedom Riders live-action role-playing session. They’re protesting a fast-food chain because its owner said something about marriage in 2012 that 49 percent of African Americans in the United States and millions of religious people around the world believe today. The demonstrators are not serious people, and no amount of corporate divestiture will change the fact that these people desperately want an enemy to fight more than they want Chick-fil-A to stop acting like one.

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