I can’t tell you exactly how many places I eat, drink, or shop at whose owners or leadership have values that conflict with my own. I’ve been a loyal drinker of Starbucks coffee for over twenty years. It’s a liberal company that donates to liberal causes, and I don’t care. I love the coffee. When they announced their plan to hire refugees in response to Trump’s travel ban last year, I didn’t boycott them—even though quite a few people did. When Buffalo Wild Wings implemented a no-guns policy in their restaurants, I didn’t refuse to go there again.
There are lots of companies that I continue to patronize despite disagreeing with their occasional political messaging or virtue signaling. Heck, I’m writing this on an iMac, and I don’t see eye-to-eye with Apple on most political or cultural issues. As a conservative in a country where pop culture is liberal-dominated, I’ve gotten used to dealing with it and not letting it bother me so much that I find myself constantly refusing to shop at places because of politics.
This month, because it’s “Pride Month,” lots of companies have bombarded us with rainbow-colored versions of their logos. While I find their virtue signaling irritating and self-righteous, I haven’t stopped patronizing them because of it. I’ll still use PayPal, fly JetBlue, use Adobe software, etc., etc. I do, however, find Disney’s recent offering of pride-themed Mickey ears hats at their theme parks to be offensive because the parks are supposed to be family- and child-friendly. Does it mean I won’t ever go to Disneyland or Disney World again? No. I won’t deprive my child of what is mostly kid-friendly fun over one hat being made for sale.
Of course, there are places I don’t shop at anymore for various reasons. I haven’t shopped at Target since their transgender bathroom policy went into effect, but that was really in protest of their implementing a misguided policy at the expense of the safety of their customers.
My point is, I don’t let trivial differences in politics affect where I shop or eat. It’s sad to think that people are so hateful of anything or anyone who disagrees with them that they will alter their shopping behavior rather than inadvertently support someone who has a different position on any given issue. Several years ago, an app called “BuyPartisan” was created with the sole purpose of enabling consumers to easily find out whether a company donates to Democrat or Republican causes and candidates, and shop accordingly. It was profiled in 2014 in TIME magazine, where we were taken on a journey through the writer’s experimentation with the app. He found the whole process “fun” and “addictive” — but not pathetic or sad.
Not every purchase we make needs to be a political act. But, sadly, that’s the world we seem to live in now. Earlier this week Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was forced to apologize after eating at Chick-fil-A… during Pride Month! The horror!
Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey ignited a backlash online after revealing that he ate at Chick-fil-A this month.
On Saturday, Dorsey posted a photo on Twitter with the caption “Boost @ChickfilA,” showing he had saved 10% on a $31.58 order at the fast-food chain. A “boost” is a cashback reward Square users can earn when using a Cash Card, which is a debit card from the payment platform.
Critics immediately seized on Dorsey’s support of Chick-fil-A — whose CEO has come under fire for his views on same-sex marriage in the past — during Pride Month.
“You must love the taste of bigotry!” one person wrote in response.
“Why is Twitter boosting a notoriously anti-gay company during #PrideMonth?” another person wrote.
Among the critics was the former CNN anchor Soledad O’Brien, who said, “This is an interesting company to boost during Pride month, @jack.”
Dorsey responded: “You’re right. Completely forgot about their background.”
Come on. Dorsey had to know that Chick-fil-A is a Christian-owned business and the owners have a moral objection to gay marriage. He just wanted to eat a chicken sandwich for crying out loud, and his followers took him to task over it. People aren’t simply self-censoring where they shop and eat, they’re shaming people who don’t care as much as they do about the politics of every single business they frequent.
In the aftermath of Dorsey’s faux pas, Noah Michelson, editorial director at HuffPost, wrote, “If you care about queer people ― or you yourself are queer ― you have absolutely no business eating at Chick-fil-A. Ever. It’s really that straightforward.” He justified this position by accusing Chick-fil-A’s president of being homophobic simply for believing marriage is between one man and one woman, and the entire business as “queerphobic” even though they employ and serve “queer” people. As we saw with various wedding cake bakers who refused to make custom cakes for gay weddings but had no problem with selling pre-made items that didn’t force them to violate their deeply held beliefs, anything that differs from left-wing convictions is branded in the most vile terms, with the motivations behind those beliefs being wrongly equated to hate and bigotry.
All conservatives positions are being branded as such these days, but especially those rooted in Judeo-Christian values. In the recent Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the Supreme Court sided with Masterpiece Cakeshop because the Colorado Civil Rights Commission had been openly hostile toward baker Jack Phillips’ religious belief. That’s right, a “civil rights” commission had been hostile towards Phillips’ own “civil rights,” which are undeniably protected by the Constitution.
Despite railing against bigotry, those who oppose conservative and religious views repeatedly show they are the real bigots, who are unable to accept the fact that people can disagree about the morality of homosexuality and still not be the worse than Adolf Hitler. Republicans may have both houses of Congress and the White House right now, but it’s still a difficult time to be conservative because conservative values are constantly slandered in Hollywood, the media, academia, and (apparently) civil rights commissions and courts across the country as racist and bigoted. What we’re really being told is that we don’t have a right to speak our views or even be in business. And it’s only going to get worse. Right now you can’t even eat the chicken sandwich you like because you might offend someone.