Ultra right-wing pundits have gone ballistic over fast food chain Chick-fil-A hiring a director of diversity, who just so happens to be Black.
Conservative blowhards unleashed their frustration with the company, known for its Christian-influenced business model, after discovering a months-old update on Chick-fil-A’swebsite about diversity and inclusion initiatives.
“Chick-fil-A restaurants have long been recognized as a place where people know they will be treated well. Modeling care for others starts in the restaurant, and we are committed to ensuring mutual respect, understanding and dignity everywhere we do business. These tenets are good business practice and crucial to fulfilling our Corporate Purpose,” wrote Erick McReynolds, Chick-fil-A’s vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The company added it was committed to be “better together” with its community: “When we combine our unique backgrounds and experiences with a culture of belonging, we can discover new ways to strengthen the quality of care we deliver: to customers, to the communities we serve and to the world. We understand that getting Better at Together means we learn better, care better, grow better and serve better.”
According to web archives, the page has been up since at least September, and McReynolds’ LinkedIn shows he was promoted to Chick-fil-A’s VP of diversity, equity, and inclusion in November 2021. Starting in July 2020, he served as DEI executive director. But for whatever reason, rightwingers weren’t too thrilled with the discovery and went balls to the wall with their anger Tuesday.
“Everything good must come to an end,” tweeted Wade Miller, a self-proclaimed “Anti-Woke” but simultaneously a “Pro-Civil Rights” activist who’s also the executive director of Citizens for Renewing America. “Here @Chickfila is stating it’s [sic] commitment to systemic racism, sexism, and discrimination. I cannot support such a thing.”
Jeff Clark, an assistant attorney in the Trump administration, called Chick-fil-A’s move “disappointing.”
But a self-described political strategist, Joey Mannarino, took the cake with his unhinged take.
We have a problem.— Joey Mannarino (@JoeyMannarinoUS) May 30, 2023
Chick-Fil-A just hired a VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
This is bad. Very bad.
I don’t want to have to boycott.
Are we going to have to boycott?
“It’s only a matter of time until they start putting tranny semen in the frosted lemonade at this point,” he tweeted. (Ironically, LGBTQ+ allies rallied against Chick-fil-A, a company founded by a devout Southern Baptist, in 2012 when CEO Dan Cathy mentioned his support forthe “biblical definition of the family unit” rather than same-sex marriage.)
Chick-fil-A isn’t the only corporation to be at the end of right-wing boycott threats lately. Conservatives blasted Kohl’s over the weekend due their Pride apparel for infants. Earlier in May, Target was the subject of conservative outrage when it released clothing for children ahead of Pride Month. And Bud Light received backlash when the company partnered with a transgender woman for a March Madness post on Instagram. (There has also been a war against inclusive chocolate companies.)
As threats to boycott Chick-fil-A gained steam Tuesday, Stew Peters, who hosts a far-right podcast, shared a three-year-old clip of Cathy speaking on a panel at Passion City Church in Texas after the murder of George Floyd and during the height of the anti-police brutality protests.
He spoke about unconscious biases and the responsibility of white people to dismantle racism.
“Until we as Caucasians, until we’re willing to just pick up the baton and fight for our Black, African American brothers and sisters—which they are as one human race—we’re shameful. We’re just adding to it. Our silence is so huge at this time. …It is shameful how we let things get so out of whack,” he said.
“Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy says ALL whites should get on their knees and shine black peoples’ shoes with ‘a sense of shame, a sense of embarrassment,’” Peters wrote, appearing to not understandthe metaphor Cathy used and also misinterpreting what Cathy meant when he shined a Black man’s shoes onstage. (Cathy had used the gesture to symbolically imply white people need to listen to concerns about racial injustice.)
Chick-fil-A did not immediately respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment Tuesday.