Something to Cluck About
Kate X feels compassion for the kids behind the counter at Chick-fil-A
By Kate X Messer, 2:10PM, Fri. Aug. 3, 2012
We've all had it up to our beaks in this chicken controversy. Who knew that America's new culture war would be stomach-churning yet so delicious all at once?
Boycott, Grrlcott, Queercott…
Personally, I have mixed feelings about this whole thing. On one hand, boycotts and divesting of brands like Chick-fil-A seem like perfect hit-em-where-it-hurts no-brainer way to make a point.
On the other hand, I think about the franchise managers and workers who, in many cases, generally don't dabble in politics, whose feelings and political leanings are being informed by every twist and turn of this fracas. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating playing pretty for the sake of the ignorant or uninformed, I'm simply wondering if removing our pleasant presence, fabulous fashion sense, compassionate hearts, and thoughtful discourse from their purview is the best solution?
Boycotts make sense. But they make sense if delivered strategically with the greatest possible impact. However, I question if this spike in attention, this reaction to some stupidly short-sighted and cruel comments from their CEO is the best environment for a wise and efficient huddle. I ask genuinely: What is our strategy? And more elementally: Who are "we"?
I've been chewing on this since Mr. Cathy's unfortunate encounter with the truth. He is a deluded and ugly guy, twisting his religious conviction to justify aligning himself and his entire corporation with some seriously fucked and hate-filled politics. Gross. Suddenly, your chicken is not so delicious, Dan. But, there are more people involved in this than Dan Cathy.
And here's the first piece I've read so far in this mess that even acknowledges that not all CfA minions are right-wing zombies. I know at my job, for example, and at every job I've ever held, most people do not always agree with the boss. At what place of employment do they? This makes me think of the kid behind the counter, schlepping that filet in that outpost in North Austin or Round Rock or Waco, trying to raise some scratch to move out of their own personal hell-hole and move to the freedom of some freak-mecca (Hellllooooo, Austin!), to go to some school like ACC or start a band or live in a freakin' coop. I've seen 'em, their eyes light up when people like me walk through the door.
I've been asked about my tattoos, my hair product, if I live in Austin, if I'm in a band, who my favorite bands are, where'd I get my glasses, what do I do for a living, etc., by kids who are desperate for tethers to the other side. (Remember when we rented that truck to pick up that oven in Killeen, Dacia? Those Chick-fil-A kids treated us like fucking kings. NO PICKLE.)
Sure, I own that a percentage of my musing above is my own ego-trip about being an ambassador to the town I love and the freedom it instigates. I have this town to thank for my own, that's for sure. But some kids never get to make that break, and I'd just hate for them to be condemned to the landscape of what we saw this past Wednesday: A choir of converted suburban zombies with Fox-mediated, preacher-inseminated hate-spewing talking points – all polished up to appear polite and Christian and filled with liberty – that sound just like so many people did when I was a kid in racially desegregating Florida – all festering in the same tired bullshit rhetoric.
I know this comes across all "think about the children!" But I do. I do think about those kids. I think about them everymotherclucking day.
I want them to know us.