You Never Came to the Forum

This op-ed is addressed to all those who complain about the Chick-fil-A (CFA) protest.  Much of what I say hereafter stems more from my personal feelings than from the agenda or rhetoric of SDS, so don’t take this as a direct statement from the organization.

You need to realize that we didn’t have to do this.  The LGBTQ community could have written a letter to the Campus Store and administration months ago explaining, backed by factual evidence, why Chick-fil-A is an organization which, in many ways and on every level, not only is philosophically anti-homosexual but actually works to directly oppress and harm homosexual rights and mental well being (e.g. camps to ‘cure’ people of homosexuality).

Furthermore, sponsoring such an organization is in conflict with the expressly stated mission statement of our College, which has a significant homosexual population. We could have taken this product away a long time ago with no prior notice.

For example, those beer pong posters the campus store used to sell were taken off the shelves because one parent of a student wrote a letter that she was offended.  Surely, if an entire demographic of students showed solidarity in staunch opposition to the presence of Chick-fil-A in the form of a written letter, the campus store would have obliged because of the aforementioned precedent.

But we are SDS: Students for a Democratic Society.  It was for your edification and your right to disagree that we organized this campus wide event.  Yet, how many of you came to the forum? Not many. SDS has probably done more research than anyone else on this campus, besides STARS and a few others.

Some of the information I’ve heard people citing in opposition to the claim that CFA isn’t working directly and indirectly to actually reverse the liberation of homosexuals have been blatantly false.  Chick-fil-A as a corporation and the organizations it donates to work openly to oppress homosexuals in a very real way.

It is beyond the scope of this op-ed to list their offenses, and maybe we should have another formal gathering where all information is collected and discussed, but trust me when I say the information is there. I’m more than willing to hear out someone who believes otherwise, but where have you been?

We are trying so hard to give you a chance to speak out and for you to really understand what we are fighting for, but so few people speak to us at our protest table in the Campus Center.

Where are your op-eds?  The Facebook conversation was pretty good but only good for so much. Most importantly, the faculty-sponsored forum seems to have been ignored by those who disagree.

What’s more, you’ve done little to suggest possible alternatives, leaving it to us to figure out feasible replacements.  Why would we bother to find a replacement? Because we respect your right to consumption and because we want to minimize the loss to the average student of our activism.

You must understand that if Chick-fil-A is taken away (still not a reality, mind you), you can still go and buy it at their franchise store.  We don’t care if you buy Chick-fil-A.  We care about the fact that our school provides aid to an organization which clearly betrays our stated institutional values of providing a safe space for people of all genders, ethnicities, creeds, etc.

Democracy is majority rule and minority rights, and CFA betrays the latter.  So if you’ve refused to take advantage of the opportunities for democratic discussion and cooperation, then fine.

It’s your choice to abstain from something that is still your fight, despite the fact that your ability to get a civil union and all its far-reaching legal and economic benefits isn’t influenced by Chick-fil-A’s actions.

But don’t go around complaining and making snide, passive-aggressive, and hurtful remarks and constructing misinformed arguments when you’ve clearly rejected the open democratic process we’re trying to develop.

All I know is that I am going to keep fighting for equality and I will never, ever, yield to the floundering and wholly ignorant protests from a bunch of people who want an overpriced chicken sandwich.


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