Thursday, July 26, 2012

Don’t we have enough chicken joints in Our Kind of Town, Chicago is?

Somehow, I doubt that the Atlanta-area officials who run the Chick-fil-A chain of sandwich shops are getting all worked up over the fact that one of our aldermen doesn’t want the company setting up a store in his ward on account of the fact that the company head has said he opposes gay marriage.
MORENO: Not the first fil-A critic

For it seems that this particular company is getting bashed about in so many places because of this issue.

IT WOULD SEEM by now that they are immune to such attacks. For all I know, perhaps they figure they can feed their sandwiches to an alternate universe – as in the one where everybody is either just like them, or if they’re not then they know their place and stay in it!

That certainly isn’t Chicago, where 1st Ward Alderman Joe Moreno is making a point of saying he doesn’t want the company doing business in his neighborhood.

He doesn’t think the people of his ward will patronize such a shop because of the attitudes of its management, even though the company says it does not plan any discrimination at their stores.

They’ll sell chicken sandwiches to anyone with valid U.S. currency, Maybe they’ll wait until the customer walks out the door with their food before the employees make fun of them.

THEN AGAIN, PERHAPS in that neighborhood it would be the residents who would mock such a Southern-oriented joint. Personally, I don’t see the appeal. There are enough other places for the rest of us to get chicken.

Although that likely is because the only time I ever ate a Chick-fil-A sandwich (back in the days when I lived and worked in Springfield, Ill., and that particular store doesn’t even exist any more), I can’t say I was impressed.

But like I wrote already, it seems that Moreno is merely piling on to a list of people across the country who think very little of the Chick-fil-A company. The mayor of Boston has sent corporate types a letter telling them to "stay out" of his city.

I couldn’t help but notice that earlier this year, an attempt by Chick-fil-A to get back into the state capital city ran into opposition. They wanted to put one of their outlets on the University of Illinois-Springfield campus, only to hear opposition from people who don’t like the fact that corporate types with the company donated more than $3 million between 2003 and 2009 to “rabidly anti-gay” organizations.

MORENO IS PEEVED about the fact that company President Dan Cathy calls himself “guilty as charged” for opposing gay marriage – as though he thinks we all ought to be proud of him for it.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Moreno has the backing of Mayor Rahm Emanuel in taking such a hard-line stance, telling the newspaper, “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values. They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”

It wouldn’t be surprising to me if such a store would be patronized only by people who think that by eating one of their sandwiches, they’d be making a political statement.

Which strikes me as being as ridiculous as those people who used to go out of their way to eat California-picked grapes to spite the boycott desires of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers of America desires of better working conditions for the migrant farm workers.

BESIDES, WE HAVE to concede that the ultimate political statement on this particular issue was most likely made by Jim Henson Co., which was using its Muppets characters to come up with a line of products to be included in kids meals.

But the people who gave us Kermit the Frog are repulsed enough by the Chick-fil-A views on this issue that they say they’re breaking their contract – and taking what money they’ve already been paid and donating it to the gay rights organization GLAAD.

Be honest. Who’s going to get your attention first – a Chicago alderman, or Miss Piggy? Particularly if she starts wielding her purse in anger.


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