Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Chik Fil A debate, why it's not about free speech.

by Brigidrivere

I want to say something about the Chik Fil A thing going on right now. First of all, I’m kind of lazy about boycotts. I can respect someone who doesn’t want to get political in their food choices, or who frequents a particular business because they’re affordable, or convenient, or whatever.
What I’m concerned with today are the people who are at Chik Fil A today, out of some misguided belief that someone is infringing on the owner’s freedom of speech. This is NOT a free speech issue. Nobody is arresting the dude. Nobody is asking the government to shut his business down. Nobody is trying to prevent him from expressing his views. Furthermore, for most people, this boycott is not about speech. It’s about the donations he makes with Chik Fil A profits to hate groups, and people who don’t want their money feeding those profits.
When you purposefully visit Chik Fil A today, and brag about it, you’re not protecting freedom of speech, because his freedom of speech is not being threatened. What you are doing is actively supporting his bigotry. You’re purposefully and intentionally giving the company money, a portion of which will be donated to known hate groups. Would you go out of your way to intentionally support a business that openly contributed to the KKK?
Furthermore, for those of you posting these photos who supposedly have no issue with gay people - have you considered the impact of these photos on your friends? Have you considered the amount of emotional turmoil the average gay person has already experienced, coming to terms with their sexuality in a world that considers him a second class citizen? Have you considered, then, how it feels for that person to open up Facebook and see that someone they thought was a friend is out, right that minute, supporting anti-gay bigotry, and bragging about it on their newsfeed?
As a bisexual with a number of gay friends, I don’t have room in my life for bigots who try to disguise their bigotry as a free speech issue. I also don’t have room in my life for people who opt to follow the conservative thought police paranoia without putting any thought into what their actions really mean. I’m pretty sure most of my friends are intelligent people, who put thought into their actions and political beliefs, and I’m hoping that none of my Facebook friends are bigots, but I’ve already been surprised once today. Free speech is great. So is the free market.

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