Dear Protestors, Civil Disobey-ers, Uprisers, and Other Folks With Sudden Strong Feelings About Fast-Food Chicken Restaurants,
I know, we already did a post today. But I’m feeling pretty strongly compelled to do another one, because tomorrow is apparently National Love Chick-Fil-A Or Hate Chick-Fil-A But By Golly You Are Obligated To Show Up On Their Doorstep With A Strong Opinion day. So in the off chance that anyone was wondering, here’s the Official Buffalo Stance on the Whole Chick-Fil-A Protest Thing:
1. Play nicely.
2. Share the toys.
3. Don’t make me come down there.
The careful observer will notice that these are the same rules I use for every single other day of my life, because frankly, I don’t see tomorrow as being any different from any other day. Yes, there are big protests planned, but I’d submit that there are probably always big protests planned somewhere in the world, about something or another. It’s a big place, with a lot of people in it, and they all have opinions. Additionally, I hold firmly to the notion that your dollar is your vote, so I have a very small, very private protest every day of my life by opting to buy from certain folks and not buy from others.
But goodness knows I like a good bit of public soapboxin’ as much as the next guy. It stirs up my inner hippie somethin’ fierce, and puts me in a mood to make big signs on posterboards (y’know, I’ve never made a big protest sign on a posterboard. I should fix that sometime). However–and I cannot stress this enough–climbing on your public soapbox does not mean that you get to stop being a decent human being for the day. Capisce? Let me spell this out a bit further.
1. Play nicely. Odds approach 100% that if you go get all vocal at your local Chick-Fil-A tomorrow, you will encounter at least one human being who does not share your views. That is okay, in the same way that it is okay every single other day of your life. Being a jerkface to other human beings doesn’t make you right; it just makes you a jerkface. Please be civil to each other. Respect that all god’s children got a place in the choir, and act accordingly. This is especially true when dealing with the employees there–whether you’re there to buy 200 chicken sandwiches or just order a large water, these nice people are probably carrying a heavy sense of dread. Please do not make their day any more challenging than it already is. Breaking things is not ok. Shouting at them is not ok. According to a quick Google search, most of them are making approximately $7.50/hr. This is nowhere near enough money to stand in a hot restaurant full of angry people and put up with your malarkey. So fer cryin’ out loud, be nice to them–people don’t take a job at Chick-Fil-A because they have always dreamed of being chicken peddlers; they take a job there because they need the money. Let them earn their paycheck with minimal drama, if you please.
2. Share the toys. No, you may not park sideways through three spaces just so someone with a different opinion has no place to park. No, you may not order 10,000 sandwiches. No, you may not block the doorways. No, you may not take other people’s signs. No, you may not trash the restrooms. Again, it comes down to respect–if you want people to take you seriously, then being a raging nutjob is really, really not a good way to go about it.
3. Don’t make me come down there. In the interest of complete honesty, I’m actually not planning on going anywhere tomorrow. I will not be at the local protest, because I will be participating individually, in my own way: I will be having a homemade dinner, using locally sourced ingredients, right here at my own dining table. Moon Man is already aware of my views on the topic of gay marriage, but if we find ourselves with any sudden dinner guests, I will be glad to discuss the topic quietly and calmly with them, respecting that our home is a Safe Zone so all opinions are welcome. I am not going to buy anything from Chick-Fil-A tomorrow, in the same way that I didn’t buy anything from Chick-Fil-A today, and in the same way that I don’t intend to buy anything from Chick-Fil-A on August 2nd or 3rd or any other day. But maybe we can all agree to pretend that this particular dictate is coming from, say, Local Law Enforcement. Do your entire “side” a favor and don’t be the lunatic who becomes the “Face of the Movement” while s/he is getting dragged away in handcuffs, screaming obscenities and providing the “other side” an awfully convenient series of sound bites with which to vilify your entire “side”, ok? Seriously. It’s a very cut-and-paste world that we live in, so you know you’re gonna get taken out of context. Don’t give ’em anything to work with.
So there you have it: Mama BW’s Official Guide to This and All Protests. Be decent to each other, is all I’m saying. Tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that. You can do it. I have faith in you.
P.S.–Nolite te bastardes carborundorum. 😉