Gang Style Chicken

Randy Potts

August 17th, 2012

08 Nov 1964, Atlanta, Georgia, USA --- Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. eats lunch with his family after church services and learning that he won the Nobel Peace Prize. --- (CORBIS)

As much as I’d like to ignore it, Floyd Lee Corkins, II, has forced me to think once more about Chick-fil-A and the food fight between the left and the right.  Dan Cathy’s remarks several weeks ago opened up a fault line – suddenly, instead of staying safely within our left-wing and right-wing echo chambers, Americans are debating the First Amendment and boycotts and marriage rights.  Many in the LGBT community report that once-silent family members are now sending them emails, proudly posting pictures of chicken on Facebook, and calling them late at night to quote Bible verses about death and destruction.  Just two days ago, Mr. Corkins shot a security guard at the Family Research Council and fifteen Chick-fil-A sandwiches were found in his backpack; it’s safe to assume he wasn’t delivering Tony Perkins’ lunch.

Although food has loomed large in touching off historical debate (see the Boston Tea Party, Gandhi’s march to the sea to make salt, or four college students sitting implacably at a Woolworth’s lunch counter), the food is only a foil for a larger, more important debate – what constitutes our community’s values, how do we define those values, and which of those values can bring us together rather than tear us apart?  The single common denominator throughout all these “food fights” is that in each instance a community stood up to protest its second-class status.  The same holds true for today’s debate.

The question at hand is this – can LGBT people and the unions they form, the children they raise, the families and community bonds they form, be truly accepted into American society?  Can the American dream accommodate a group once pegged by the majority as alien and subversive?  Now that, in 2012, it seems clear that the majority has begun to respond with a resounding yes, how do we deal with the not-insubstantial minority that is left angry and upset?  How do we deal with those within our own ranks, as it appears Mr. Corkin was, whose rage at those who refuse to “see the light” may translate unforgivably into violence?

In 2010, the Southern Poverty Law Center designated several anti-gay groups as “hate groups” for the first time.   Their research of FBI documents over the previous fourteen-year period revealed a little-publicized fact:  LGBT people are overwhelmingly the largest target of physical attacks inspired by hate in the U.S.  Our status as second-class citizens is second to none.  Coming from a conservative family background as I do, my first reaction when I heard that Mr. Corkins had attacked an organization labeled as a “hate group” was this – is that label helpful in any way?

Reading up on how the FBI discusses groups that inspire violence it became clear that labeling the Family Research Council and other organizations like it as hate groups is simply a recognition that the violence occurring against the LGBT community has a real, concrete source and a real, concrete voice.  When Tony Perkins talks about the “homosexual agenda” and Dan Cathy triumphantly says “guilty as charged” when asked about the millions of dollars he contributes to anti-LGBT causes, their words fall dangerously close to the dividing line the FBI has established between rhetorical violence on the one hand and physical violence on the other.  Identifying seven distinct stages along this spectrum, the last stage between rhetoric and physical violence is Stage Five when

“the hate group attacks their target without weapons . . . prowling their turf seeking vulnerable targets.”

This is what America saw on Mike Huckabee’s “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day”: a community rallied together to attack the idea that the LGBT community – our unions, our families, our places of gathering, our places of worship – is worthy of first class citizenship.  Chick-fil-A restaurants and its packaging has become home turf, a veritable gang sign, and Mr. Corkins’ deplorable attack two days ago was simply a confirmation of that fact.

In our national gang-style fever, calling out hate is not only justifiable but critically important.  Keeping up the fight for marriage equality, for equal protection laws, for first class citizenship in a calm, rational manner is the most effective way to take the long view and play it out in full.  In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, pictured above eating fried chicken with his family,

“It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can stop him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.”

Jonathan

August 17th, 2012

Beautiful post. Thank you!

SharonB

August 17th, 2012

Sad, but for me, Chick-fil-a is “hater chicken.”

Regan DuCasse

August 17th, 2012

Randy, excellent!
That is the point. Gay people have been treated to not just discrimination, but serious physical, career and family RISK.

To simply show casual affection could result in a major assault and even being killed!
To have a relationship of the same sex, could open you up to custody battles and profound loss of a relationship with your own child. Your parents and siblings.

The RISK assessment here, and who has the socio/political advantage isn’t stressed enough.
Dan Cathy suffered no real risk, in what he said nor what he financially supported.
There is no RISK to anyone, even when gay people get married.

There is no RISK in being Christian in America. Any litigation, or boycotts or even job losses, were from breaches of civil or private non discrimination contracts, not because of any anti Christian sentiment from the gov’t.
And even litigation and boycotts ARE A LEGAL RIGHT, it’s not fascism or terrorism, even on the part of gays and lesbians.
Because equal treatment of gay people, cannot and does not restrict the rights of others.

And those who say it’s offensive or wrongful to compare being black with being gay, in the misery scale…
Remind those who say that, you’re not comparing color with sexual orientation, but comparing the injustices inflicted for a singular, morally neutral attribute.

And that the venerated warriors of the Movement, like Coretta King, Rep. John Lewis, Julian Bond, Andrew Young, Mildred Loving, Maya Angelou and so on, KNOW DIFFERENTLY.
So what do THESE anti gay people think THEY know about social injustice, that the aforementioned didn’t or don’t?

Trust me when I say, that shuts them the hell up every time.
But, unfortunately, playing the victim doesn’t.

It’s the lack of proportions here. They really don’t know how to weigh them rightly, and they SHOULD. And for that, we can’t hold them accountable enough.

Chuck

August 17th, 2012

Great post. We are coming to a tipping point. We are now too visible to ignore, and a good chunk of the population understand that continuing to discriminate against the gay population is in no way the right thing to do. Conversely, we have people whose drive to hate and discriminate, and the increasing visibility of the gay community and lean towards our acceptance is forcing them to fight back even harder, and attempt to assert their will on the rest of the population.

The logical arguments have all been made, and all that’s left is a heavy and violent shift that’s looming in the air.

I think I can guess that what’s to come won’t be easy, but it’s going to happen.

AlexH

August 17th, 2012

Excellent Post! The Chicken in Chik-Fil-A is just a “MacGuffin” as Hitchcock would say.

JohnAGJ

August 17th, 2012

Interesting post, Randy, with some points for me to think about more. Thanks.

As an aside, glad to see you here at BTB! :) Your video about your late uncle was moving and inspirational to me. Thanks for making it.

Richard Rush

August 17th, 2012

Randy, this is an excellent post.

Chuck said, “We are coming to a tipping point.” You must be young. I’ve been living as a gay person since the summer of Stonewall (1969). Trust me, we are now well beyond the tipping point. The final outcome is assured. The only remaining question is the timing until the final cleanup.

Leave A Comment

All comments reflect the opinions of commenters only. They are not necessarily those of anyone associated with Box Turtle Bulletin. Comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

(Required)
(Required, never shared)

PLEASE NOTE: All comments are subject to our Comments Policy.

 

Latest Posts

"The Intel On This Wasn't 100 Percent"

From Fake News To Real Bullets: This Is The New Normal

NC Gov McCrory Throws In The Towel

Colorado Store Manager Verbally Attacks "Faggot That Voted For Hillary" In Front of 4-Year-Old Son

Associated Press Updates "Alt-Right" Usage Guide

A Challenge for Blue Bubble Democrats

Baptist Churches in Dallas, Austin Expelled Over LGBT-Affirming Stance

FBI Reports Massive Surge In Anti-Muslim Hate Crimes in 2015

Featured Reports

What Are Little Boys Made Of?

In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.

Slouching Towards Kampala: Uganda’s Deadly Embrace of Hate

When we first reported on three American anti-gay activists traveling to Kampala for a three-day conference, we had no idea that it would be the first report of a long string of events leading to a proposal to institute the death penalty for LGBT people. But that is exactly what happened. In this report, we review our collection of more than 500 posts to tell the story of one nation’s embrace of hatred toward gay people. This report will be updated continuously as events continue to unfold. Check here for the latest updates.

Paul Cameron’s World

In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.

From the Inside: Focus on the Family’s “Love Won Out”

On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.

Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths

At last, the truth can now be told.

Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!

And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.

Testing The Premise: Are Gays A Threat To Our Children?

Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.

Straight From The Source: What the “Dutch Study” Really Says About Gay Couples

Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.

The FRC’s Briefs Are Showing

Tony Perkins’ Family Research Council submitted an Amicus Brief to the Maryland Court of Appeals as that court prepared to consider the issue of gay marriage. We examine just one small section of that brief to reveal the junk science and fraudulent claims of the Family “Research” Council.

Daniel Fetty Doesn’t Count

Daniel FettyThe FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics aren’t as complete as they ought to be, and their report for 2004 was no exception. In fact, their most recent report has quite a few glaring holes. Holes big enough for Daniel Fetty to fall through.