When do we celebrate corporations for taking a stand?
It’s not an unusual question to ask, after all.
If a company takes a stand for something uncontroversial, it might make a small splash, but nothing major.
Does your company support individuals with disabilities? Well, all right, but so does every thinking individual.
If, on the other hand, you support something on which there still exists even the slightest amount of cultural debate, you’re perceived as having done something bold.
The question is how that boldness is perceived — if the media chooses to perceive it at all.
There was Gillette’s recent stand against “toxic masculinity.” And then there’s outdoor retailer Patagonia, which has literally done everything in its power to brand itself as anti-Trump.
All of these organizations have received plaudits from the establishment media.
But can you name any corporations that are applauded for being pro-Christian? Pro-life? Pro-gun?
They aren’t really mentioned at all in the media, and when they are it’s typically because they’re an object of derision, not applause.
There’s no greater example of this than Pride month.
Support for Pride month in 2019 would ordinarily be as bland as a glass of lukewarm tap water, but because the definition of homophobia in the West has now broadened to include individuals who don’t wholeheartedly approve of everything under the LGBT umbrella — including for religious reasons — there’s apparently still some element of bravery attached to it.
Companies were ready, willing and eager to tout what they were doing for the LGBT community — and, as usual, the media was willing to uncritically celebrate it, as this video from USA Today shows:
Many of these companies, like American Apparel, American Eagle, ASOS, Champion, Converse, Disney, Dr. Martens, Fossil, MAC, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Reebok, Toms Shoes, UGG footwear and Warby Parker appear to have have official Pride month collections and are donating the proceeds to LGBT organizations.
Others participating include Hunter Boots, Urban Decay, Levi’s, MeUndies and Todd Snyder.
Now, companies can choose to do what they wish with their money the same way people can choose to support them for it.
But, just out of curiosity, how many times do you see montage videos like this put together for companies whose causes aren’t on the cultural left?
Usually, you’re seeing them pilloried, not celebrated. Chick-fil-A is the prime example.
There are writers that pretty much went insane because of the fact that the company — which is openly Christian in its beliefs and closes on Sundays — decided to sponsor a college bowl game.
Several cities are trying to ban it from their airports. One is trying to put rainbow and transgender awareness flags by the outlet. There are also colleges trying to get the chain off of their campus.
This is all because Chick-fil-A donates to Christian organizations, some of which — gasp! — still believe what the Bible says, that homosexual behavior is a sin.
You may not believe that, but there are plenty of people who do while still treating LGBT individuals with the inherent dignity every individual deserves.
In fact, Chick-fil-A has gone beyond that.
“We do not have a political or social agenda. More than 145,000 people from different backgrounds and beliefs represent the Chick-fil-A brand. We embrace all people, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity,” the chain said in a statement after issues with two airports approving locations.
This is the eternal double standard.
The LGBT community is fighting against homophobia which is either chimerical, profoundly limited in its scope or based off of sincerely held religious beliefs. That which isn’t we can all safely agree needs to be stamped out — but how much of this threat is being taken far too seriously?
Take, for instance, the “straight pride” parade that’s been much in the news lately, which satisfies the first two elements.
Three geniuses from Boston decided this was a good way to get attention — and boy, were they right.
Did this event have any real groundswell of support behind it? Of course not.
Did it seem more like a really tasteless joke than anything else? Of course it did.
Did the media cover it as if it were some sort of serious threat to the LGBT community? Of course they did.
If that’s the prejudice we’re truly fighting against this Pride month, then it’s difficult to see where the cultural headwinds really lie.
However, thanks to the double standard, this is the bravery we’re celebrating — even when companies like American Eagle, Nike and UGG aren’t really being very brave at all.
When it comes to Chick-fil-A supporting the causes they’re passionate about, well, not so much.