Conservatives are finding it hard to swallow the news that Chick-fil-A has a diversity, equity and inclusion policy.
The Christian-owned fast-food chain was accused of going woke after conservatives discovered a post on the company’s website promoting its DEI standard, known as “better together.”
“Chick-fil-A, Inc.’s commitment to being Better at Together means embedding Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in everything we do,” said the website.
That means “ensuring equal access,” “valuing differences,” and “creating a culture of belonging,” according to the company.
Chick-fil-A trended Tuesday on Twitter as right-tilting consumers struggled to reconcile the DEI policy with the company known for its traditional values and faith-friendly approach, which includes closing on Sunday so that its employees may attend worship services.
“Wow, @ChickfilA too?” asked documentary filmmaker Errol Webber. “They didn’t go full lefty yet… but this is how it starts. By implementing DEI.”
He was responding to a tweet from political strategist Joey Mannarino, who said that “Chik-Fil-A just hired a VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. This is bad. Very bad. I don’t want to have to boycott. Are we going to have to boycott?”
Technically, Chick-fil-A didn’t “just” hire him: Erick McReynolds has served as Chick-fil-A vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion since November 2021. Before that, he was DEI executive director, a post he assumed in July 2020, according to his LinkedIn page.
The timing suggests that Chick-fil-A jumped on the DEI bandwagon along with the rest of corporate America at the height of the Black Lives Matter protests following the May 2020 killing of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Conservative pundit Allie Beth Stuckey asked: “The Chick-fil-A DEI guy has been there for 16 years and in this role since 2021. What was it that sparked a reaction to this today?”
In the years since the BLM heyday, however, DEI has gone from being viewed as a worthy anti-discrimination statement to code for a host of far-left policy goals pushed by the rapidly growing DEI consulting business.
“These programs preach the values of tolerance and inclusion, but in reality, serve as vehicles for left-wing racialist ideology and partisan political activism,” said Manhattan Institute senior fellow Christopher Rufo in a March presentation entitled “Exposing the DEI Scam.”
Chick-fil-A had no immediate comment on the social-media outcry, which comes as consumers flex their market muscles after delivering branding hits to Bud Light and Target over their transgender-focused marketing.
Wow, @ChickfilA too?
They didn’t go full lefty yet… but this is how it starts. By implementing DEI. pic.twitter.com/Hd76XNvNvY
— Errol Webber (@ErrolWebber) May 30, 2023
Also resurfacing on Twitter was a June 2020 video of Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy at the Passion City Church in Atlanta relaying how a friend reacted to racism in a small Texas town by shining the shoes of an elderly Black man during a Christian revival meeting.
“If we need to find somebody who needs to have his shoes shined, we need to just go right on over and shine his shoes,” said Mr. Cathy, who then proceeded to shine the shoes of Christian rapper Lecrae. “Maybe give him a hug, too.”
Mr. Cathy was accused of “pandering” and “going woke,” while others compared his shoe-shining to Christians washing the feet of others in a show of humility.
Last month, Pope Francis washed the feet of juvenile offenders at a youth prison in Rome.
“The context surrounding what he said is missing,” said the Unstoppable Freedom Alliance account. “What he said was that we need to recognize the pain of others and extend God’s grace and mercy to people. Lacrae was also in that conversation and was very insightful.”