Morning, folks. As the end of last week approached, it became very clear that I’d have to address two very different stories: the all-around awesomeness of Gabby Douglas and this Chick-Fil-A poor excuse of a protest. There’s no clever way to introduce either topic or merge them together, so just check out what I have to say after the jump.
Is it ok that I’m upset that Subway hasn’t already filmed a commercial starring Gabby Douglas? Perhaps I’m being a wee bit impatient, but I’m waiting for Gabby to appear on my television lying to me about how Subway is the official restaurant of team and individual all-around Olympic gold medal winners everywhere. And by everywhere, wherever Gabby is at this very moment. Why? Because no other American has won the individual and team all-around gold in the same Olympics. If she doesn’t speak it already, Gabby’s going to have to learn Russian to holler at her peers. As sad as it is that we’re still all up in 2012 talking about black firsts, I’m uber geeked for Gabby Douglas. That accomplishment isn’t just Subway worthy, it’s Wheaties worthy. Seriously, what is the deal with this Kellogg’s Cornflakes mess? This feat needs to be immortalized with Gabby in her leotard and gold medal smiling as she spoons some nasty Wheaties towards her Colgate smile. That’s right. Nothing says gold medal winner like endorsements and television show appearances. If Gabby is not on the next season ofCelebrity Apprentice and/or Dancing With the Stars I will not only start a protest but begin an e-petition on her behalf. Get yours, Gabby. And if any sucka says anything about your hair, flash them the gold medal and say, “Feast.”
I am still eating Chick-Fil-A with enthusiasm. In fact, if it wasn’t for my efforts to make different eating choices, I’d double down on the Chick-Fil-A sauce. I’m so serious about this. At the risk of plagiarizing my own Facebook status messages, let me just say this about Chick-Fil-A protestors and supporters: Stop. F’real. The only difference between the Cathys and other corporations that have people’s money–and not their best interest–in mind is that the Cathys, in true southern tradition, told everybody exactly who they don’t like. And you know why we bristle so fiercely? Because this seems like a battle we can “win.” Ending drone strikes or dismantling a political system that marginalizes most of us seems like an impossibility. Not because it’s impossible, but because we really enjoy our internet, smart phones, and cable, and who wants to give up all that for–freedom and equality? So instead we protest chicken (yeah, chicken) and prevent the opening of Chick-Fil-A restaurants in neighborhoods we’re working diligently to gentrify despite–or because of?–the real estate market (h/t @ashoncrawley). That’s a lot easier than reminding ourselves that we voted for a president who lied about his stance on same-sex marriage, because holding true to the stance he took while running for state office wouldn’t get him elected. But why have we taken up arms? So folks can register for formal dining cutlery? For marriage “rights”? If these rights are so important, why do human beings have to legally bind themselves to another human being just to receive them? It seems to me that if something is a right, we should all have it. Moreover, said rights would be granted by a state that has continually sanctioned violence against black, brown, and poor people, that incarcerates trans folks, who were more than likely simply defending themselves, in facilities that put their lives in absolute danger. So it seems to me that if and when the registry for Linens ‘n’ Things acknowledges same-sex marriage engagements, the only folks who can unequivocally proclaim victory are decidedly white, moneyed, and male.
And to the folks taking pictures of themselves and chicken sandwich wrappers and “liking” defenses of Cathy, stop. You’re wrong–and a lemming.
P.S. August 9th would have been Whitney Elizabeth Houston’s 49th birthday. She is still everything. Sho’ you right.