Chick-fil-A’s woke turn signals larger problem of DEI in corporate America

By Jarrett Stepman | The Daily Signal

Chick-fil-A apparently has joined the cultural revolution.

Social media was buzzing on Tuesday about Chick-fil-A Inc. announcing the hiring of a vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion.

The announcement made the rounds on Tuesday, though Erick McReynolds has been with the company for 16 years in another capacity and has been involved with DEI initiatives since 2021.

“Chick-fil-A, Inc.’s commitment to being Better at Together means embedding Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in everything we do,” reads the Chick-fil-A page on DEI.

As conservative activist Christopher Rufo wrote in City Journal, almost every Fortune 500 company has adopted DEI initiatives. Some of those programs are innocuous, but they often serve as a conduit to inject ideology into corporate practices.

That means, according to Rufo, that “every major corporation in the United States has submitted to DEI ideology and [has] begun to make it a permanent part of its legal and human resources bureaucracy.”

Chick-fil-A apparently embraced this transformation too.

But why? Chick-fil-A seemed plenty welcoming in the past, as the managing editor of the Babylon Bee mockingly alluded to on Twitter.

The fast-food chain simply adhered to some level of biblical morality in its corporate practices, which meant closing on Sundays and donating to organizations that supported traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

But that was too much for the Left to bear.

In a radically secularized culture, Chick-fil-A stood out and caused left-wing activists and politicians to froth with rage. In response, many conservatives and Christians defended the company for sticking to its principles.

But a funny thing has happened in recent years.

The administrative left-wing gatekeepers who control much of higher education have been grafted onto corporate America as well.

Back in the day, leftists used to say, “Those greedy corporations are the worst, man!” Now, you can expect Democratic politicians to whine, “Won’t somebody please think of the multinational corporations?”

How times have changed.

A nexus of ESG-style investment, government meddling, and ruling-class ethos passed along by higher education ensures that most multinational corporations will join with the Left in the culture wars.

The religious chasm in corporate America has been filled with the religious zeal of the great awokening. Pride month is the high point of the year in the ruling class’s liturgical calendar, and corporations now lean into it with gusto.

Chick-fil-A is simply catching up to the general trend.

As with Walmart and other big brands associated with more traditional values, the younger generations that took over Chick-fil-A are apparently much more comfortable embracing the ethos of the ruling elites. So, bit by bit, they’ve slipped in with the cultural revolutionaries.

First, in 2019, Chick-fil-A cut donations to organizations that support traditional marriage. At the same time, the company had been funding the Southern Poverty Law Center, a left-wing nonprofit that smears mainstream conservative organizations as “hate groups.”

Strike one.

Then, Chick-fil-A jumped in with the cultural revolutionaries and the “racial reckoning” following the May 2020 death of George Floyd.

Strike two.

Now, they’ve promoted McReynolds and made DEI a significant initiative in the company.

Strike three.

As anyone who has paid attention in the past few years has learned, “diversity, equity, and inclusion” initiatives aren’t really intended to make more people feel welcome. To the contrary, they are directed at meeting the demands of identitarian social revolutionaries and ensuring ideological conformity.

This issue is much bigger than any individual company. That even Chick-fil-A, once associated with traditional Christianity, has gone for the revolution is a marker of the Left’s institutional capture of corporate America.

Conservatives are understandably upset with this latest development, and some have threatened to boycott the company.

In the past, those efforts may have been mostly for naught. But again, times are changing.

Perhaps due to Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter in conjunction with a greater awareness about the dire state of our country’s institutions, conservatives have become more effective in pushing companies to change their tune on woke policies.

From Anheuser-Busch to Target to the Los Angeles Dodgers to Walmart, corporations have been forced to respond to market pressure from the right. More importantly, some states—such as Florida and Kentucky—have moved to ban ideological environmental-social-governance investing. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis refused to back down to the Disney Co. and has now gone on offense against the company.

That’s how you win.

It’s quite possible that Chick-fil-A will feel some heat now, too. And it should.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/J Reed

10 thoughts on “Chick-fil-A’s woke turn signals larger problem of DEI in corporate America

  1. From current article: “Walmart, … forced to respond to market pressure from the right.” Not so according to their latest. Walmart to Offer Pride Merchandise Despite Controversies.

    The question that has troubled me is why these companies don’t stick to selling their merchandise and not wade into such controversial and business hurtful matters where surely, they will offend a large group of their customer base.

    The following worth reading article sheds light on why this may be happening over such a broad group of large retail corporations. “A group of “corporate elites” at financial firms such as BlackRock, State Street, and Vanguard—which together control more than $20 trillion worth of investments—are “imposing their will” on the managers of companies that they are invested in.”

    • You got it – it’s an agenda that the majority is not down with anymore. Shoving their agenda in our faces is not working – the fad is fading because they are losing millions of dollars. Also, the fact BLM spent all the multi-millions on themselves proves exactly how these scams really work afterall. The “woke” capitalists are running back to climate change as their go to weapon as the “pride” machine is sputtering and losing steam.

  2. If you do the research, Chick fil A started this program in 2020, THREE YEARS AGO and the VP of DEI has been there since 2020 as well.

    Your life has not fallen apart, the world has not come to an end.

    In fact, for 3 years you did not even know this was happening.

    Read their entire statement, they make it clear that their beliefs are based in honoring G-D and that they believe humility and treating others with decency is a way to honor G-D. Read the actual statement before you criticize.

    As I said, this has been going on for 3 years now and so far your life has not been destroyed.

    Relax, your life has not been upended in the last 3 years because of this and I doubt it will be.

    • Why not give equal space, media time, parades, story hours, and specified legislation in favor and teachings of Jesus Christ or Muhammad? Why do children have to be involved in these displays, legislation, parades, and story hours? What happened to gay rights when it is now subjegated to a specific letter – how can it be inclusive when it is divided into certain types and/or color scheme separated into a segregated triangle? Why are members of the gay community speaking out “not” in favor of these overt and subvert shenanigans? The problem is civil rights is for all – not for the loudest, most obnoxious, most devient, most intolerant, most violent, most segregating minority on the globe. Weather Underground…rebranded and repackaged for the same purpose as it was decades ago.

  3. Many people are asking why this agenda has “all of the sudden” come at us like a freight train. My local supermarket has a “pride” merchandise display, along with decorated cakes, located right beside the fruit and vegatable section – an appropriate area in the satirical sense. They are jamming it down our throats with funding and support of Open Societies, WEF, WHO, DNC, the Biden Adminstration, and many other dark money enterprises. They are fixated on destroying the United States, The UK, and all Western societies. Spiritual warfare has hit the highest, most critical level today – they are emboldened with money and media support. If we don’t put this demonic agenda down now, the destruction and death will be unimaginable.

    • How does having Pride Merchandise destroy the country and cause death and destruction? Don’t you think you are being just a tiny bit (ok, a lot) alarmist?

      These stores have been selling pride merchandise for at least a decade, it is only now that it is getting publicity.

      Has your life been destroyed in the last 10 years because of this?

      I somehow doubt it.

      If you don’t want to buy pride merchandise that is totally your right and I support your right to not do it.

      But for those who want it, why do you think you have the right to demand that stores stop selling it?

      Buy what you want and let others buy what they want.

      With all of the violence and war and hunger going on in the world, if the worst thing in your life is that your local store is selling pride merchandise next to the produce (which by the way, LGBTQ buy too) then consider yourself lucky.

  4. I was reading yesterday that major banks are also making this dei crp part of getting money for loans which is why we’re seeing more from normally sensible corps. Not that target et all weren’t in the fold to begin with.

  5. Why did Chick-Fil-A do that? Answer, corporate pressure by activist groups that threatened them, if they do not add DEI, ESG, WOKE etc. That is how Leftist activists work. Threats, lawsuits, and THEY try to organize boycotts. But they went too far. The “Sleeping Giant” woke up… American citizens woke up, are fed up and now THEY boycott! This has taken the far Left by shock. Look at Budweiser, Target, then just now Kohls and now Chick-Fil-A….it is the POWER OF THE PEOPLE. And the Left is scared. How? Because they CANNOT SUE PEOPLE for not buying something….there is nothing a State or Federal Court can do if you choose not to buy Bud or shop at Target. The weaponized Leftist DOJ is powerless – to SUE YOU for doing that. Leftists DEPEND on Courts, judges, State AG’s, the DOJ and threats of action – if you do not do exactly what they say….DEI, ESG, WOKE. But WE cannot be sued by any of them for not buying Bud or going to Target. The revolution has started and it has many legs to go.

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