Opinion: Don’t discriminate with your protests

Malik Rahili

Anne Buie

Malik RahiliFollowing Chick-fil-a President Dan Cathy’s announcement about his opposition to non-traditional marriage, many people were outraged — including students at the university.

Currently, over 600 Appalachian students have signed a petition on change.org entitled “Chancellor, Appalachian State University: End Our Relationship with Chick-fil-a” asking the Chancellor to remove Chick-fil-a from campus.

I understand the hurt people experienced when Cathy made his announcement, but think about it: the Chick-fil-a in Central Dining Hall didn’t say, “we hate gays, so they’ll no longer be able to eat here,” and neither did the other 1,600 restaurants across America. The campus location and many other stores have fallen victim to anger and uproar as a result of Cathy’s comment.

I believe that Cathy’s statement was discriminatory, but removing franchise from the dining hall would have little to no impact on the four-billion dollar company. Meal plan money only supports the restaurant if we choose to spend it there. So, if you wanted to protest McAlister’s, all you’d have to do was not buy from them.

Instead of protesting Chick-fil-a’s decision to excerise its freedom of speech and asking for its removal from Appalachian, just don’t buy from the restaurant. By removing the restaurant from Appalachian, we’re denying Chick-fil-a the same freedom we’re condemning them for.

Think about it—if we are boycotting Chick-fil-a, shouldn’t we also protest Nike and GAP for using sweatshops in Asia. What about Apple who works its underpaid employees in China so hard that they’ve installed nets outside their factory to prevent suicide attempts?

You can’t just pick and choose which issue you want to fight against because your iPhone is a lot harder to give up than a sandwich.

If you’re going to protest one, protest them all.

Malik Rahili, a freshman computer science major from Durham, N.C., is an intern graphic designer.