Tag Archives: McDonalds

Bigot of the Week, September 27: Guido Barilla

27 Sep
The Homophobic Pasta

The Homophobic Pasta

Thank you again to fierce LGBT ally and my friend, Jennifer Carey for inspiring me to write this article.  I must confess, I don’t  particularly enjoy writing the Bigot of the Week articles, for they sit heavy on my heart. Sadly, I feel I must write them to expose where and when people are being oppressed.  This week, Guido Barilla, the CEO of Barilla pasta engaged in oppressing the LGBT community.

In an interview Barilla did explaining why he would never use gay people in his commercials, Barilla said:

I would never do a commercial with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect but because we don’t agree with them. Ours is a classic family where the woman plays a fundamental role…if the gays do not agree, they can always eat pasta from another manufacturer.

Wow! Where does one start to unpack this?  Shall we start with the definition of a family? Clearly, Barilla is getting his definition from Dan Quayle from 1992.  Barillia’s comments are full of misogyny, hypocrisy, homophobia, classism, and just plain old ignorance. For those who are under the assumption that the LGBT community is now safe and can rest easy, please know these comments from people in power are so hurtful and harmful to all of us — all members of the human family.  Barilla and other homophobes send the message that human beings can easily be discarded if they do not fit into the boxes prescribed by the dominant culture — a white, male, heterosexual, Christian paradigm.

Sadly, McDonald’s is implicated in this homophobic attack. My hope is that McDonald’s will discontinue its partnership with Barilla pasta.  I also hope that the LGBT community and all of our allies will stand in solidarity and boycott Barilla pasta. When did hate become a family value?

Another call to action: If you already have Barilla products in your home, you can either return them to your grocer and explain why you are returning the product, or donate it to your local food bank.

Dark side of humanity…

23 Apr

These are the types of stories that make me a complete misanthrope.  Yesterday, I learned that a transgendered woman was beaten at a McDonald’s restaurant in Maryland. The attack happened April 18 at a McDonald’s in Rosedale in the 6300 block of Kenwood Ave.  Unfortunately, this disgusting beating is not the whole story.  Rather than help the woman who was being beaten by the two bullies, the McDonald’s employees filmed the beating on their iphones–this is the part that makes me sick and lose faith in humanity. At least the manager of the store did yell at the bullies/attackers and an elderly female customer tried to help. Please take action here!  Click here to see the full article and learn how you can contact McDonald’s to let them know that their employees are not only cowards, but by video taping the attack, they are abusers themselves.

We the Corporations, In Order to Form a More Perfect Profit…

23 Jan

That doesn’t sound quite right.

Eleven score and fifteen years ago, our forbearers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in greed, and dedicated to the proposition that most should toil for the bottom line while few profit mightily.

Still off, isn’t it?

Ask not what your company can do for you, but what you can do for your company!

Okay, I suspect you get the picture. Are we a nation of citizens or a nation of companies? The two ought not be mutually exclusive, but which has primacy? When laws are made and cases decided, where does the privilege lie? One look at the shrinking middle class, the power of the lobby, and corporate greed even in the face of shameful behavior nearly toppling the economy gives us the sad answer.

The highest court in the land ruled not just that companies were effectively people, but that they had even more powerful rights to anonymously influence our elections. People run for office without any understanding of minimum wage, proudly pushing unfunded tax cuts while dodging their own taxes.

You have meddled with the Primal Forces of Nature!

When one of the few truly liberal journalists in the country suddenly announced that he was terminating his show, people widely assumed it was because of the new corporate masters. Our media certainly are not left-wing, but, other than FOX, few are aggressively right-wing. They are a strange mix of sinister timidity because they are driven by corporate desire for profits. We are truly living out Mr. Jensen’s dream.*

The bread-and-circuses media and the crumbling educational system leave us stultified and ill-prepared, little better than yahoos, distracted by shiny baubles while living miserable, petty lives.

So what can one person do in the face of these pressures? Hit them in the bottom line. Don’t spend money at places who use that money against your best interests. Pay attention to where you shop and what it means in the bigger scheme of things. Just as the accumulation of votes, one citizen at a time, elects our leaders, the reduction of profits, one refused purchase at a time, puts pressure on the corporations.

It takes time and effort to learn what corporations are up to. It takes some fortitude and a little sacrifice to give up a favorite store. It also takes compromise, since like people, corporations are seldom all good or all bad. Besides the usual suspects like Wal-Mart, find out which corporations spend against civil rights and don’t give them your money. (Are you listening Chik-Fil-A, Target, McDonald’s, Gold’s Gym?) Look at the regular business practices of the companies you patronize and shop accordingly. Does a retailer abuse employees just to run big sales around the holidays? Go somewhere else!

It’s easy to feel resigned, that one person’s efforts are meaningless. But the actions of a single person, living with integrity, accumulate. We can only be powerful together if we choose to be powerful individually.

*  Just for fun, I searched Google for “olbermann mad as hell” just for the past 24 hours and found over 44,000 hits. Coincidence? I think not.

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