Chick-fil-A’s Woke Turn Signals Larger DEI Problem in Corporate America
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.”
Then, Chick-fil-A jumped in with the cultural revolutionaries and the “racial reckoning” following the May 2020 death of George Floyd.
Now, they’ve promoted McReynolds and made DEI a significant initiative in the company.
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.
Have an opinion about this article? To sound off, please email letters@DailySignal.com and we’ll consider publishing your edited remarks in our regular “We Hear You” feature. Remember to include the url or headline of the article plus your name and town and/or state.