McDonald's vs. Donald Wildmon
McDonald's Corporation is currently taking a bold stand in favor of cultural diversity while fending off attacks from radical right wing cultural extremist Donald Wildmon of the Tupuelo, Mississippi based American Family Association. The feud between McDonald's and Wildmon reached a new peak last week when Wildmon's extremist organization declared some sort of a boycott against McDonald's for claimed support of the "homosexual agenda".
McDonald's corporation responded to a May 22, letter from Wildmon in part with this statement, "We treat our employees and customers with respect and dignity, regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or other factors. We support our employees' personal involvement in organizations of their choice". And McDonald's also reaffirmed the belief of founder Ray Croc that, "None of us is as good as all of us". By contrast, Wildmon's organization pathetically attempts to justify their boycott of McDonald's with the the sorry claims that," This boycott is not about hiring homosexuals. It is not about homosexuals eating at McDonald's. It is not about how homosexual employees are treated". Yet every indication of the right wing AFA agenda is to promote second class citizenship and discrimination for any member of the Gay community.
The fireworks behind Donald Wildmon and McDonald's are typical of the type of extortion and blackmail schemes that AFA deals in. They threaten a business to do something they want, or else they picket or boycott the business and attempt to cause it economic harm. They're like two-bit terrorists. And there isn't much difference between these extremists and another right wing group that sells bumper stickers that proclaim, "Don't Buy From Jews". Wildmon once proudly proclaimed to the Anti-Defamation League that, "We just won't support Israel anymore". Wildmon also claims that "Jews support homosexual rights more than other Americans" or often will find some way to tie Jewish Americans to something in some warped negative political way.
Wildmon is so far out that in 2001 he even issued this wacky threat to the Bush Administration, "Now that the Bush Administration is opening it's arms to homosexual activists who have been working diligently to overthrow the traditional views of Western Civilization regarding human sexuality, marriage and family...AFA would never support the policies of a political party which embraced the homosexual movement. Period".
McDonald's corporation is right to stand up to this little weasel who acts like a little gangster threatening businesses with economic damage anytime they don't cower to his bigoted demands. For all his threats and boycotts, most businesses targeted by Wildmon have not seen any real difference in sales. On the other hand, it is the power of environmentalists, civil rights groups and some Gay community organizations which have helped to drive some real changes in some corporate policies. When Denny's Restaurants were accused of a pattern of discrimination against African American customers by major civil rights organizations, it prompted changes of corporate policy. Other organizations have become more environmentally friendly or have become more friendly to Gay employment or have sought advertising aimed at Gay community customers. By contrast, Wildmon always claims to have up to 2 million members of his far out organization, yet an independent watchdog organization like People For The American Way doesn't find anywhere near that number according to data on their website, although Wildmon's organization claims over $14 million in donor income for 2004. One video rental business that was threatened by Wildmon even considered a civil racketeering suit against his organization for using extortion against them to force some film titles off the shelf.
In 1955, early civil rights leaders used the Montgomery bus boycott to put an end to segregation and to second class citizenship for African Americans. By contrast, Wildmon uses the boycott weapon to hold American society back both culturally and to further the discrimination of entire groups of citizens. There is no moral comparison between the two. AFA even proudly claims that scientific evidence fails to hold up some of their views, and some of their information falsely linking some types of controversial entertainment to crime is "largely anecdotal, but then common sense doesn't require authentication". That's how these self-righteous jerks operate. Whatever they believe to be true is, regardless of any science, official FBI crime statistics, or any hard facts. And whatever leader Donald Wildmon believes is what his followers better believe as well. The AFA is no democracy.
I may be a devoted vegan. But when a company like McDonald's makes a stand against a real bastard like Wildmon, then it's almost enough for me to start eating hamburgers. God bless McDonald's. The company gives large donations to charity such as the Ronald McDonald House they run, while the little weasel Wildmon only lines his own pockets from the millions of dollars from his donors and issues threats when people don't live up to his own twisted morality. The little two-bit punk.