College Park, GA – Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy called white people “shameful” for not fighting on behalf of African Americans and urged white Christians to repent for racism while apologizing for any confusion that his employees were supporting law enforcement.
Cathy, a well-known Southern Baptist who has kept restaurants closed on Sundays in the tradition of his father, the chain’s founder, has previously expressed conservative views against gay marriage that outraged the LGBTQ community.
However, the conservative company doesn’t have the same attitude toward the Black Lives Matter movement.
Earlier this month, Chick-fil-A apologized for any confusion caused by pictures of Chick-fil-A employees wearing “Back the Blue” t-shirts in pictures circulating on social media, FOX News reported.
The company said the t-shirts were actually in support of a local football team, but vowed not to let it happen again, according to the Washington Examiner.
“The photo is currently being taken out of context,” Chick-fil-A spokesman Jackson Spalding told Reuters. “So we apologize for any confusion this has caused.”
On June 14, Cathy participated in a roundtable discussion about racism in American at Passion City Church in Atlanta and lectured white Christians about changing their racist ways, FOX News reported.
He said white Christians needed to take real action and repent for wrongs against the black race.
Then he got down on the floor and washed the shoes of rapper Lecrae to prove his point, according to FOX News.
“Any expressions of a contrite heart, of a sense of humility, a sense of shame, a sense of embarrassment … an apologetic heart, I think that’s what our world needs to hear today,” Cathy told the audience.
The act of contrition was met with derision on social media.
The Religious Right in 2020 is the white CEO of Chick-fil-A shining a black guy's shoes to say sorry for racism pic.twitter.com/RmO6cwIgWl
— Scott Greer (@ScottMGreer) June 18, 2020
So the CEO of Chick-fil-a said that white people should find a random black person and ‘shine their shoes’ for repentance
The Popeyes chicken sandwich is better anyways.
— Ashley StClair 🇺🇸 (@stclairashley) June 19, 2020
Chick-fil-A headquarters is based about nine miles outside Atlanta, and could easily fall prey to the same sort of angry mob that attacked CNN’s headquarters downtown.
But the company’s CEO didn’t appear to be worried about that.
Cathy said he had “about a dozen Chick-fil-A restaurants vandalized in the last week, but my plea would be for the white people, rather than point fingers at that kind of criminal effort, would be to see the level of frustration and exasperation and almost the sense of hopelessness that exists on some of those activists within the African-American community,” FOX News reported.
He said he’d been having conversations with employees at his own headquarters and learned that he had black people in his own office who didn’t feel “treated with honor, dignity and respect.”
“We as Caucasians, until we’re willing to just pick up the baton and fight for our black, African-American brothers and sisters, which they are as one human race, we’re shameful. We’re just adding to it,” Cathy told the pastor of the church and the rapper whose shoes he washed. “”Our silence is so huge at this time. We cannot be silent. Somebody has to fight and God has so blessed our city, but it’s shameful how we let things get so out of whack.”
Cathy also made a point to talk about how much his company has done for “the most distressed zip code in Georgia,” FOX News reported.
He said Chick-fil-A also made monetary contributions and other donations to local businesses and other organizations, and said the fast-food chain was helping plan out the redevelopment of the entire area.