Chick-fil-A vs. Coca-Cola: The Strange Trajectory of Two Southern Companies

White America: Saying “My Pleasure” to living under absolute despotism 

PK Note: Be sure to read The Implicit Whiteness of Chick-fil-A before reading this.

A random Facebook post by the bloated, turgid Gov. Mike Huckabee has enabled Chick-fil-A to have record one-day profits with an outpouring of support for the embattled privately-held company:

Chick-fil-A said it set a one-day sales record Wednesday after thousands of diners poured into the chain’s stores from coast to coast.
“We are very grateful and humbled by the incredible turnout of loyal Chick-fil-A customers on Aug. 1 at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country,” Steve Robinson, the company’s executive vice president of marketing, said in a statement. “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day was not a company promotion; it was initiated by others.”
HW correctly nailed the euphoric atmosphere surrounding the fast-food franchise that asks you to “Eat Mor Chikin,” with those who still put their faith in backing Conservatism Inc. declaring victory — over a chicken sandwich:
In order to get White Christians off the couch and into the streets, the only thing it took to start a resistance movement (remember, this is the second time, as Rick Santelli started the Tea Party on CNBC in 2009) is for our so-called conservative leaders (i.e., people on FOX News and talk radio) to start acting like leaders, and not be intimidated by insults like “racist” and “bigot” and “homophobe” hurled at them by the liberal media.
Civilization didn’t have to collapse. We didn’t need a Second Great Depression. Mike Huckabee, a “respectable” and “mainstream” face on television, simply had to make one post on Facebook about “National Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” and Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, and Glenn Beck had to back him up.
If our conservative leaders would speak out more forcefully about the evils of black-on-White crime, multiculturalism, political correctness, and Third World immigration, close ranks and refuse to be intimidated by the liberal media, what do you suppose the result would be among the White Christian conservative masses?
Interestingly, the New York Times has written an attack on Chick-fil-A for being grounded in “southern roots.”
Another company, also started in Atlanta, cut all ties to those Southern roots and then poured pesticide on what remained: Coca-Cola.
As I noted in a post at VDARE (Chick-fil-A, Coca-Cola, Cobb County), the so-called “cultural wars” that Pat Buchanan spoke of are over. Paul Gottfried over at Takimag nailed it, writing:
I feel sorry for the multicultural left, which has triumphed so completely in the Western world that it doesn’t have any real enemies to fight anymore. Can one really take organizations such as Focus on the Family, which advocates heterosexual marriage, as a grave neo-fascist threat? Things aren’t looking up for the warriors against Christian bigotry because most of the opposition has now melted into putty. The only thing progressives can do these days is portray quasi-wimps such as Cathy as would-be Grand Inquisitors, even though he runs around oozing affection for the left’s protected classes.
Remember, this was all prompted by Dan Cathy, the president of the Atlanta-based Chick-fil-A, telling a Baptist Web site that the fast-food chain is “guilty as charged” when it comes to supporting the biblical definition of marriage.
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit,” Cathy was quoted in article published Monday by the Baptist Press. “We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
But what if there’s another angle to this entire debate that few dare discuss?

Coca-Cola vs. Chick-fil-A

The Coca-Cola Bottling Company, also headquartered in Atlanta, has been one of the most vocal organizations in promoting marriage equality, receiving a perfect ranking in the 2011 Corporate Equality Index as one of the most “gay friendly” corporations in America.
Back in the dark days when “gays” were still in the closet and the struggle for human rights was defined in stark black and white, Coca-Cola was one of the companies in the vanguard of pushing for a color-blind world. (Think back to Robert Woodruff, the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and integration.) In 1986, Coca-Cola would provide a huge boost to the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa by divesting from the nation entirely (Coca-Cola Acts to Cut All Ties With South Africa, Los Angeles Times, Bill Sing, September 18, 1986)
In a major victory for opponents of apartheid, Coca-Cola Co. said Wednesday that it plans to withdraw from South Africa and will attempt to sell its operations to black investors there. 
Coca-Cola, the dominant soft-drink marketer in South Africa and a major symbol of U.S. corporate involvement there, thus will join a growing list of U.S. firms pulling out of that nation amid mounting furor over its apartheid system of racial discrimination.
Coca-Cola also is believed to be the first American company to at least publicly express plans to sell its South African operations to black investors. And it is also one of the first to acknowledge political as well as economic reasons for its withdrawal. Most U.S. companies have said they were withdrawing solely because of deteriorating business conditions.
“We have been reducing our investment in South Africa since 1976, and we have now decided to sell our remaining holdings in that country,” Donald R. Keough, Coca-Cola’s president and chief operating officer, said in a statement. “Our decision to complete the process of disinvestment is a statement of our opposition to apartheid and of our support for the economic aspirations of black South Africans.”
How’d that work out for South Africa? (Chick-fil-A opened three locations in South Africa — all have closed now.)
Considering that Coca-Cola, despite bending over backwards to accommodate a Jesse Jackson shakedown in 1980; despite paying a record $156 million out-of-court settlement in a racial discrimination lawsuit in 2000; despite bragging about winning “diversity” awards and being one of the most diverse in the world in terms of employment; despite donating $10 million worth of land for the future location of The Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta; despite dropping monetary support of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the Conservatism Inc. non-profit that backed Voter ID laws; despite all of this, Coca-Cola is associated with those hate-mongers – Chick-fil-A.
This will have to end, because “gay” is the new “black.” They [Coca-Cola] have an exclusive contract for providing Coca-Cola soft drinks and Simply Orange Juice (replacing PepsiCo’s contract for Tropicana in 2011) with all of Chick-fil-A’s franchises.
In 2011, the Republicans in the House of Representatives hired King & Spalding – a law firm that is based in Atlanta which has worked closely with Coca-Cola to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act.
In 2010, Chick-fil-A donated $2 million to organizations that publicly defend DOMA, including donating $1,188,380 to the Marriage & Family Foundation; $247,500 to the National Christian Foundation, and smaller donations to the Family Research Council and Exodus International.
The New York Times reported that gay rights had fiercely criticized the law firm and said that it would hurt “its ability to recruit and retain lawyers.”
A King & Spalding lawyer and solicitor general under President George W. Bush, Paul Clement, who was hired to lead the Republican case in defense of DOMA resigned from the firm over this bowing to pressure from homosexual advocates, saying, “I resign out of the firmly held belief that a representation should not be abandoned because the client’s legal position is extremely unpopular in certain quarters.” He wrote, “Defending unpopular clients is what lawyers do. I recognized from the outset that this statute implicates very sensitive issues that prompt strong views on both sides. But having undertaken the representation, I believe there is no honorable course for me but to complete it.”
A number of news outlets, including the Washington Post, speculated that Coca-Cola pressured King & Spalding to remove itself from the DOMA case.
Gay rights groups have long targeted Chick-fil-A for standing against homosexual marriage, with Time reporting in 2011 that a Pennsylvania operator (operating independent from the privately-held business) had offered free sandwiches to the Art of Marriage seminar put on by one of the states most right of center organizations.
Equality Matters, an organization that seeks to promote full LGBT equality, reported in 2011 that Chick-fil-A has a long history of working with organizations that promote traditional marriage, lumping any Christian charitable organization with what they label “an anti-gay” group.
“The company’s charitable division has provided more than $1.1 million to organizations that deliver anti-LGBT messages and promote egregious practices like reparative therapy that seek to “free” people of being gay,” Equality Matters wrote.
With more than 1,500 restaurants in 38 states and Washington, D.C. Chick-fil-A is a nationally recognized brand and one of the few that closes its doors on Sunday. In essence, Chick-fil-A is more concerned about the morality of the community it serves than accumulating profits at the expense of the community.
In response to the reaction to Cathy’s column – both positive and negative the corporate page for Chick-fil-A on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ChickfilA) had this message posted:
“The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect – regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.

“Chick-fil-A is a family-owned and family-led company serving the communities in which it operates. From the day Truett Cathy started the company, he began applying biblically-based principles to managing his business. For example, we believe that closing on Sundays, operating debt-free and devoting a percentage of our profits back to our communities are what make us a stronger company and Chick-fil-A family.

Our mission is simple: to serve great food, provide genuine hospitality and have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A.”

The Death of Greenbriar Mall: Courtesy of the Black Undertow

Interestingly, it is that tradition of treating every person with honor, dignity, and respect that came crashing to the ground at one of its first stores, as in January of 2012, the first Chick-fil-A in all of America had to close at The Gallery at South DeKalb Mall because of falling sales:
After almost 42-years in business, the Chick-fil-A at South DeKalb Mall closes this week. This location opened just three years after the first mall store opened at Greenbriar Mall in 1967. At that time, enclosed malls were growing in popularity. In fact, Greenbriar was only Atlanta’s third such shopping facility. 
Brenda Morrow, a spokesperson for Chick-fil-A, says, “We had a great run at South DeKalb Mall.” She cites “declining sales over the years” as the reason for the closure. When a location underperforms, “for financial reasons, it is difficult to run a store in the caliber which we run the stores.”
Hilariously, The Gallery at South DeKalb Mall brags about being a Black mall that caters to Black people:
We’ve carved out a unique niche by constantly asking our community how we can better serve them. This non-traditional relationship with our trade area makes for a successful commerce-meets-community business model. 
The Gallery at South DeKalb caters to a close-knit community of African-American consumers with more than 600,000 potential customers in the primary and secondary market area.
When the Chick-fil-A opened in 1970, DeKalb County was roughly 80 percent white. Today, DeKalb County is touted as one of the top counties for Black people to live in now 56 percent Black/35 percent white), in all of America. Yet for some strange reason the new Black majority is unable to maintain the businesses and economy that fell into their laps like ripe fruit when the white population fled. Case in point, the complete collapse of Memorial Drive. (The lessons of Memorial Drive: The once-booming avenue that connected the city and suburbs fell on hard times. Those pushing for its revival say the changes that have befallen the road tell us a lot about managing growth, Virginia Anderson, May 25, 1998, Atlanta Journal Constitution):
Driving along Memorial Drive from its humble beginnings in warehouse world in downtown Atlanta to its monumental end at Stone Mountain isn’t so much a glory story as it is a cautionary tale. And in many ways, some people say, it could be the story of Atlanta. The road has all the city’s elements. There are shadows of Atlanta’s Old South — magnolia trees, Margaret Mitchell’s final resting place at Oakland Cemetery, the tribute to slain Confederate heroes carved into Stone Mountain. 
There, too, are signs of Atlanta’s more recent history and its present — neglected intown neighborhoods, white flight and boarded-up businesses decorated occasionally by the blaring orange signs of check-cashing establishments. Some say Memorial Drive also could reveal the future of a city that went through nearly promiscuous growth in the ’70s and whose suburbs now keep stretching to the next frontier whenever things get a little too messy or congested. 
Now, what was once a model for both middle-class life and suburban affluence — with the first suburban Rich’s and the world’s first Home Depot store — is largely a picture of decline. Income levels of residents in some areas along the road have dropped, even before adjusted for inflation. For example, the average income in 1980 for Census Tract 220.02, a section north of Memorial to Lawrenceville Highway, was $20,337; for 1990, the average income for that tract was $17,695. Now, retail vacancy rates along Memorial are 14.9 percent, nearly double the metrowide average of 7.7 percent, according to Jamison Research Inc.

During the ’80s, the demographics of DeKalb County, including the Memorial Drive area, also changed dramatically. In 1980, of the 12,053 residents of Census Tract 220.02 along Memorial, only 22 were African-American. By 1990, 8,614 African-Americans lived in that tract, out of a total population of 14,319. 


Memorial Drive snakes 16 miles through two counties, Fulton and DeKalb, and four municipalities, Atlanta, Decatur, Avondale Estates and Stone Mountain. And while it has one name, Memorial Drive actually seems like two different roads, with two distinct personalities — the 10-mile urban stretch inside the Perimeter and the remaining six, suburban miles heading to the “big rock” at Stone Mountain.
 
The history of the road is replete with irony and contrast. It was a vital artery for suburban growth in the ’50s and ’60s, home to a shopping center — Belvedere Plaza — that was as stylish for its time as Lenox Square. Now the Rich’s that once anchored the shopping center has closed. Boarded up, too, is the historic Home Depot, the first store in the Atlanta-based chain. The site is now a flea market, with its next-door neighbor boarded up from lack of business. It’s emblematic of the fate of much of Memorial Drive, now a confusing array of traffic, pawn shops, boarded-up houses and fast-food joints. 
And how’s this for irony? Memorial Drive draws its name from the Confederate Memorial at Stone Mountain, where the Ku Klux Klan held meetings earlier this century. Now African-Americans predominate in the area around the road, a popular boulevard for thousands of young African-Americans who cruise it on weekend nights, and, during Freaknik, block traffic for miles.
That is the reality of the Black Undertow that swallowed DeKalb County; that is the reality of what happens when white flight transpires and the new Black inhabitants of a city that had no hand in building it are tasked with sustaining high rates of residential real estate value and with maintaining the business districts and economy they inherit. Where commerce and community once thrived, a reflection of its white inhabitants, now only boarded-up businesses and crime remain; a stunning reminder of the unrelenting power of the Black Undertow.

The first Chick-fil-A to ever open was the one at Greenbriar Mall in South Fulton back in 1967. Opened at a time when the area was roughly 90 percent white (as well as the clientele), Greenbriar Mall and the surrounding area has undergone a culture (racial) shift, with the area now roughly 90 percent Black and fighting to survive (Greenbriar Mall boosters hope for its survival, Bill Torpy, Atlanta Journal Constitution, December 21, 2009):

Marva Kenny may be Greenbriar Mall’s greatest booster. She had the funeral procession of her husband, John, the mall’s maintenance chief, pass through Greenbriar’s parking lot.
“The mall is part of my family,” she said.
So she is apologetic when speaking about the 44-year-old Greenbriar, one of the city’s first enclosed malls.
“When I moved to this neighborhood [in 1970], Greenbriar Mall was a flourishing mall with several good stores,” she said. “But the mall is going down. When nicer stores do a study [of the area], they don’t come. There’s a lot of low income.”
Increasingly, the mall’s offerings are not her style. “Greenbriar is predominantly urban wear; the five-inch heels and little skirts aren’t my bag,” she said with a laugh, but added that she still shops there and still is pulling for its revival.
Greenbriar has endured some blows recently: the AMC Magic Johnson movie theater, once seen as a boost to the Southwest Atlanta community, closed in October; a clothing store suffered a smash-and-grab robbery this month, and merchants here, like those everywhere, complain about a dearth of shoppers.
Greenbriar Mall has been counted out many times since opening in 1965. And it has witnessed as many rebirths. It’s history is almost a microcosm of that of an ever-changing city.
Designed by famed architect John Portman, Greenbriar was one of the region’s first enclosed malls and the birthplace of the modern food court concept, with Chick-fil-A opening its first store there in 1967.
But white flight in the surrounding southwest Atlanta neighborhoods cut deeply into its white clientele, contributing to many fits and starts through the years. In 1985, J.C. Penney, one of the mall’s two original anchors left, bringing protests from residents and black leaders, including then-Mayor Andrew Young. “There is as much income in this neighborhood as there is in any other neighborhood in the city,” he said at the time.
A blossoming black middle-class population in the area caused developers to keep bringing improvements to the mall because, as has often been noted, metro Atlanta’s south side is underserved in shopping capacity. In 1993, grocer Cub Foods opened a 63,000- square-foot, free-standing store on the property and in 1996, the Magic Johnson’s Theatre complex opened.
But a decade later, Cub Foods pulled out of the region. This fall, the 60,000-square-foot theater closed. Both remain vacant.
Greenbriar Mall has also gained a place in black popular culture consciousness. It was here that Jermaine Dupri discovered the two members of the platinum-selling group Kris Kross. And rap artists ranging from Ludacris to T.I have mentioned the Greenbriar in song.
In 2004, Ludacris explained why he wanted to use the mall for a video shoot. “Greenbriar is like a car show each and every day — without cameras,” he said. “That’s why I’ve always wanted it in my videos. I finally get to show off some real ATL!”
Signs of hope?
Through the years, the Greenbriar area has been a focus of city efforts for renewal. An Atlanta Development Authority study found a “stagnation of the Greenbriar Mall retail area” and suggested the Campbellton Road corridor could benefit from a tax allocation district, which freezes property tax receipts at a certain level and then reinvests any increases in that area. Such a TAD has been put into place; any tax increases could help fund streetscape and road improvements along Greenbriar Parkway, which is mostly a collection of fast-food businesses.
Hendon pointed to actor and producer Tyler Perry’s studio nearby and a mega-church built by Bishop Paul Morton as positive signs in the area.
As far as complaints about the types of shops in the mall, Hendon responded, “You can only do so much. You can’t please everyone.”
There exist no signs of hope. The Greenbriar Mall Chick-fil-A was the first Chick-fil-A Unit in all of America. Built in 1967, when the area around the mall and the clientele was nearly 100 percent white, the now 100 percent Black Greenbriar Mall (with even a Tyler Perry movie studio nearby) represents a stunning example of the real purchasing power of the Black community as well as the type of social capital present in an all-Black community, even one that has absorbed so much commercial infrastructure, built long ago by a people who participated in massive white flight.

How much longer does the first Chick-fil-A location have before it goes the way of so many other businesses at Greenbriar Mall? (And how much money are the Cathy family pumping into the mall to keep it alive, knowing full well the psychological defeat that closing the first store would have?) 

Chick-fil-A is interested in investing in communities; Coca-Cola, on the other hand cares little for the community as long as the consumers there have the ability to purchase their sugar water. (Tell us again how that’s working out in South Africa, now.)
Greenbriar Mall is the type of mall about which Chris Rock jokes, the one that has gone all Black; thus, stores start to close.
Even one of the oldest Chick-fil-A’s isn’t immune from shutting its doors once a community that once reflected its primarily white population goes Black.
In a country ruled by Connected Capitalism and a Minority Occupied Government, good citizenship can no more be tolerated than individual citizenship. The Establishment actively works to the benefit of those who hate the country the most. Chick-fil-A is a company that puts the community first, holding fundraisers for families in need of help paying medical bills; the operators of independent franchises expected to integrate their business into the very fabric of the community.
Chick-fil-A is a company that truly stands athwart history yelling “Stop.” The more than 1500 communities served by Chick-fil-A restaurants are a reminder of the real America, the one that the combined actions of Connected Capitalism (basically sociopathic capitalists more concerned with enlarging profits for shareholders than sustaining the community where they were raised) and the Minority Occupied Government is busy trying to tear down and replace through mass immigration.
Now Dan Cathy has kicked dirt in the face of the powerful homosexual lobby. (There’s no social stigma in coming out as a homosexual anymore; just try coming out publicly as a “racist,” though, and see true social ostracism.)
The values that drive Chick-fil-A and the values that drive Coca-Cola are diametrically opposed, the latter representing the culture-leveling goals of the managerial elite who push for open borders and higher profit margins (with pandering to minorities a general operating procedure); the former more interested in building strong communities, knowing that strong values and high moral character are the bedrock of perpetuating a business with long-term aspirations.
Which way will Chick-fil-A go? Our hope at SBPDL is that we are witnessing a watershed moment at which point the culture wars finally see a counterthrust from the Real America that we all seek to preserve.
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