Chick-fil-A CEO: White People Must Shine Shoes of Black People to Express 'Shame'
Dan Cathy suggests white people to atone for racism: 'We're shameful'
Dan Cathy, the CEO of American fast-food chain Chick-fil-A, has called for white people to express their "shame" for racism toward African Americans by shining their shoes.
Cathy declared that Christians should repent for racism after his chain recently suffered vandalism in about a dozen of the company’s restaurants.
He made the call while speaking during a roundtable discussion with Passion City founder Louie Giglio and Christian rapper Lecrae.
Cathy, the son of Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, said whites should not condemn the actions of people destroying others’ property.
Instead, he argues that they should have empathy for the underlying frustration.
“[M]y 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,” he said.
Cathy sat down for a televised discussion at Atlanta's Passion City Church on Sunday with Pastor Giglio and Lecrae to engage in what the church described as "an open and honest conversation around how racism has plagued our city for generations, and the steps we can all take to confront it head-on in our church, our neighborhoods, and our hearts."
The CEO shared a story told to him about a revival that happened in Texas, where a young man at the service who was "gripped with conviction about the racism that was happening" in the small town expressed his conviction by kneeling down before an elderly African American man and shining the gentleman's shoes.
Cathy said, "the tears began to flow in that service."
"So I invite folks to just put some words to action here," Cathy said, standing up and walking over to Lecrae with a shoe brush in hand.
As he knelt down before the rapper, the CEO continued, "If we need to find somebody that needs to have their shoes shined, we just need to go right on over and shine their shoes and whether they got tennis shoes on or not, maybe they got sandals on, it really doesn't matter.
"But there's a time at which we need to have, you know, some personal action here.
"Maybe we need to give them a hug, too."
After sharing a hug, Cathy walked back to his seat as Lecrae joked, "And some stock in Chick-fil-A."
Remaining serious, Cathy held up his brush and explained, "I bought about 1,500 of these and I gave them to all of our Chick-fil-A operators and staff a number of years ago and so any expressions of a contrite heart, of a sense of humility, a sense of shame, a sense of embarrassment, but yet with an apologetic heart, I think that's what our world needs to hear today."
Speaking of Atlanta and the protesters who burned down Wendy’s after Rayshard Brooks was shot and killed by police following an altercation, Cathy said whites need “a period of contrition” and “a sense of real identity, not just criticizing people that are burning down that restaurant last night.”
“[W]e 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,” Cathy said.
“We’re just adding to it,” he added.
Chick-fil-A has been mired in controversy over the past year after the discovery of its donations to the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center and also Covenant House, an organization that celebrates LGBTQ pride and hosted a Drag Queen Story Hour in New York.
In November, the restaurant, that had received the praise and support of Christians for what appeared to be its courage to stand up for the biblical foundations of marriage and sexuality, announced it was changing direction.
The company revealed it would be ending its support for the Salvation Army — considered by many to be the premier organization for helping the homeless and hungry.