Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently said of the Chick-fil-A fast-food franchise that "Chick-fil-A's values are not Chicago's values." Why? Because Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy is on record as being opposed to gay marriage -- as is close to half the U.S. population, according to polls. The mayors of Boston and San Francisco also suggested that the company isn't welcome in their cities.
Oddly, none of these public officials have lectured President Obama to keep clear of their cities. Yet until recently, Obama was likewise on record as opposing gay marriage. Why the exemption?
Nor have the mayors in question disinvited any black churches from their cities. Yet some pastors in churches with black congregations have been quite loud in their denunciations of gay marriage. Fundamentalist Islamic mosques routinely disparage homosexuals, often publicly so in their literature. Is there something about white Christian males that makes their opposition to gay marriage different from that of their black or Muslim counterparts?
Even as Emanuel warned Cathy that his company did not reflect "Chicago values," his own city remains among the most murderous in the world. This year, Chicago youth have killed more Americans than have the Taliban in Afghanistan. Unable to stop the carnage, a desperate Emanuel welcomed in Nation of Islam minister Louis Farrakhan to help quell the mostly black-on-black violence, even though the latter has a long record of racist and anti-Semitic tirades. Is the Chick-fil-A CEO a greater danger to Chicago than gun-toting gangs, or more illiberal than the racist Farrakhan?
Politics -- not just race or religion -- is also a key to the paradoxical double standard. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) just slandered Nuclear Regulatory Commission member Bill Magwood, an African-American, as "one of the most unethical, prevaricating, incompetent people I've dealt with." Reid, furious with Magwood because of his support for the Yucca Mountain nuclear repository in Reid's state, also called Magwood a "treacherous, miserable liar," "a first-class rat" and a "sh-t stirrer."
In 2008, Reid condescendingly attributed presidential candidate Barack Obama's success to the fact that he was "light-skinned" and spoke "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."
More recently, the crude Reid, in McCarthyesque fashion, claimed that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney had not paid income taxes for 10 years -- based on a rumor that an anonymous source supposedly had passed on to him. "His poor father must be so embarrassed about his son," Reid said of the late George Romney, Mitt's father.