Councilman Jim Kenney: Politically-Correct Person of the Month
Chick-fil-A has made national news for the last week-and-a-half, following the remarks of President Dan Cathy. This is not news; unless you live under a rock somewhere, you not only are aware of the things that Dan said, but also of the vitriolic response of some on the left. You are likely aware of “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day”, instigated by Mike Huckabee; this event proved to be insanely popular. You may even be aware of the “Gay and Lesbian Kiss Day” being organized as a demonstration at Chick-fil-As around the country for this Friday.
When we speak of those on the left who have reacted, we’ve all heard, no doubt, of the comments of the mayor of Boston, of an alderman and then Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the city of Chicago, and perhaps others. But the one who takes the cake, in my book, is Philadelphia Councilman Jim Kenney. I first learned of Councilman Kenney, and his plan to introduce a resolution in Philadelphia City Council condemning Chick-fil-A, through a post at Fox News. You really, really need to peruse that post before continuing, and then read the letter written by Mr. Kenney, which I’ve reproduced below, before you read my response. Queue the letter:
Now the response of some, no doubt, has been and will be to get angry, to “fight fire with fire”, to up the ante in the culture war, to call down all manner of condemnation on Councilman Kenney and his like-minded friends. But alas, not here at the No Kool-Aid Zone. In fact, here at TNKZ, I’ve decided that we need to reward Councilman Kenney with an award. It took courage for him to say the things he did, did it not? And so I’ve named him “Politically-Correct Person of the Month”, and along with the letter which I reproduce for you below, I will be sending him a nice certificate, suitable for framing and gracing his wall alongside his picture of our president.
And so it is with this in mind that I reproduce for you, verbatim, the letter which I will mail to Councilman Kenney before the week is out. Enjoy the read, my friends!
The Honorable James F. Kenney, Councilman-at-Large
Room 330, City Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
August 1, 2012
Dear Mr. Kenney,
Congratulations on receiving our “Politically Correct Person of the Month” Award! The field of deserving candidates is always crowded, but your letter to Dan Cathy, President of Chick-fil-A, as well as your comments to Fox News, enabled you to edge out the rest. Way to go, Councilman Jim! And we want to tell you just why it is that you are so deserving.
First, we must say that there are those who decry the current climate of political debate in this country, fretting that our public discourse continues to worsen. To these simpering whiners, you said, “enough of your sniveling!” You had the courage to double-down on the nasty talk and the name-calling, and that makes you a winner in our book!
Then of course there are some who might argue that name-calling, using terms like “bigotry” and “hatred”, is a cheap and demeaning method of argumentation. Though in your wisdom you must have known that there would be some who would question why you’d resort to mud-slinging, wondering if intellectual laziness lay at the root of your decision not to engage the subject with meaningful dialogue rather than ad hominem attacks, and though you undoubtedly knew that others would attribute your name-calling not to intellectual laziness but to intellectual incapacity, you boldly moved forward with your statements, and for that, you’ve earned a special place, Councilman Jim! Even though you no doubt anticipated that some would describe your tone as “juvenile”, “puerile”, even “infantile”, you soldiered on in standing up for your beliefs. And even though you probably anticipated that some folks would suggest that your remarks were not worthy of a third-rate hack politician, you had the courage to believe that they were. Nice job!
Certainly, Mr. Cathy’s words were more incendiary than a Spicy sandwich with Pepper Jack cheese: “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. 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 you were no chicken, nor did you waffle like the man noted for his fries; your nuggets of wisdom certainly strip away any of Mr. Cathy’s arguments. You exposed his bigotry, a sentiment not unlike approximately half of the citizens of this country, the lousy haters! Not unlike, either, noted politicians like Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and, of course, the man who in 2008 said that he was “not in favor of gay marriage”, believing that marriage was “between a man and a woman.” Sure glad we didn’t vote for that mega-bigot Barack Obama, aren’t we, Mr. Kenney!
Oh, Mr. Cathy and the folks at Chick-fil-A might have developed a reputation for exceptional customer service, and they might say that they seek to have a positive influence upon all with whom they come in contact, and they might profess to be committed to “treat(ing) every person with honor, dignity and respect –regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender”, but you saw right through that subterfuge. You know, as you stated in your letter and comments, that underneath all that goody-goody, so-called “Christian” exterior, there lurks “insensitivity”, “intolerance”, “bigotry”, “hate”, and the like. You’re really a discerning fellow, Mr. Kenney; we wish we could see into other people’s motives as well as you can!
Further, you appreciate that there are some folks and their ideas which just have no place in this country if we hope to achieve the truly tolerant society for which we all ought to strive. Though you must have known that there would be some who would question what they would see as biting irony in your words, you courageously spoke your mind, in calling out Mr. Cathy for his “intolerance”, because as you understand only so well, we can’t bear to tolerate intolerance in our tolerant country!
Finally, Councilman Jim, you sure lived up to the motto of your city, the “City of Brotherly and Sisterly Affection”; your affectionate letter and words embody everything we’ve come to know and love about Philadelphia. We felt warmed and loved just reading the wonderful things you had to say. Thanks so much for again affirming what we’ve long known to be true about your city and its people! It’s great to know that you’re taking care of the important tasks for which the people of Philadelphia elected you, because we’re pretty sure that there’s no Philly business more vital than issuing and voting on proclamations scolding presidents of fast food companies.
In conclusion, it is for these many reasons that we at The No Kool-Aid Zone (www.byron-harvey.com) believe that you’ve earned this wonderful award, and we feel that it would look right at home next to the “Yes We Can” image on your wall. Yes, you could, Councilman Jim, and you did—and that’s what makes you so special in our book. Enjoy your award and brandish it with pride to all of your like-minded friends in Philadelphia, and keep up the good work!
Byron D. Harvey, Blogger and Lead Award Giver
The No Kool-Aid Zone