Roy Exum: My Levi’s & Chik-fil-A

Thursday, May 16, 2019 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

I admit I was astounded to learn the fabled Levi Strauss & Co. in the San Francisco area has jumped into the gun control arena. Chip Bergh, Levi’s CEO, actually announced sometime last fall the company will align in the ‘Everytown for Gun Safety’ – and Michael Bloomberg’s attack on the Second Amendment – when the truth is Bergh didn’t need to do that. Dale Carnegie was right: “The only way to get the best in any argument is to avoid it.”

Levi’s has been growing by leaps and bounds in the last eight fiscal quarters, according to the stock market, so it is anybody’s guess what propelled Bergh to pick a side in a nation where one in every 3 or 4 persons owns guns (different sources vary widely because there is no group of statisticians who can look in every closet, the trunks of cars, or behind the seat of a given pickup truck.

One article hints that Nike just lionized Colin Kaepernick, and every member of “the liberal elite” would seek publicity over their morning shower. Bergh is the ideal spokesman. His is a “manly company,” which appeals to the outdoor conservative and is perfectly poised in the liberal/conservative brawl.

“As president and CEO of a values-driven company that’s known the world over as a pioneer of the American West and one of the great symbols of American freedom, I take the responsibility of speaking up on the important issues of our day very seriously,” was in his statement.

“We at Levi’s can’t take on every issue. But as business leaders with power in the public and political arenas, we simply cannot stand by silently when it comes to the issues that threaten the very fabric of the communities where we live and work. While taking a stand can be unpopular with some, doing nothing is no longer an option.”

Bergh, citing that every day 96 Americans are killed by guns, is still oblivious that guns kill no one; it is always the human being who pulls the trigger. The United States has done little to address mental illness in the schools and in the public.

“I know that Americans, including many of our own consumers, employees, and other partners, hold a wide spectrum of views related to guns. I’m not here to suggest we repeal the Second Amendment or to suggest that gun owners aren’t responsible. In fact, as a former U.S. Army officer, I took a solemn oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” he said.

“But as retired four-star general Michael Hayden once said, “There are some weapons out there that frankly nobody should have access to. And actually, there are some people out there who should never have access to any weapons.”

“We can’t insulate ourselves from every threat,” Bergh reasoned. We can’t “harden” every place we gather—whether it be our schools, workplaces, shops, churches, or entertainment venues. But we can take common-sense, measurable steps—like criminal background checks on all gun sales—that will save lives.

Bergh’s money would be far better put to use in San Francisco. Human feces, courtesy of the homeless, clogs up the streets, simply piled up like another truck might dump gravel. The state of California is all but bankrupt and has become nowhere you want to take your kids.

As I read the tea leaves, my hunch is that Bergh is a ‘plant,’ a liberal whose real agenda is the same as every other Democratic party member. These people, we have found, will do anything to get attention – they’d rather be in a “grip-and-grin" photo than take a morning shower. Their party is imploding and the rest of the nation cannot believe the “liberal elites” are stumbling so badly.

For instance, about 225 miles south of the now-mocked San Francisco is Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and the faculty just voted 38-to-6 to have the Chik-fil-A removed from the campus.

Academic Senate Vice Chair Thomas Gutierrez explained. “We don’t sell pornography at the book store and we don’t have a Hooters on campus – we already pre-select those kinds of things based on our existing values.”

Chik-fil-A, based in Atlanta, is widely acclaimed and persecuted alike by the liberal elites for its Christian values. There is nothing pornographic in any way inside a Chik-fil-A restaurant but breasts – they got ‘em – both grilled and fried. (A Chik-fil-A notice revealed they had recently signed a 5-year lease and weren’t going anywhere.)

Matt Lazier, a university spokesman, tried to soften the embarrassment. “While university administration passionately disagrees with the values of some of the organizations the president of Chick-fil-A has chosen to make personal donations to, we do not believe in responding to intolerance with intolerance," he told KSBY. "Rather, we must model our values of inclusion – that means upholding the rights of others to have different perspectives and ensuring there is space in our community for differing viewpoints and ideologies, even those that may be in direct conflict with our own.”

There is no conflict from me but just as Chip Bergh has a choice, I choose not to wear Levi’s any longer, this based on individual principles and “comfort,” if you please.

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