In-N-Out, the Christian-owned burger chain that originated in California, is facing a boycott after it was discovered the company donated over $25,000 to the Republican Party.
The campaign, originating on Twitter, now has gained national attention after journalist Gabriel Schneider posted the now-viral tweet.
Eric C. Bauman, a Democratic Party leader in California, started the hashtag #BoycottInNOut, and the cause has garnered attention from the likes of Newsweek, The Huffington Post, ABC, and The Daily Mail.
While it’s become a cause du jour among those on Twitter, the mostly online controversy has failed to ask the question: When do issues of politics and issues of privacy demand a little lenience?
Among California natives, the fast-food chain has long been noted for its Christian practice of ethical slaughtering of animals along with the inclusion of biblical quotes inside its serving cups.
Despite a consumer demand for its presence, the company has focused on quality standards over growth. In-N-Out is an overwhelmingly ethical company, which, in a state that prides itself on progressive values, should be a source of praise rather than controversy.
On Twitter, however, sentiments such as this have been making the rounds: “I’ve enjoyed the convenience of the drive-thru three miles from my house, but no way do they get my money now.”
ABC7.com published a statement from the company that it provided to Eyewitness News, saying it had made donations equally to both Democratic and Republican political action committees in California in 2018:
“For years, In-N-Out Burger has supported lawmakers who, regardless of political affiliation, promote policies that strengthen California and allow us to continue operating with the values of providing strong pay and great benefits for our associates,” the company said in part.
“It is actually far more important to In-N-Out and our foundations to support our communities by contributing millions of dollars to hundreds of organizations in California to prevent child abuse, human trafficking and substance addiction.”
“We have been fortunate to do business in this great state for almost 70 years. While it is unfortunate that our contributions to support both political parties in California has caused concern with some groups, we believe that bipartisan support is a fair and consistent approach that best serves the interests of our company and all of our customers.”
But in a hyperpartisan culture and a social media-fueled world, “donation equality” may not matter these days, according to Loyola Law School professor Jessica Levinson, as ABC 7 noted. And too few these days are pausing to ask this: Isn’t America great because of our differences?
Check out the chatter on Twitter about all of this — on both sides of the story.
“This really bums me out because I’m a regular In-N-Out Burger customer, but I cannot spend money with a company that supports the current GOP,” one Twitter user wrote. #GrabYourWallet https://t.co/BVa8EDUPEZ
— Jon Cooper 🌊 (@joncoopertweets) August 30, 2018
@innoutburger I was headed to in N out Burger for lunch today. Just read in the paper that you are a corporation donated $25,000 to the GOP. The GOP is against everything I thought your company stood for. I guess I’ve had my last in and out burger
— TheScruffMan (@man_scruff) August 30, 2018
In N Out Burger treats their employees better than most American businesses do. They are absolutely one of California's great companies. They aren't deserving of some kind of boycott for participating in the American political process. BTW, I'm a left-leaning registered Democrat. https://t.co/McfLRgrVHO
— Robert Meyer Burnett (@BurnettRM) August 30, 2018
Et tu In-N-Out? Tens of thousands of dollars donated to the California Republican Party… it’s time to #BoycottInNOut – let Trump and his cronies support these creeps… perhaps animal style!https://t.co/9zkdFaG5CJ
— EricBauman (@EricBauman) August 30, 2018
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) August 30, 2018