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Chick-fil-A controversy reminds of past

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The more things change … The recent controversy over Chick-fil-A reminds me of nothing as much as a similar dispute over one Lester Maddux’s restaurant back in the ’60s. Recall that he refused to serve blacks at his rural Georgia establishment in defiance of the new Civil Rights laws, and he gained national notoriety when he chased several away with an axe handle. As a result, he became something of a hero to every racist and white bigot throughout the South, and they flocked to his diner to show their support for “White Christian values.” And once again we have people in droves rushing to show their support for a restaurant whose owner has demonstrated his disregard for an entire class of people and their rights who have heretofore been the subject of contempt and discrimination. Sadly, it has become a very angry and divisive issue in very angry and divided times. Many patrons claim they are doing so in the name of preserving their Christian values. It is true that Lester Maddux, like (Chick-fil-A CEO) Dan Cathy, became quite popular with some. He passed out miniature axe handles as souvenirs for his supporters. He was able to garner that support to become governor of Georgia – where he subsequently became an embarrassment to both the state and the nation as a whole. It is my hope that 50 years hence, this nation will look back on the Chick-fil-A owner and his supporters with the same degree of historical perspective and embarrassment as we now view Lester Maddux and his admirers. Larry Smith, Auburn