In yet another example of ignorant people saying ignorant things on Twitter and then having to live with the consequences, San Antonio-based Brown Coffee Company recently published a tweet on their feed that many in the media have taken as a homophobic outcry against the recent legalisation of same sex marriage in New York.
As a direct result of the slur Brown have deleted their Facebook page and protected their Twitter feed, and even made an attempt at an excuse apology via their blog. But the timing and callousness of the message has already led to some loss of business for the firm, and it might not end there.
The tweet was posted on Friday, just hours after the legislation of the same sex marriage bill, and read as follows:
No human law can ever legitimize what natural law precludes #SorryFolks #NotEqual #WhyBother #ChasingAfterTheWind #SelfEvident
The content and timing of the tweet, as well as the blatant use of pretty specific hashtags, caused many to suspect that Brown was upset about the bill and protesting accordingly. But yesterday, in a bizarre turn of events, Brown CEO Aaron Blanco attempted to defend the outcry on the company’s blog in a post entitled “Correcting The Record” by claiming the tweet was about, uh, classical philosophy and laws, not people.
Recently, a Twitter post that was made via our company’s Twitter account has exploded into something it was never meant to be and we want to correct the record. In the post, it mentioned the differences between Natural Law and Human Law and mentioned that they were different and unequal. This was a post about CLASSICAL PHILOSOPHY and LAWS (a la Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, etc.), not PEOPLE; but somehow people began to twist what was written and added their own lies to the post to mean that somehow we at The Brown Coffee Company are hateful, homophobic, intolerant people. Those are not the facts and we regret that this has descended into something very ugly based on other people’s incorrect reading of the Twitter post. People have begun to attack our friends and business associates based on these incorrect lies and not based on the facts themselves. Other Twitter posts from others began to crop up ascribing words, thoughts and intentions to us and what we said that were NEVER said.
Again, we have been viciously maligned for something we never said.
We at the Brown Coffee Co have never (ever) advocated for intolerance, hatred, bigotry or exclusion of any person, anywhere and positively believe there is no place for such thinking in our society. WE ABSOLUTELY REJECT THE LIES PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT US AND THIS TWITTER POST.
We have always and will always be absolutely welcoming to every person, regardless of their beliefs, be they political, social or otherwise.
However you want to look at it, it’s gibberish. And while it’s entirely common for somebody other than the CEO of a company to be responsible for their tweets, if Blanco himself didn’t write this you’d have thought he’d have had the sense to do a very public firing of the person who did.
Either way, the damage is already done. On their blog, New York’s RBC Coffee wrote, “Although we won’t tell you what RBC stands for, we’ll let you know it doesn’t stand for intolerance and bigotry, therefore we will not be doing business with The Brown Coffee Co. anymore.”
RBC followed this up with an open letter to Aaron Blanco.
Instead of going into victim-mode, we think it’s wise to state, for the record, that your tweet was in poor taste, and to apologize to those you’ve offended. As it stands, this “for the record” blog post only makes matters worse.
Suffice to say: if the Brown Coffee Company still wants to be in business in six months, they better come up with something more acceptable than ‘blame it on Plato’. And fast.
(Hat tip: Huffington Post.)