Former Vante CFO Adam Smith struck a nerve when he put up a video of himself bullying a worker at the Chick-fil-A drive-thru window.There was widespread criticism, and he was promptly fired from his position at Vante for how he acted.
Now, Smith has taken to YouTube again, posting a nearly eight minute video in which he apologizes and clarifies some questions that have been floating around.
First, he addresses Rachel — the worker who was at the window.
“Rachel, I am so very sorry for the way I spoke to you on Wednesday. You handled my frustrating rant with such dignity and composure. Every time I watch the video I’m blown away by, really the beauty in what you did, in your kindness and your patience with me.
You should know that I never planned to say the things I said to you that day, and how I said them. I planned to peacefully participate in the August 1st YouTube post where Jackson Pearce asked people to simply order a large water to show support for the gay community.
But when I got to your window, after seeing all the people in and outside the restaurant that came to support Chick-fil-A, I lost it. I just lost it. I couldn’t believe the number of people came out to support a corporation that associates themselves with anti-gay groups, like Exodus International and the American Family Association.
And how did I lose it? By making you listen to my frustration and disgust. It wasn’t right, and for that I am so sorry.”
Smith also clarifies a few things about the situation.
The morning after the drive-through incident, Smith went back to the Chick-fil-A to see how Rachel was doing, but she didn’t want to talk. He says that he understands, and that he “totally deserved the silent treatment.”
His former employer, Vante, told him to stay “radio silent” and not post an apology video, even though he wanted to. Vante’s voicemail hit capacity, and both employees and customers received long streams of hate mail and threats. Smith was fired later that day.
Why did he post the video if he felt bad about what he did to Rachel, the worker?
“When I first thought about participating in this protest, I was really excited. I felt purpose in standing up against Chick-fil-A’s funding of anti-human rights groups. I felt like it was the right thing to do — the human thing to do.
After recording the conversation, my enthusiasm in standing up against Chick-fil-A was very high, and in that moment, I decided to post the video. For me, and at that moment, the main goal of supporting the gay community outweighed the collateral damage that Rachel became. And I literally just saw Rachel as collateral damage.
We have to stop rationalizing our destructive actions this way. We have to start seeing people as people. We aren’t ever going to make social progress by personally attacking people. I’m clearly guilty of this.
The degree of reaction my video ended up having took me by surprise, obviously. There was a lot of passion expressed, and still is being expressed. Part of me is quite discouraged by the threats made to my family and former co-workers.
But another part of me is encouraged. If people can get this passionate about a guy being rude to a girl in a drive-through, how much more passion can we have for our fellow human beings whose basic rights are being threatened by corporations like Chick-fil-A. How much more passion can we channel toward fighting for equal rights — for all people, not just straight ones.”
At the window, why did he say that he wasn’t gay?
“No, I’m not in the closet as many comics suggested, but if I were, I’d be very proud to be. The reason why I said that I wasn’t gay was because I wanted to convey that you don’t have to be gay to be for gay rights. Just because someone is different than me, doesn’t mean that I can’t have empathy on their unique struggles. You don’t have to be gay to want to help the gay community. That’s a stigma, I’m trying to stop that.”
Did he release his own personal information on the web?
“I never intended for my former employer and the University of Arizona to be associated with my personal activism. I never intended to have my personal and financial information be associated with this video. I have a family — a young family. I would never knowingly put them at risk. They’re my first responsibility.”
Here’s the apology video:
And see the original video that started all of this:
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