Positive Cynicism – Another open letter to Papa John Schnatter on the subject of caring

Aaron Davis

Aaron R. Davis

Dear PJ,

Quick question: how is it even possible that someone can work with a charity and actually make themself look like an even bigger jerk than they already do?

I’m just asking because a friend of mine brought something to my attention today. It’s called Papa John Cares (or, since it’s 2013, #PapaJohnCares), and apparently Papa John’s Pizza is raising money to give to the Salvation Army in an effort to feed hungry kids in America. (Which, to be fair, is far kinder than just giving them your pizza instead.)

“Holy shit, fatso,” I imagine you thinking, “how — HOW — could you POSSIBLY have a problem with this? I demand you explain to me why you’re being such a shitheel about Papa John’s giving to charity!”

Okay, John, I will. Here are the surprising number of ways that this makes you look like even more of an asshole than before.

One: Papa John cares? Only if you’re not working for him, I guess. Because, remember: you’re the guy who wants to cut every employee’s hours because Obamacare is still a thing. If you really gave a shit about feeding children, wouldn’t you want to pay your employees a decent wage and give them good benefits so that you don’t end up creating more starving children? I know it’s not as flashy as working with a charity and splashing it all over Facebook how altruistic you are, but seriously, if Papa John actually “cared,” wouldn’t he make sure his pizza slaves got to go see a doctor when they were sick instead of handling my food while fighting the flu? Papa John cares? Really? Bullshit.

Two: Speaking of Facebook, are you kidding me with your Facebook announcing this campaign with pictures of poor, crying white children? “Oh, look, they’re so hungry, give us money to feed them.” Do you really have to be such a manipulative shit, especially with your recent grousing about “I have the money to give away millions in free pizzas but not give my employees healthcare” so fresh in the memory? Also, you have money to give away millions in free pizzas but not $50,000 to give to the Salvation Army? I think it’s great to get people involved in charity, but I also kind of resent it when millionaires don’t lead by example. And asking everyone to like and share is less like “Get people involved!” and more like “Raise our SM rankings for a day and we’ll feed some kids or something! Just like our page and buy our pizza, fuck!”

Three: You raised $50,000 in one day, but you can’t afford the legal minimum of healthcare for your employees? Seriously, I can’t bring up what a shit you are about the healthcare thing enough times ever in my life.

Four—and this is the biggest sticking point for me, okay? Like, this is the biggest reason it makes you look like even more of an ass: The Salvation Army? Really? Of all the charities you could get involved in, you just had to choose the Salvation Army?

It’s like you were just sitting in an easy chair one day, unable to process the backlash from your earlier rant about endangering the health and well-being and mortgages and money to pay for rent of your employees and thereby putting the financial stability of the kids you claim you care about at risk, and you rubbed your hands together and said, “Now, how can I tarnish my reputation still further by pretending I’m doing something good but really just being a tool? Oh, I know, I’ll partner with a charity that supports the Defense of Marriage Act and lobbies Congress to prevent federal aid money from going to help cities or states where it’s illegal to discriminate against people based on sexual orientation!”

That was a really good call. Because if there’s one thing that says caring, it’s a charity organization that discriminates against people for being LGBT, forces them to break up their relationships in exchange for help and has threatened to close down soup kitchens if forced to comply with anti-discrimination laws.

I wonder if they approached you or you approached them. Who initiated contact on this one, exactly? Did you just go into this and pick the one charity you remembered the name of, and then just not do a little online research, because these stories are absolutely everywhere … or did they come to you and you just figured a little image rehabilitation might help? I need to know if I’m giving you too much credit for being evil when you were merely being stupid.

Seriously, you couldn’t partner with Goodwill or American Red Cross or some other worthy secular charity that doesn’t try to break up families for “moral” reasons or use the money for direct evangelizing and lobbying in favor of more discrimination? Or you couldn’t just partner with a school system in a poor area, or something? You know, the kind of area you think your employees should live in for the incredible crime of working at your restaurants and driving out local businesses through the power of using the freshest, cheapest freeze-dried ingredients?

You dick, John. Seriously. You are a dick.

Papa John cares, alright. Papa John cares about kids … provided that they don’t have parents who work for you or voted for Obama or aren’t gay or Christians and who wouldn’t rather sleep on the street instead of be discriminated against.

Another home run, PJ.

Eat Papa John’s and die,

Aaron R. Davis

Aaron R. Davis lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean with his eyes shut tight and his fingers in his ears. You can contact him at samuraifrog@yahoo.com.

Comments (1)
  1. MIke March 26, 2013

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