DQ denounced Crichton's behavior and said he would be required to undergo sensitivity training.
But that wasn’t enough.
On Friday, January 6, Dairy Queen announced that it was closing the Zion restaurant and revoking Crichton's franchise rights.
Dozens of people showed up to the Dairy Queen location in Zion to demonstrate in support of Ford Saturday, January 7, and it turned into a sort of celebration.
Ford told The Washington Post that she “was happy about the outpouring of support from community members…” but that she’s “still struggling to explain racism to a 3-year-old who doesn’t fully understand what happened.”
Fortunately, the company acted swiftly and with integrity.
Unfortunately, those actions don’t erase the harm done to Deianeira Ford, her children, and the people at large.
No matter how Dairy Queen reacted, his actions would remain a blight on their brand and the community all restaurants strive to serve.
Of course, politics and social issues aside, some people just want their Dairy Queen back.
If you need a reminder of the damage that actions and words can do when they’re leveraged to propagate hate, look no further than this story. It ruined a man’s livelihood (of his own choice, but ruined it nonetheless), and gravely hurt an innocent family who just wanted to step out for ice cream.
The enduring message from the people? It's simple.
Much as the way Crichton showed no tolerance for people whose only trespass was being different, the town and his parent corporation showed they have no tolerance for intolerance.
If you’re looking for a silver lining…that’s it.