Why #blackbrunch will fail

Protester courtesy of looking4poetry
Protester courtesy of looking4poetry

No-one should doubt the seriousness of the protesters disrupting upper end restaurants across the US in the name of civil rights. But as far as protest movements go, it’s unlikely to reap any great results. For a protest to be effective it requires two primary elements:

Focus – the campaign needs a goal to be achieved. Once this has been made or granted the protesters can claim victory.

Target – the protest needs to aim at those who can enact the said change. Scattergun protests don’t work.

But #blackbrunch is neither of these things. It simply wants people to understand that #blacklivesmatter rather than the change or creation of a specific policy. This is too nebulous a goal and those witnessing a protest are left with no clear way to respond, even if they agree.

Furthermore, it is targeting random people who happen to the sitting in a restaurant. It is wrong to assume that those people can automatically make a difference.

Successful movements in the quest for civil liberties understood this well. The bus boycotts of the 1960s focused on removing racial segregation on public transport and targeted the companies that ran the buses. Eventually, the decline in profits was too much to bear and they gave way.

Those trying to make #blacklivesmatter should heed their forebears example. Until they pinpoint their targets and aim for specific change they will remain like an army which doesn’t know where the battle is taking place.


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