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A Chicago database tracks how well restaurants are keeping their BLM pledges

Outdoor dining at a restaurant in NYC’s West Village this summer
Outdoor dining at a restaurant in NYC’s West Village this summer
Photo: Noam Galai (Getty Images)

Back in June, everybody was down with #BlackLivesMatter. Donations poured in. Restaurants posted signs in their windows and changed their Instagram grids to black squares. But how much of that showed a true commitment to justice and how much was just performative allyship? As the summer wore on, more and more restaurant workers took to social media to document racial injustice in their workplaces.

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Now, Eater Chicago reports, a group of Chicago restaurant industry workers has created a database to hold restaurants and restaurant groups accountable; it is called CHAAD (Chicago Hospitality Accountable Actions Database). The database notes, among other things, whether a restaurant is Black-owned, whether it made a BLM statement, how it followed up (with donations or educational efforts), whether it’s ADA-compliant, and whether there have been any complaints from staff. It is by no means a complete accounting of every restaurant in Chicago, but so far it has more than 100 entries, covering most of the city’s biggest hospitality groups.

CHAAD has launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for its efforts. The goal is set at $20,000, and the GoFundMe page explains its plans further.

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

Hey CHAAD, who died and made you king?

This isn’t going to end well for anyone and the net effect will ultimately be the movement divorcing itself from the moral concept in public opinion, which will in turn provide a handy cover for the further entrenchment of systemic racism as businesses go from “we want to help” to “we do not negotiate with extortionists.”