Last week, Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) — campaign chair for his twin brother, 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro — tweeted the names and employers of the top Trump donors in San Antonio, Texas. He even singled out the owner of Bill Miller Bar-B-Q, a popular restaurant chain. While Castro clearly intended harm to those he doxxed, the barbecue chain experienced an impressive outpouring of support.
Castro’s tweet condemned the barbecue chain’s owner for “fueling a campaign of hate that labels Hispanic immigrants as ‘invaders.'”
At least one of the women on the list received threatening voicemails laced with profanity.
However, it seems the doxxing campaign backfired in more than one way.
“The day after Castro published that hateful screed, thousands of Texans piled into their pickup trucks and drove to the nearest Bill Miller Bar-B-Q,” Fox News’ Todd Starnes reported. “Social media reports flooded in showing massive drive-thru lines backing up onto busy streets. Hungry customers patiently waited in lines out the door.”
Indeed, many Twitter users reported long lines at Bill Miller Bar-B-Q locations.
“There was a line out the door all day at Bill Miller’s BBQ. Nothing like free advertising,” one user tweeted.
Bobbi Kirk tweeted that Castro’s attack “has resulted in some unintended consequences.” At Bill Miller Bar-B-Q, “the lines were out the door, and the drive up lanes were several times longer than usual. So, thank you Joaquin, we show you don’t matter.”
“Cars were lined up around the block at one of the San Antonio Texas locations! Loved The Bill Miller Breakfast Special. I even purchased breakfast … for my coworkers!” Tamie J. MacDonald tweeted, adding the hashtags “MAGA” and “Trump 2020.”
Cars were lined up around the block at one of the San Antonio Texas locations! Loved The Bill Miller Breakfast Special. I even purchased breakfast tac oui s for my coworkers!🤣🇺🇸💕#MAGA #TRUMP2020 pic.twitter.com/3PGQsksQPZ
— Tamie J. McDonald (@TamieJMcDonald) August 7, 2019
Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) also visited one of the chain’s locations right after the Castro doxxing.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) August 7, 2019
Starnes and others compared this response to the way conservatives responded to attacks on Chick-fil-A back in 2012. After liberals attacked the popular fast-food joint for funding socially conservative organizations that advocate for marriage as between one man and one woman, conservatives rallied around Chick-fil-A. The resulting “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” set a sales record, and Chick-fil-A was America’s fastest-growing restaurant chain in 2018. It took third place for sales last year, behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks.
Could Castro’s doxxing attack do to Bill Miller Bar-B-Q what the liberal attacks did for Chick-fil-A? That’s unlikely, because Chick-fil-A’s success seems independent of the politics. But it is likely Castro’s tweet gave Bill Miller Bar-B-Q a day or two of record sales, and free publicity.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.