A Facebook post stirred up controversy – and racial tensions – when it claimed several black men planned to attack shoppers at a Memphis mall Friday night, just for being white.
The Facebook group called itself “The Memphis Flash Mob Cartel,” and set an event for Friday night, promising a “Cracka Beatdown.” The event was to take place at the Wolfchase Galleria mall and people were encouraged to show up and beat random white people.
Friday night came and went and no violence was reported at the mall. Now we know the truth: according to WREG reporter Nina Harrelson, police say the post was a hoax. Harrelson says the picture used in the post is at least three years old. The individuals in the picture voluntarily went to the police to say they were not responsible for the post and do not know who did it. Authorities now believe someone took the picture from Facebook and used it in a prank to raise racial tensions. It worked.
Authorities are not saying if they know who was responsible for the “Cracka Beatdown” post. Both the event and the group were taken down before Friday evening.
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A group calling themselves the Memphis Flash Mob Cartel took to social media saying they’ll be at the Wolfchase Galleria mall beating down people because of the color of their skin.
It could be a hoax or it could really happen, but either way it’s getting a reaction.
Feelings of concern started to sweep social media.
“Very alarming to just be picking people out to do damage to them, that doesn’t make any sense,” Brenda Thompson said.
Thompson doesn’t understand why anyone would choose to cause more division in the city.
“I think it’s crazy like everything else in Memphis, does it mean white people? I don’t understand, I don’t know.”
We’ve blocked out the offensive word, but on social media, many read the title of the event clear as day. Although not sure if it’s real or not, many chose to share the post and let WREG and police know what could be brewing.
“Take everything seriously until you find out otherwise, until you find its a joke or whatever, take everything serious,” Thompson said.
The post was pulled down after a few hours, and it’s now impossible to find the group that created the event, but now there’s a new page up in retaliation of the old page, this one encouraging caucasians to fight back against the original beatdown coordinators.
“We are all humans, we should all get along, I just don’t let that type of stuff scare me,” Kelly Harris said.
For Harris, it’s unnecessary drama that only moves everyone further from unity, and she says she won’t let social media spoil her plans or her peace.
“I just can’t let myself worry about every little thing on social media. If you do that, you will drive yourself crazy.”
Here is the video.