These days everything seems to be getting political. Matters have really gotten out of hand as Graceland, the former home of rock n’roll icon Elvis Presley has been vandalized with various ‘defund the police’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ slogans.
The incident occurred overnight on Tuesday. The graffiti was found by Graceland employees this morning. It appeared on the wall and on the sidewalk outside the nearly 14 acre estate in Memphis, TN. Spray paint was used to write phrases associated with racial equality and anti-police brutality.
Black paint was used to write the phrases “Defund the MPD” (Memphis Police Department). BLM was painted numerous times in black and orange paint on the wall surrounding the estate located on a stretch of highway otherwise known as Elvis Presley Blvd.
The phrase “Arrest Breonna Taylor’s murderers” was also painted in green across the wall where hundreds of mourners wrote handwritten tributes to Elvis.
The Levitt Shell concert venue, a nearby amphitheater in Overton Park where Presley played his first paid concert, was also vandalized with similar graffiti. Natalie Wilson, executive director of Levitt Shell stated this is the 6th time vandals have tagged the theater since 2019. The venue has now been shuttered and they are looking at a $700,00 shortfall for the year.
“For us to be used as a platform for the unrest in our society is unacceptable,” Wilson stated.
Other graffiti posted includes the phrases, “No Justice, No Peace”, “F__k Trump”, “Give Our City Back” and “Eat the Rich”. There were also obscene references to Memphis mayor Jim Strickland and President Donald Trump.
Spokespeople for the estate declined to comment.
Currently, cleaning crews are working to clean the graffiti off. The total clean up job is expected to cost $15,000. The high cost is in part due to the fact that it is a historic landmark.
Tennessee Rep. London Lamar tweeted a theory that the vandals were not Black Lives Matter activists. Rather, she feels the graffiti was created by others looking to make the group look bad.
“I bet my money that those tagging property in Memphis with BLM and Defund the Police are individuals trying to make this movement look bad!” Lamar tweeted. “Don’t believe that it’s the movement! It’s not! WE KNOW WHO’S OUT TO MAKE US LOOK BAD!”
Others weighing in include Elvis’ stepbrother Bill Stanley. “This is totally uncalled for,” said Stanley. “One of the saddest days of my life. I mean, besides the day that Elvis passed away, this right here is right up next to it.”
State Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis had this to say “What’s the real issue here? Every visitor that has come to Graceland has written on that wall and there were no complaints. So, really, it’s WHAT was written, not the fact that it was written.”
Memphis police are investigating to determine who is responsible for the graffiti. It is hopeful that those people will be brought to justice.