Elvis Presley’s former home was targeted with graffiti including slogans such as “Black Lives Matter,” “Defund the Police” and “Abolish ICE.” The vandalism has sparked a heated debate online.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, the walls outside Graceland, where he lived for 20 years before his death in August 1977, were covered in thick black and orange lettering.
Normally the wall is covered with tributes to the star left by fans over the years as they lined up to enter the site. Graceland is located on Elvis Presley Boulevard and is now a museum. The politically-charged defacement included messages like “Defund MPD,” and “F**k Trump.”
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“Graceland has no comment,” Graceland spokesperson David Beckwith said.
“[This is] 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,” said Bill Stanley, Elvis’ stepbrother.
Fans of the King were disturbed at the perceived desecration of the site. Some facetiously suggested that Graceland be moved out of Memphis, while others called for the vandals to face swift justice.
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Democratic State Rep. Antonio Parkinson suggested on Facebook it was the messaging, not the act, that had upset people.
“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,” Parkinson said.
Parkinson was not alone as others chimed in saying it was the message, not the graffiti, that people were complaining about.