A disturbing image is making the rounds on Facebook and Twitter. It shows a chalkboard sign outside of a bar that offers the most vile, racist, and inappropriate drink special EVER:
Mike Brown Special, 6 shots of something.
This of course, tastelessly refers to 18-year-old Michael Brown’s execution by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson. But … is the sign real or just another hoax?
It turned out to be a little of both.
A Twitter user with the handle Dr. Hannibae Lector posted the image to Shaun King, an activist against police brutality and misconduct. He explained that he had seen it on Facebook and heard that the photo had been taken in St. Charles, Missouri, the city where Wilson reportedly comes from.
Amid the disgusted reactions like “OMG. Disgusting,” ” Smdh (shaking my damned head),” and “I’m literally nauseous,” some more pragmatic folks wanted to know which bar it was.
FOOTKLAN seemed absolutely sure the photo with the inappropriate, racist drink special was taken on Main Street in St. Charles, and that the bar may have been a place called “The Lounge.”
This writer seemed skeptical at first, because the photo and immediate location look fairly nondescript, but FOOTKLAN lives in the area and felt certain enough to go over there and take more photos.
— FOOTKLAN (@footklansoldier) August 22, 2014
Meanwhile, other Twitterers tried calling the bar, but no one answered.
— Me-luh not Mel-uh (@FunSizeMela) August 22, 2014
‘Michael Brown Special’ racist 86ed for LIFE.
But, given all the racial tensions and barrage of cell phone photos and videos, why would the owner of The Lounge do something so hateful and stupid? Well, it turns out he didn’t.
Buzzfeed traced the original photo to a Facebook user named Erin Bergeon.
The original image was uploaded to Facebook by Erin Bergeon, who told BuzzFeed that she took the picture at 8:21 p.m. Central Time on Thursday night at the back entrance of a bar on St. Charles’ Main Street.
Bergeon added that she didn’t know which bar put up the sign, since more than one bar shares the parking lot. When the above Twitter users identified the bar as The Lounge, BuzzFeed got hold of the owner, Justin Donahue. An appalled Donahue explained that a customer had written on the sign, and he angrily banned that customer from his establishment for LIFE.
“The parking lot sign is a community sign. Lots of times customers write on it — people put jokes on them. Yesterday, the sign was facing away from the bar and everybody inside couldn’t see it.”
Alas for Donahue, the sign stayed up for a full 40 minutes. And, it turns out, he’s probably one of the last people who would ever put up a sign like that. His four-year-old son, Jackson, happens to be black.
Basically, the poor guy got hacked analog-style:
“I got hacked. The sign sits outside my business, someone hacked it, and now people are coming to burn my place down.”
This is really sad