Graceland Gets Graffiti'd, and It's a Powerful Portrait of a World All Shook Up

(HBO via AP)


The estate of a man known for his compassion, generosity toward the poor, and a hit song calling into question the conditions of the ghetto was struck by vandals Tuesday night.

At 3717 Elvis Presley Boulevard, someone defaced the second most famous residence in the nation

Along the wall outside Graceland, graffiti declared “Defund the Police” and “Black Lives Matter,” among other social/political slogans.

From the event, you can deduce the immediate:

  • Some people have zero respect for others and others’ property.
  • Some people want to publicly declare that black lives matter.
  • Some people really enjoy spray paint.

But, to me, there’s more here.

The wall at the front of the property is very short. Yet, arguably the most beloved entertainer of all time lived there without incident from 1957 until his death 20 years later.

During that period, the spread’s security guard — that’s singular, as in only one — was Elvis’s Uncle Vester. He set up shop at the driveway’s entrance. 

It took one man in one location to oversee 14-acres of the King’s castle.

That was the world once upon a time.

I’d thought not long ago — if Elvis were alive today, Antifa might show up in mob formation, scale the wall, enter his home, and terrorize his family. 

They’d destroy the office, set free the horses, maybe burn down the barn.

The mansion itself might fall.

Yet for decades, all were safe.

Here’s a look into a much, much better America — during his years of white hot stardom, fans would wait patiently at Graceland’s gates. They were courteous, and so was he. He’d often stop on the way through to give autographs, or ride his horse down to the fence to meet with fans.

Watch the world as it should be — notice Elvis isn’t watching for a molotov cocktail:

Here he is, saddled up and sociable. Back then, “E” had no reason to fear they’d shoot his horse:

Society was once respectful. Genial. Civil. So much so that the most famous man on the planet had no need for burglar bars.

These days, if you live anywhere near other human beings, you’d better be ready to defend what’s yours.

There are revolutionaries in the streets ready to take it and set it ablaze.

They can trespass your property, steal your belongings, and in some cases, shoot you dead.

And they won’t feel bad in the morning (Language Warning):

Consider how much has changed.

Back to Graceland’s wall, people have of course been writing on it for years — letters of love to their adored Elvis.

Commandeering it for one’s own political purposes is a new and disturbing use.

Not long ago, such would have been viewed as wrong — like so much of what’s been happening across the country.

We must get back to an era of respect. Of courteousness. Of unity and peace.

If we continue in the direction we’re aimed, the tallest wall in the world won’t keep anyone safe. Graffiti or no.

Can we return to righteousness?

I will surely pray so. And in the meantime, I — perhaps like you — can dream…



See more pieces from me:

Hot as a Six-Shooter: Gun Sales Continue to Soar as Dems Find Their Strange Place in the Chaos

Adele Posts Herself in a Bikini, the Internet Flashes with ‘Cultural Appropriation’

Seattle Seahawks Coach Schools White People on Privilege and Racism

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