Community holds concert to honor performers attacked in racial Facebook post

Carlisle/West Shore

Community groups held a concert Thursday to support performers attacked on social media last week. The goal was to honor diversity and hip hop music.

“It was kind of ironic because we’re really getting the spirit of what the music is all about,” said James Smith, who lives in Carlisle. The performer is talking about when police were called to Create-a-Palooza.

Smith was one of the hip-hop artists invited to perform. Musicians were playing for Carlisle’s First Friday event.

Although community members say they expect the occasional noise complaint, a Facebook post that followed sparked outrage.

“She made a racial slur to describe the music that was being played and made another racial slur calling the kids out,” said Safronia Perry, the executive director of the Carlisle Hope Station.

Neighbor Patti McCann wrote the post. At least 1,000 people condemned it on Facebook.

“To find a kind of music unpleasant, and in your mind, to believe it’s unpleasant because of who you think performs it…that just gives me a stomach ache, and I think it gives a lot of people in this community a stomach ache,” said Pat LaMarch, who works with the Charles Bruce Foundation.

McCann’s post has since been deleted. She told us, “I never said I hated any races. I said I hated a type of music.”

She also says she treats everyone the same, but in the last week, she has received threats and has lost all of her craft business. 

“I’m sorry that people took it the wrong way,” McCann said, “but I was talking about the type of music.”

When asked if she regrets referring to the performers using a racial slur, McCann responded, “I think if I would have said the word black and that it was black rap music. There’s white rappers, too.”

The community groups hosting the concert at the Cumberland County Historical Society say that raising awareness about racism is key to eliminating it.

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