About that viral black BBQ, social media and the joy of memeing

Some stories are destined to live foreverand take on a whole new redemptive life of their ownwith a little help from social media.

in point: The ascared white lady who recently called the cops on black people having a BBQ in an Oakland, California park. As a social media phenomenon, it started as a video, “White Woman Called Out for Racially Targeting Black Men Having BBQ in Oakland” (embedded above), originally posted by YouTube user Michelle Dione on April 29. As of this writing it’s racked up more than 1.1 million viewsbut that number underplays the attention the incident got on YouTube, not to mention other platforms, with additional posts, remixes and cuts of the park drama popping up all over, including “White Woman Calls Police On Black Family’s BBQ In Park” and “Oakland Woman call police on family for BBQ while black.”

Add in some gradual news coverage such as “Family wants to create awareness after BBQ confrontation at Lake Merritt” from the Bay Area’s KRON 4 News (May 9) and “Woman Calls Police on Black Family for BBQing at a Lake in Oakland” from HuffPost (May 11), plus some attention from high-profile aggregation sites (Reddit on May 10, Boing Boing on May 13), and you’ve got an angry white lady who was well on her way to internet infamy.

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