Dozens of activists are calling on a Dallas-based video broadcast station to fire a black talk show host for blaming a group of mostly black teenagers for starting a fracas at a private swimming pool in McKinney, Tex. on Friday.
Benet Embry, who hosts an internet show on Deep Ellum on Air and lives in the neighborhood, has been accused by some for being a traitor to his race after he posted to his Facebook account to push back against what he called a false media narrative that has been crafted in the wake of the incident.
The Daily Caller confirmed with the CEO of Deep Ellum, Jedi Jantzen, that the station has received at least 25 phone calls and numerous emails and social media posts demanding Embry’s ouster. Jentzen said he has no plans to fire the host.
The outrage began with a seven-and-a-half minute video released over the weekend showing McKinney police officer Eric Casebolt throwing a 15-year-old black girl on the ground and pulling out his gun as he tried to detain a group of teenagers allegedly involved in the fracas.
But witnesses to the scene say that the video lacks context. They said that teens, many of whom did not live in Craig Ranch, began causing trouble at a concert held next to the pool. Pool-goers who do live in the neighborhood called police after some of the teens trespassed into the pool. Others were fighting. Police who first responded to the scene were reportedly unable to control the crowd of teenagers, who refused to comply.
The girl Casebolt forced to the ground said that she was not involved in any of the violence that had occurred at the pool.
The incident was portrayed in racial terms for two reasons: Casebolt is white and the neighborhood where the incident occurred, Craig Ranch, is a planned community with mostly white residents.
But in a Facebook post that has since gone viral, Embry disputed the notion that racism was involved:
Oh, I say and I say it again, ya been had! Ya been took! Ya been hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Led astray! Run amok! MediaTakeout.com posts a story showing only 7 minutes of a 30 minute ordeal, makes it racial and all the activist come a running. Look, I LIVE in this community and this ENTIRE incident is NOT racial at all. A few THUGS spoiled a COMMUNITY event by fighting, jumping over fences into a PRIVATE pool, harassing and damaging property. Not EVERYTHING is about RACE. WE have other issuses [sic] that NEED our attention other flights of made up make believe causes.
“I’ve never seen such irresponsible reporting and miss management [sic] of media resources in my life,” Embry commented later.
Michael Cory Quattrin also lives in the neighborhood and witnessed the drama. He posted to Facebook saying that the teens showed up after a DJ circulated an invitation to an event that was held near the pool.
“Teens began fighting with each other and pushing their way into our private pool,” Quattrin wrote. “Some were jumping our fence. The security guard was accosted when he tried to stop the beginnings of this mob scene.”
He said that the teens began yelling racial slurs at neighbors and assaulting people, including a mother with three young children. Some of the teenagers who attended the concert have claimed that the pool-goers were the first to use racial language.
Embry’s comments sparked widespread pushback.
“Don’t listen to this fool’s show,” Facebook user Tracy Price-Thompson wrote on Embry’s page. “Petition to have it cancelled and taken off the air. But wait, he’s not engaging Blacks as his audience anyway. He’s pandering to whites, eating crow and shucking and jiving to please those who will never accept him.”
Another commenter named Fe Flucas posted contact information for Deep Ellum’s owners and producers, asking others to call for Embry to be fired.
Many seemingly heeded Flucas’ advice.
“I have been receiving a lot of calls and there is a petition too,” Jantzen told TheDC through email.
“We would never fire or get rid of someone for having their own opinion,” Jantzen continued, noting that there are even people on the radio station’s staff who disagree with Benet.
“However they are able to discuss it and be civil towards each other and that’s the saving grace. Banning Benet from doing a show with us would be pointless and completely against what we stand for.”
Embry could not be reached for comment, though he wrote on Facebook that he plans to discuss the story on his show Monday night.