Local leaders condemn music video depicting assassination

National Civil Rights Museum Controversial Video

(WMC-TV) – A new music video by one Memphian is stirrng up controversy.

"There is no way we want to disrespect the spot of Martin Luther King where he died is sanctified," said Divine Mafa.

And yet a video produced and performed by Mafa shows a mock assassination of President Barack Obama on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

"I'm very good at shocking people," Mafa said. "I thrive on it."

Mafa says the video which also illustrates the Treyvon Martin shooting and other controversial news stories is a way to get people to vote for Barack Obama. The assassination he says is symbolic of the assassination of the President's beliefs from his detractors.

"I wanted to shock people to say we need to go and vote for President Obama," Mafa said.

Action News 5 showed the video to community leader, attorney and former county commissioner Walter Bailey. He says he respects Mafa's right to free speech but he's not sure the Lorraine motel was a good idea.

"I think it borders on desecration of the site itself for commercial purposes," Bailey said. "I question his judgement."

"I don't think mocking an assassination is a way to expression about the highest executive in this country," Beverly Robertson of the Nation Civil Rights Museum said.

Robertson said the museum did not approve the shooting of the video even though Mafa did contact the museum. Mafa says initially he got the go ahead to shoot the video and then was told no.

"We said the gate is open," Mafa said. "We were given permission before. We walked in and did our thing."

Action News 5 contacted the White House for a comment, but we have not yet heard back.

Robertson says the museum's legal team will be in contact with Divine Mafa.

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