Anyway, most of the videos, press releases and websites associated with this prank have no been taken down. However I have heard back from the organizers, who just posted, under the name Roman, a link in the comment section of the original post about the hoax.
The culprits behind the hoax are members of People Enraged by Racist Policing (PERP), an activist group working with the Yes Lab. The Yes Lab is mainly a series of brainstorms and trainings to help activist groups carry out media-getting creative actions, focused on their own campaign goals. According to its website:
"The group is seeking to highlight what they say are racist and discriminatory policies of the NYPD, while also calling attention to McDonald’s intense marketing of unhealthy food to residents of low-income urban areas. “The cops ‘stop and frisk’ people simply because of how we look and where we live,” said Divad Durant, a PERP spokeperson. “This kind of policing creates an atmosphere of fear and distrust in our neighborhoods, and has convinced New Yorkers that the NYPD is anything but just.”
According to its own data, the New York Police Department made over 684,000 street stops in 2011, a 603% increase over 2002, when Mayor Bloomberg first took office, and a 14% increase over 2010. Nearly 90% of “Stop and Frisk” victims are African American and Latino, though they make up only 50% of the city’s population, according to the 2010 census. Fewer than 10% of the stops led to an arrest, and almost none of those to a conviction. In fact, many of those arrested found themselves handcuffed simply because they had questioned the right of the police to frisk them.
According to PERP, the disparate impact of stop-and-frisk on people of color, particularly in low-income communities, is just the tip of the iceberg. “Stop-and-frisk is just one notable example of an NYPD that is discriminatory and unjust in policy and practice,” said Jerry Goralnick, another PERP member. “The increasing frequency of extreme brutality, such as the recent beating of Jatiek Reed and the killing of Ramarley Graham in the Bronx, are even more outrageous and horrific.”
Abusive policing also has less visible impacts on marginalized groups. Sexual assaults of women, profiling and illegal surveillance of Muslims, and inappropriate treatment of trans-gender, homeless, and immigrant New Yorkers are widespread, according to PERP.
But why was McDonald’s part of the act?
“Like the NYPD, McDonald’s specifically targets low-income communities of color, but in a different way: as markets from which to draw profits, at the expense of our health and well-being,” said Durant.
McDonald’s 365Black.com website merges references to African culture with the company’s marketing goals. “Like the unique African Baobab tree, which nourishes its community with its leaves and fruit, McDonald’s has branched out to the African-American community nourishing it with valuable programs and opportunities,” says the website, which appears to be completely authentic.
Activists say that McDonald’s, with condescending and manipulative marketing that co-opts African-American culture, simply wants to profit from minority New Yorkers at the expense of their health. “Last time I checked, baobab fruit is not high in fat, cholesterol, and salt,” said Durant. “In fact, it’s rich in Vitamin C, and reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease. McDonald’s shouldn’t compare their unhealthy fare with something that’s actually good for you.”
“Other than those who work for the McDonald’s marketing machine, does anyone ever use ‘nourish’ to describe anything about McDonald’s?” added Goralnick.
“McDonald’s wants us to think its ‘food’ is not just life-shortening gruel pumped into unsuspecting stomachs via a tube made of salt, fat, and clever marketing,” said Durant. “And that’s particularly true in the African American community, where it uses TV ads and websites like 365Black.com to tell a wholly inaccurate and misleading story about the company and what it offers.”
Like I said before I don't mind being fooled. I think that raising awareness about a very important issue such as Stop & Frisk and how it unfairly snarls Black and Hispanic men in the justice system ranks a lot higher than whatever embarrassment I might have briefly felt.