Deliveries, Protests, and Speculations - Questions and Answers

On Monday, June 1, an image of brick near a street corner in Frisco, Texas began appearing on social media with the strong suggestion that our company had placed them specifically for malicious use during a protest scheduled nearby for later that day.

Were those your brick in that image?

Yes. Those brick were ordered by a contractor who was hired by a homeowners association to repair a perimeter fence. Those brick were ordered on May 21, 2020, four days before the tragic death of George Floyd. We delivered them on Friday, May 29, three days before the Frisco protest was planned.

Why were they on that street corner?

We ship brick only to addresses or locations specified by our customers. The section of the fence being repaired was not visible in the image which may have contributed to the suspicion that the brick were there for some other purpose.

What happened to the brick? Are they still there?

We became aware that morning of the social-media activity that mentioned our brick. Concerned for the safety of the community, we contacted the City of Frisco for help. By that afternoon the Frisco Police Department had tweeted that the brick were temporarily removed from the site, to be returned later at a safe time.
The brick were removed long before the march. The protest did occur and was peaceful.

Then why didn’t you say anything publicly?

We have nothing to cover up or hide. In fact, as many observers noted, our name and our logo appeared clearly on the brick in the image circulating on social media. Once the brick were relocated, it was no longer an issue for the protesters or the march.

So how did one image make Acme the subject of intense speculation on social media?

Violence had been reported in connection with some protests the previous week – and yes, some of those incidents did involve brick. A narrative about brick at protest sites had already been circulating on social media before June 1. As one of the leading brick producers in the U.S., our brand name is perhaps the best known brick brand nationwide.

Is someone in fact deliberately setting out brick for misuse by rioters at locations across the country?

Several news outlets looked into this claim and found no evidence to support it.
We can say conclusively that Acme Brick Company did not position any brick with this intent.

Some speculation on social media mentioned Bill Gates. Isn’t he connected to Acme?

Yes, but only indirectly. The co-founder of Microsoft, and his wife, Melinda, are personal friends of Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway – which bought Acme Brick Company in 2000. Bill Gates joined the Berkshire Hathaway Board of Directors in 2004. 
However, Mr. Gates left the board (and Microsoft’s as well) in March of this year – well before any of this recent activity.
Neither Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, nor anyone else at Berkshire Hathaway directed us to position brick for an unlawful purpose.

What’s your response to the people who suspected you of somehow promoting violence?

Acme Brick Company has not done, and will not do, anything to intentionally promote violence.  That runs contrary to our vision and our culture.
To those who still have suspicions about us, we simply say: Look at our record. And not just the internet kind. Do your own homework. Talk to our customers - or any of the hundreds of thousands of homeowners whose houses have been built with our brick. As any of them will tell you, Acme Brick Company is in the business of building, not destroying.

And the coyote?

Sorry, you’ll have to take that up with Warner Bros.