In Harrison, Arkansas, there is a billboard that says:
This sign drew a reaction from both supporters and detractors.
Dena McGlynn had this to say:
It goes against everything that the Diversity Council, Harrison High School have taught the young that are growing up here in Harrison, and I wish they’d just take it down.
In defense of the sign, Josh Rosenberg said:
As a white American male, if you say anything about anything else, then you’re automatically a racist.
ESPN, who had a billboard above where this sign sits, asked for their sign to be removed.
Regardless of the opinion a person holds, or what I think about that opinion, I believe he or she has a right to express it.
Mayor Jeff Crockett expressed his disagreement with the sign:
I think this is awful. It does not represent the people of Harrison’s attitude or the way they feel about any races. I think we’re welcoming to all. It’s trying to represent a false image of the way Harrison is.
The owner of the sign anonymously offered a defense for his sign, saying it is merely political:
Often white people are called racist for opposing the President’s policies.On the other hand a non-white person was never called racist for opposing President Bush’s policies. There is a double-standard in this country regarding differences of opinion. Those differences of opinion do not make a person racist. The first amendment right to freedom of speech is for everyone. That is the point of the message.
Over a century ago, the town of Harrison engaged in a race riot that chased all of the black resident out with the exception of one. The town became a headquarter for the Knights of the KKK in the 1980’s. Since Crockett became the mayor, he has worked towards removing the town’s image of being a ‘Klan Town’ and encouraging diversity. The story of this town’s history was covered in the Vanguard documentary series, titled: Showdown in Klan Town. This used to air on the former cable network, Current TV.
Here’s the story in the news clip below.