I grew up in Arkansas, and though I haven’t been back in probably a decade or more, there’s still some things I miss about my home state: The free parking, the biscuits and gravy, the mashed potatoes and gravy, and the fried chicken and gravy. However, what I don’t miss are the pockets of racism in some of the more rural parts of the state, where I spent more time than I wish I had. One such rural town is Harrison, Arkansas. It’s the home of Ray and Faye Copeland, serial killers who were the oldest people ever sentenced to death (at 75 and 69 respectively). The town’s motto is “Adventure awaits you.” However, if you’re black, it’s probably not an adventure you’d be interested in.
Here’s some recent “wisdom” from a Harrison citizen.
Actually, Harrison is 96 percent Caucasian, to be exact. As of 2012, there were 34 black people living in Harrison. There’s a reason for that, actually. It’s because in the race riots of 1905 and 1909 drove all the black people out of Harrison in order to “curb crime.” It may also have something to do with the fact that the national director of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Thomas Robb, maintains his office right outside of Harrison. He believes that white people are the target of genocide. Of course he does.
However, Harrison has been trying in recent years to rehabilitate their reputation as one of the most racist towns in America. It must be working, too, because the town of 13,000 used to have only 10 black people, and now there are 34! That’s, like, a 300 percent increase! However, I suspect that it’s efforts to erase their racist reputation probably runs into problems because they allow billboards like these in their town.
Huh. And here I thought “anti-racist” just meant you were against bigotry.
There’s also this billboard.
I checked out the radio station. They were playing Stryper, because of course they were.
Recently, however, a man named Jeff Crockett did run for mayor in an effort to better diversify the town. Unfortunately, he came in a distant third after he was accused of being an “outside agitator for radical anti-White social engineering.”