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'White Pride' Billboard Roils Small Town

Harrison, Arkansas debates whether the billboard should come down
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2020 12:40 PM CDT

Welcome to Harrison, Arkansas, where visitors are greeted by a "White Pride" billboard—and a roiling argument about whether it should stand, CNN reports. "It's an entrance to our town, the first thing people see when they drive in is this billboard," an attorney for the Harrison Community Task Force on Race Relations tells KARK. "And that's not the message our community wants to convey." Posted near the town's Ku Klux Klan headquarters, the sign reads "" and "" and shows a white family holding a US flag beside a red cross with a dove and a flame. Up since 2013, it's now making headlines amid the nation's furor over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police.

The town's race-relations task force, made of clergy and volunteers, has posted an online petition to have the "racist" sign taken down. Indeed, the sign's KKK links seem clear: Alt Right TV was started by the Knights Party, once known as the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and the billboard stands on land owned by a lawyer whose father, Pastor Thomas Robb, leads that very group. But the sign company says it's protected by the First Amendment, per KY3, and the petition admits there are no legal grounds for removal. Filmmaker Rob Bliss recently stood in front of the billboard holding a "Black Lives Matter" sign, which triggered remarks from passing drivers. "Have a little pride in your race brother!" cried one. (Meanwhile, Dolly Parton has voiced support for BLM.)

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