Another racist billboard has been erected in a north Arkansas town, right beneath one set up last fall.
The new billboard welcomes drivers to Harrison, which is described on the sign as a “Beautiful Town, (with) Beautiful People, No Wrong Exits, No Bad Neighborhoods.”
It also directs them to a WordPress blog that claims Harrison is nearly 98 percent white and boasts the town’s connections to several white supremacist leaders, including the anti-Semitic Gerald L.K. Smith and Thomas Robb, the current national director of the Ku Klux Klan.
The site describes these white supremacist leaders as “pro-American” but notes that they “have been labeled by some as racist.”
Robb kept an office for years near Harrison’s town square, according to the blog, but left to build a Christian Identity church and conference center outside of town.
“Some in the city resent the attention he brings while most are either ambivalent or quiet supporters,” the blog claims.
The older billboard, which carries the white supremacist slogan, “Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white,” drew a protest in October by about 30 people, including Mayor Jeff Crockett.
Claude West, who owns Harrison Sign Co. said he rented the 12-by-24-foot billboard for $200 a month for one year.
But he declined to identify who paid for the signs, and he also declined to say whether the same person or group had rented both.
The Harrison Community Task Force on Race Relations does not know if the billboards are connected, but one member said it appears certain groups want to portray Harrison as a whites-only town.
“They’re trying to stake their claim and build a community for themselves that they feel like they carry some weight in, and I think the community has had enough of that and saying they don’t speak for them,” said task force member Layne Ragsdale.
The billboard indicates sponsorship by local business owners, and several Realtors are listed on the website, which indicates its links do not imply sponsorship.
One real estate agent listed on the site told KYTV he learned of the link from a friend and had asked the website proprietor to remove his name.