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Old 10-15-2008, 06:37 AM
 
Location: The Rock!
2,370 posts, read 6,854,459 times
Reputation: 803

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OA 5599 View Post
Having lived in areas which were both extremely diverse (Washington, DC) and extremely white (the Ozarks), I have to disagree. While not everyone in the Ozarks is a racist (the vast majority of the people aren't), I still know a fair number of people there who are openly racist, and make no attempt to hide their prejudice (as I said, this is a small amount of the population). I always found this odd due to the complete lack of diversity in the area (I wasn't exposed to other races until I went to college). For example, I was in the Ozarks earlier this year, went to pick up a 6-pack of beer, and heard the N-bomb dropped a few times.

When I lived outside of DC, many, many people were from other countries and the area was very diverse, and everyone got along just fine. In the actual district things weren't' quite as nice, but I never encountered any of the outright racism which you will encounter in the Ozarks. Granted, I don't think a non-white person would have any problems living anywhere in the Ozarks, but I'd imagine in a lot of these small towns which are 97% white or higher, that they would get some weird looks.

Additionally, the reason most of these towns are nearly all white is that they are "sundown towns" Sundown town - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Granted, this practice ended decades ago, but the mark has been left on the Ozarks, as it is still a very un-diverse place.
I lived in the Baltimore/DC area for 7 years and I saw more overt and passive racism there than I ever have here in Arkansas. Things over there are NOT hunky dory as you make them seem here. I'm talking about PG, Montgomery, Baltimore counties here, not even beginning to talk about the things that happen in the cities themselves. White flight is alive and well in suburban Maryland.

 
Old 10-15-2008, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,275 posts, read 79,447,244 times
Reputation: 38635
Quote:
Originally Posted by OA 5599 View Post
Having lived in areas which were both extremely diverse (Washington, DC) and extremely white (the Ozarks), I have to disagree. While not everyone in the Ozarks is a racist (the vast majority of the people aren't), I still know a fair number of people there who are openly racist, and make no attempt to hide their prejudice (as I said, this is a small amount of the population). I always found this odd due to the complete lack of diversity in the area (I wasn't exposed to other races until I went to college). For example, I was in the Ozarks earlier this year, went to pick up a 6-pack of beer, and heard the N-bomb dropped a few times.

When I lived outside of DC, many, many people were from other countries and the area was very diverse, and everyone got along just fine. In the actual district things weren't' quite as nice, but I never encountered any of the outright racism which you will encounter in the Ozarks. Granted, I don't think a non-white person would have any problems living anywhere in the Ozarks, but I'd imagine in a lot of these small towns which are 97% white or higher, that they would get some weird looks.

Additionally, the reason most of these towns are nearly all white is that they are "sundown towns" Sundown town - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Granted, this practice ended decades ago, but the mark has been left on the Ozarks, as it is still a very un-diverse place.
If you saw no racism, living outside of DC I think you may have had your head in the sand. We lived in NO VA for years and yes, it existed. I am not saying more or less than other places but it did exist.. The sundown town is long gone btw....

Nita
 
Old 10-15-2008, 08:05 AM
 
Location: Memphis, TN
10 posts, read 60,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam I Am View Post
I think that's the point, OA - that it ended years ago and the stigma still remains. If everyone stopped living in the past, maybe we could move past the preconceived notions of what Arkansas is, and what NWA is...instead, people choose to dredge it up after reading one Google thread on it and watching Deliverance. Sad.

Well, I didn't exactly just google it and watch Deliverance (never seen it, actually). I've been traveling in the area for years and years. My mother has a house in Heber Springs (where I've definitely been around racists and, even, Klansmen ). What I did see was some clips from "Banished" that made me a bit concerned. I want to be able to be proud of the place I live, and I've love for African American friends to feel comfortable visiting me. I don't want to raise my child in a climate of bigotry - one of the reasons I'm moving away from Memphis, in fact. I don't want to jump from the frying pan into the fire.

Hopefully, these things are in the past and the area is recovering. If that's the case, I'd love to be a part of that positive change.
 
Old 10-15-2008, 08:14 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 15,898,310 times
Reputation: 7531
Kalki, I was responding to OA 5599's post and not to you directly - that things like sundown towns and whatever that are long in the past continue to get revived over and over when people are considering moving to Arkansas.

There are clips from Gang Bangin' in Little Rock, too, which would make you think LR is the next hotbed of racial riots, ready to explode at a moment's notice. It really isn't that way at all.

If you've been in Heber and you've been exposed to what you have, you've probably seen the very worst Arkansas has to offer. I honestly believe Arkansans are more impressed and concerned with who you are rather than where you came from or the color of your skin or whatever, but maybe I'm living in a dream world. But I like it here in my dream, so I ain't leaving anytime soon...
 
Old 10-15-2008, 08:21 AM
 
Location: The City of St. Louis
938 posts, read 3,054,939 times
Reputation: 764
Quote:
Originally Posted by nmnita View Post
If you saw no racism, living outside of DC I think you may have had your head in the sand. We lived in NO VA for years and yes, it existed. I am not saying more or less than other places but it did exist.. The sundown town is long gone btw....

Nita
I also lived in NOVA (Falls Church), in a townhome complex which was very diverse. Plenty of young families from Central America, India, and Asia. Where I worked was very diverse too, and everyone got along just fine. As I said though, the actual district wasn't so nice, as its very segregated by income and race, and things like the schools and roads are way worse on the black side of town.

I'm well aware of the fact that the sundown towns are long gone, but to understand the area now, you need to understand its past. Sundown towns are the reason many towns in the Ozarks are still 95% or higher white in population to this day.

The main issue I'm trying to point out about living in the Ozarks is that you will likely have some neighbors who are the nicest people in the world, but if you get them talking on the subject of race, you'll hear some prejudice. As I said, growing up in the Ozarks I heard the N-word tossed around quite a bit, a lot of not-so-PC racist jokes, and ran into a handful of people who would outright say they were prejudice against another race, and tell you why. The vast majority of people in the Ozarks aren't like that, but some sure are.
 
Old 10-15-2008, 08:24 AM
 
Location: Whiteville Tennessee
8,262 posts, read 15,964,314 times
Reputation: 10024
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalkiwendy View Post
Thank y'all so much for your replies. I was all kinds of fascinated by the area before I found this. I'm actually white, but live in Memphis, which is, of course, majority African American. I don't think I would want to live anywhere where the culture that I appreciate so much-though it definitely has its problems, as does Memphis - was not appreciated at all. Also, I definitely don't want to raise my child in an environment of hate and bigotry.

I know that America, in general, is racist. I know that many Arkansans that I've met are horrible horrible racists; but I also have met many many many Arkansans who are open-minded, interesting people. I'm just hoping to make my home amongst the latter, and not the former.
So we can assume you have never met a black racist?
 
Old 10-15-2008, 09:05 AM
 
Location: The Rock!
2,370 posts, read 6,854,459 times
Reputation: 803
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalkiwendy View Post
Well, I didn't exactly just google it and watch Deliverance (never seen it, actually). I've been traveling in the area for years and years. My mother has a house in Heber Springs (where I've definitely been around racists and, even, Klansmen ). What I did see was some clips from "Banished" that made me a bit concerned. I want to be able to be proud of the place I live, and I've love for African American friends to feel comfortable visiting me. I don't want to raise my child in a climate of bigotry - one of the reasons I'm moving away from Memphis, in fact. I don't want to jump from the frying pan into the fire.

Hopefully, these things are in the past and the area is recovering. If that's the case, I'd love to be a part of that positive change.
I personally would have no problems taking African American friends of mine to Harrison. While I do realize not everyone there feels the way I do, I think the vast majority of people understand that people are just people no matter what they look like. I'm not sure how the percentage of outright racists there stacks up to more urban areas but I'd be willing to wager it isn't a whole lot higher, you just have many more opportunities to run into them in situations where they would feel empowered to open their mouths. Like yourself, I desire to be a part of change instead of waiting for it to happen. If that means taking on some challenges and maybe having to face down some people every so often, so be it.

There was a day, before sundown, when blacks and whites lived in about as idyllic a setting in Boone county as could have existed in the pre-civil rights era in a former confederate state. This was due probably in large part to fairly substantial Union sympathy in parts of the Ozarks. While outside Harrison, separate black and white towns existed (Dubuque Landing between Lead Hill and Omaha was one of the first settlements of free blacks in Arkansas), in Harrison there was not much segregation, certainly not like the rest of the south. I'm not saying people were on equal footing, but it wasn't like other places. Blacks in Harrison owned businesses and were by and large thriving. Then in 1905, without much warning, it all went downhill. Encyclopedia of Arkansas cites possible outside influence from rail workers who came to town around that time to build the Missouri-Arkansas Railway.

Local journalist recounts Arkansas history - Campus Voice (http://www.uark.edu/studorg/freepres/news/02222001_bsa.htm - broken link)
Boone County - Encyclopedia of Arkansas
 
Old 10-15-2008, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Memphis, TN
10 posts, read 60,402 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt. Dan View Post
So we can assume you have never met a black racist?
Well, I live in Memphis, you know. There are most certainly black racists here (our mayor, for instance, who has referred to white people as "devils"). At the same time, there are lots of people who are actively trying to tear down boundaries that exist between the races in our city.

Furthermore, I think that there is a huge (historical) difference between white racists and black racists. It's an issue of power and of aggression. In my experience, black racists (and, believe me, I've had experiences with them) don't really want anything to do with whites and don't seek to engage them either positively or negatively. White racists, on the other hand, are all about aggression. All about actively engaging with other races - to make them go away or to strip them of any power.

That said, I think that, in opposition to what one pp said, Americans are very racist. We have to be honest with ourselves about that. It's not that we can't get past it, we just tend to sweep it under the rug . . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormcrow73 View Post
Like yourself, I desire to be a part of change instead of waiting for it to happen. If that means taking on some challenges and maybe having to face down some people every so often, so be it.
Glad to know there are others out there.

Again, thanks everyone for the information and discussion.
 
Old 10-15-2008, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,275 posts, read 79,447,244 times
Reputation: 38635
Quote:
Originally Posted by OA 5599 View Post
I also lived in NOVA (Falls Church), in a townhome complex which was very diverse. Plenty of young families from Central America, India, and Asia. Where I worked was very diverse too, and everyone got along just fine. As I said though, the actual district wasn't so nice, as its very segregated by income and race, and things like the schools and roads are way worse on the black side of town.

I'm well aware of the fact that the sundown towns are long gone, but to understand the area now, you need to understand its past. Sundown towns are the reason many towns in the Ozarks are still 95% or higher white in population to this day.

The main issue I'm trying to point out about living in the Ozarks is that you will likely have some neighbors who are the nicest people in the world, but if you get them talking on the subject of race, you'll hear some prejudice. As I said, growing up in the Ozarks I heard the N-word tossed around quite a bit, a lot of not-so-PC racist jokes, and ran into a handful of people who would outright say they were prejudice against another race, and tell you why. The vast majority of people in the Ozarks aren't like that, but some sure are.
[I guess my argument on this simply is: you are going to find racism to some degree everywhere. Black racist, racist against catholics, Mormals, mid easterners, white racist, but I don't think it is very different in the Ozarks than many other places, Times fortunately are changing. As for some being more open about their feelings, again this is true everywhere. I still hear the N word and racist jokes, and we just moved here, less than 6 months ago from NM. NM was filled with Hispanics that would do anything to keep caucasions out of the state and caucasions that couldn't stand the hispanics, but this was not the majority of people.

Nita
 
Old 10-15-2008, 11:02 AM
 
3,203 posts, read 3,242,933 times
Reputation: 1024
Are there any black people even in Harrison?
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