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Old 10-14-2008, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Memphis, TN
10 posts, read 60,407 times
Reputation: 20

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Hi, my husband and I are considering a move to the area, but are concerned by the fact that Harrison has a bad reputation for racism. Anyone know if it's gotten/is getting any better?

 
Old 10-14-2008, 02:20 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,289 posts, read 79,469,982 times
Reputation: 38646
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalkiwendy View Post
Hi, my husband and I are considering a move to the area, but are concerned by the fact that Harrison has a bad reputation for racism. Anyone know if it's gotten/is getting any better?
this has been discussed serveral times. There is some racism no matter where you go, but I think Harrison get a bum wrap from time to time. I am sure others are going to see it differently..

Nita
 
Old 10-14-2008, 02:29 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,527 posts, read 29,240,196 times
Reputation: 21263
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalkiwendy View Post
Hi, my husband and I are considering a move to the area, but are concerned by the fact that Harrison has a bad reputation for racism. Anyone know if it's gotten/is getting any better?
I don't think that Harrison is that bad, even though it was, at one time, one of the headquarters for the KKK, and until recently, when it was removed due to political pressure, there was a highway sign that "this area of the highway" was maintained by the KKK.

That having been said, again, I don't think that Harrison proper is that bad, but I'd have my doubts about the outlying areas.

Assuming you are black, I'd take a look at Branson or Springfield, MO as possible alternatives. Springfield has a pretty healthy black population.

20yrsinBranson
 
Old 10-14-2008, 02:56 PM
 
Location: The Rock!
2,370 posts, read 6,855,441 times
Reputation: 803
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalkiwendy View Post
Hi, my husband and I are considering a move to the area, but are concerned by the fact that Harrison has a bad reputation for racism. Anyone know if it's gotten/is getting any better?
The history of Harrison is very dark and grim indeed. I'm sure there are still oldtimers there who are straight out racist but most people are just simple and basic working people who want to live their life. The city is working very hard to both educate people and to be actively welcoming to all races. The city has issued formal apologies for it's past, there is a community task force on race relations, they havefunded a scholarship for African American students, and the city paper takes every possibly opportunity to highlight what diversity there is, be it African American residents, Bosnian residents, Asian residents, etc. The demographics of the town are still very homogeneous though. If you are not white, the biggest hurdle you will face is not overt racism but just a general lack in local capability at interacting with people of different race. As silly as it sounds, I think people there are very racially self conscious and really with very good reason. People from there realize the history, they know a lot of people will have a preconcieved idea about them and they will either fall all over themselves trying to be nice or they will seem avoidant.

KKK activity in Harrison is, IMO, way overblown. Yes Tom Robb who is a grand dragon lives a few miles outside Harrison. He must be getting on towards his upper 60's though. In all my time there, I never once heard about or witnessed any of them doing anything. It's a dinosaur organization quite thankfully on it's way out everywhere.

I grew up about 20 miles outside Harrison. We had one student in my high school of mixed race. To the best of my knowledge, he never had anyone give him or his family any problems. After a couple of years they moved into Harrison and I saw him again from time to time until I left to go to college. Granted, he was a metal head so that probably bought him some respect and friends. He'd have been even more accepted had he listened to country or, back then, AC/DC! Just goes to show, that even in small towns with reputations for poor race relations, music is more important than race! LOL, that's said partly in jest but also partly in seriousness.

In conclusion, I'd say yes, it's gotten better, and it will keep getting better, which means by definition there is still room for improvement. If you have any specific questions, I'm more than happy to answer and I'll be very frank and honest with you. I lived most of my life in Boone county so I know it pretty well. Feel free to DM if you want.
 
Old 10-14-2008, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Memphis, TN
10 posts, read 60,407 times
Reputation: 20
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.
 
Old 10-14-2008, 07:15 PM
 
Location: Bella Vista, Ark
69,289 posts, read 79,469,982 times
Reputation: 38646
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.
oh, I so disagree with you about America overall> I don't think we are as rasist as many countries: yes, some are, they will always be prejudice, it may be against elders, blacks, hispanics, young people, republicans, democrats, gays, etc but overall I think our country is becoming more accepting of others all the time. Why do you think so many people, from other countries want to live here?

Many Americans resent illegals coming to live off of our system, you certainly can understand that, I am sure. Many people still have trouble accepting altenative life styles, again these views have been deeply instilled in some and will take generaations to overcome, whether you live in Memphis, Rogers, San Diego or Atlanta. You will always get a group that associates crime with poverty and yes, race, again, for good reasons. Inter cities do have a much higher rate of violent crime and the population in these areas are normally minority. But to say we are a racist country is very strong, in my opinion. If we are such a racist country would we have a black person running for President with a better than 50% chance of winning? do you think a white person could go to,say Mexico and be elected to anything?

Nita

Last edited by nmnita; 10-14-2008 at 07:59 PM..
 
Old 10-14-2008, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Arkieville
109 posts, read 257,481 times
Reputation: 106
There's way more yankees up there than rednecks. You'll be fine.
 
Old 10-14-2008, 08:01 PM
 
Location: Finally escaped The People's Republic of California
11,110 posts, read 7,353,623 times
Reputation: 6183
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, .
OK, So first off I too am white, and also from California. So from a visitors prospective, I was in Harrison last summer and every single person I met was extremley friendly and kind. It seems like it would be hard to be a racist when everyone I saw was white....
There seems to be on these boards a kind of bashing of white towns as racist, you want to see racism you must go to a diverse area.... At least speaking as a white man going to a white town..
 
Old 10-14-2008, 08:14 PM
 
Location: The City of St. Louis
938 posts, read 3,055,356 times
Reputation: 764
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali BassMan View Post
OK, So first off I too am white, and also from California. So from a visitors prospective, I was in Harrison last summer and every single person I met was extremley friendly and kind. It seems like it would be hard to be a racist when everyone I saw was white....
There seems to be on these boards a kind of bashing of white towns as racist, you want to see racism you must go to a diverse area.... At least speaking as a white man going to a white town..
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.
 
Old 10-15-2008, 05:00 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 15,900,945 times
Reputation: 7531
Quote:
Originally Posted by OA 5599 View Post
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 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.
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