Sunday, April 20, 2014

Hate in the Ozarks: A report from the Southern Poverty Law Center

Posted By on Sun, Apr 20, 2014 at 7:45 AM

click to enlarge HATEFUL? A matter of opinion. And also controversy in Harrison.
  • HATEFUL? A matter of opinion. And also controversy in Harrison.
The Baxter Bulletin reports on the number of groups identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate, patriot or militia groups active in the Ozarks in 2013. The SPLC reported such groups by state and Arkansas, with 24 such groups, ranked 13th, including several mentions in and around Harrison.

By the center's standards, an entity could make the list by marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing. (I'd guess  Billboards might qualify, if the work of a group and not just a single person, if only we knew who bought that billboard that started such a ruckus in Harrison recently.) 

Hate is also in the eye of the beholder. KKK leader Thom Robb, who lives near Harrison but uses the city as a mailing address, has insisted  there's no hate in his heart. He says concerns about racism in Harrison are just an outgrowth of "white guilt."

The Baxter Bulletin extracted mentions of Arkansas in the report and how they were categorized by the SPLC.

Bergman (near Harrison) (population 439 and 95.4 percent white): Thomas Robb Ministries, Christian Identity; White Pride Home School Resource Center, hate.

Calico Rock (population 1,545 and 87.9 percent white): Tightrope, racist music.

Fayetteville (population 73,580 and 83.8 percent white): Constitution Party of Arkansas.

Harrison (population 12,943 and 96.2 percent white): Christian Books and Things, hate; Heritage Connection, racist music; Kingdom Identity Ministries, Christian Identity; Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, hate; Knights Party Veterans League, hate; Ozark Craft LC, hate; Soldiers of the Cross Training Institute (KKK), hate.

Lots of groups mentioned in nearby southern Missouri, too.

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