Retired judge in Harrison disputes complaints of racial taunts at basketball game | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Retired judge in Harrison disputes complaints of racial taunts at basketball game

Posted By on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 2:30 PM

ROB MCCORKINDALE: Retired judge concludes  racial taunt allegation in Harrison a result of misinterpretation.
  • ROB MCCORKINDALE: Retired judge concludes racial taunt allegation in Harrison a result of misinterpretation.
I reported here a news story from Kansas in which a junior college basketball team said it had been subjected last week to racial taunts — specifically sounds like a crow call and monkey sounds — when playing basketball at North Arkansas College in Harrison.

The college said it would investigate and said it deplored such activity in any case. The Kansas newspaper hasn't shared a video it says it viewed that captured some of the reported noise. People in Harrison, while acknowledging the city's fraught racial past, have been skeptical of the account.

Today, I noticed a Facebook post from a Harrison resident known to me as a reliable source: Retired Circuit Judge Rob McCorkindale, who could safely be described as liberal leaning. This is what he wrote:

I feel saddened by the FB posts yesterday and by the news article arising out of a basketball game between NAC and a team from Parsons, Kansas. The Harrison Task Force on Race Relations has investigated the circumstances and feel the charge of racism in the article is unwarranted.

The allegations were "crow calls" and "monkey sounds" at certain points in the game. The "crow calls" were by an elderly gentleman, who faithfully attends most games and has used "crow calls" when opponents were shooting free throws for years. He loves all the players and does "hand bumps" with all the players. The man is emotionally devastated by the accusation.

The "monkey sounds" were "uumps, uumps" sounds like are often heard used by military men. Not "monkey sounds."

Sometimes events are misinterpreted as the events at the basketball game in question.

North Arkansas College works at being inclusive and members of the staff have worked with the Task Force. The College has twice hosted the Martin Luther King Nonviolence Youth Summit at the Durand Center and has worked to provide scholarships for minority students.

As a member of the Task Force since its inception, I am aware of substantial prejudice within our community, but we are not the racist town as portrayed by the recent news article. The "racist" billboard that is referred to is not in Harrison, just like Mr. Robb and his KKK are not in Harrison, but miles outside our city.

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