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Harrison Holds 'Funeral' for Racism

HARRISON, AR -- It was once known as a sundown town, but on Tuesday night folks from all over Arkansas walked peacefully in Harrison.
HARRISON, AR -- Hundreds of people gathered on Tuesday night for the 6th annual Martin Luther King Vigil.

Some just joined in as folks marched from the Lyric theater to City Hall.

It was the first time the vigil had been held outside of Little Rock.

"We're a loving community everyone gets along with everybody, everyone accepts everybody," said Harrison Mayor Crockett.

City officials, including the mayor and the sheriff are on a task force to improve race relations.

Harrison Mayor Jeff Crockett said that is hard to do with KKK supporters in the area.

"It hurts because people traveling through town don't know town... they don't know how we are," he said. So, Tuesday night, the town along with people from all over the state and the Martin Luther King Commission hosted the 6th annual MLK Vigil. The town literally buried racism. 

DuShun Scarbrough is with the Arkansas MLK Commission. He said what he wants to do is bridge the gap and allow kids to be 'ambassadors of peace."

We spoke with Pastor Thomas Robb and he said he's offended by Tuesday night's ceremonies and that his side wasn't being represented.

"It's all about white guilt and genocide," said Robb.

Schaubrough and Robb went back and forth discussing their opinions. You can view that conversation in the video above.

Robb said the ceremonies are bringing back what he called a "100 year old" issue that has been forgotten.

Mayor Crockett said it has to be done to change the town's image for future generations.

"It won't go away, because if we leave it alone, the only voice that gets heard is the voice of the hate group," said Crockett.


 In addition to the vigil, the Commission will host various racial diversity events.

According to the Mayor's office, no city funds were used to put on this event.

More coverage:

Harrison Looks to Lose Its Racist Reputation

New Billboard in Harrison Promotes 'Beautiful People, No Wrong Exits'
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