“NO VOTE QUEER”: Hate speech written on Fayetteville political sign

KNWA

"I think it's part of this ongoing polarization just in our national political discourse."

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — With less than a month to go before November 3, another political sign in Northwest Arkansas has been defaced.

It never feels good to see a slur spray-painted across your face, that’s not a great way to start your morning.

KYLE SMITH, WARD 4 CITY COUNCIL MEMBER, FAYETTEVILLE

“NO VOTE QUEER” — That was the message spray-painted across a sign belonging to Kyle Smith.

He’s running to keep his Ward 4 seat on the Fayetteville City Council.

“I would really like for whoever did this to know that they don’t speak for Fayetteville and that when things like this happen, we will just turn the other cheek,” Smith said. “I hope that we all kind of take a step back and do more listening than shouting.” 

Smith’s opponent, Holly Hertzberg, wrote this on her campaign Facebook page.

This blatant public display of hate is deplorable and has no place in our community. To whoever did this, I don’t want your support and I don’t want your vote.

HOLLY HERTZBERG

University of Arkansas Political Science Professor Andrew Dowdle said this incident isn’t surprising to him, especially since he believes there are more people voting less because they support a party and more because they dislike the other.

COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF ARKANSAS

“There are some really good studies that have shown in the last few years that if you end up looking at signs in people’s yards, it has become a much more heated and continuous issue,” Dowdle said. “Even if you end up having candidates who are not running for partisan offices like city council, people can quickly read into what party they’ll likely end up supporting by what issues they support.”

Inching closer to November 3, Smith said he hopes the City of Fayetteville can focus on the more important things.

“I really feel like this has been a distraction to the business of Fayetteville,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of other concerns like traffic, trails, and affordable housing.”

This is not the first incident like this KNWA/FOX 24 has heard of.

We’ve also seen reports of defaced signs belonging to Tom Terminella, who’s running to become Fayetteville’s mayor.

KNWA/FOX 24 also did a report on a mural in Fayetteville reading ‘LOVE UNITES US’ that was vandalized.

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