Thousands sign petition to remove white pride billboard near KKK headquarters in Arkansas

Thousands sign petition to remove white pride billboard near KKK headquarters in Arkansas

Thousands have signed an online petition to remove a billboard about white pride in Arkansas near the headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan.

As of Friday afternoon, more than 9,200 had signed the petition, which CNN reports was launched by the Harrison Community Task Force on Race Relations, which wants its city of Harrison, Ark. to be better represented.

The billboard shows a photo of two white adults and children holding an American flag alongside a sketch of a cross with a dove and a flame. It advertises the websites WhitePrideRadio.com and AltRightTV.com.

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The billboard has reportedly been in the area since 2013, but gained renewed attention when a white filmmaker recently stood in the spot with a Black Lives Matter sign and filmed the interactions he had with people in cars driving by.

The petition specifically calls on the company that owns the billboard, Pro-Signs, Inc. dba Harrison Sign Company, to remove the sign. 

"The billboards have done tremendous damage to our community by giving the impression that our citizens support their messages and don’t object to their presence," the petition reads.
 
According to CNN, the task force is directly reaching out to the company because they don't believe they'll have much luck with the landowner, the Rob Law Firm, which is reportedly owned by the son of the national director of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
 
Kelsey Bardwell, an attorney for the Harrison Community Task Force on Race Relations, told NBC affiliate KARK that the sign is an entrance to the town and it's "not the message our community wants to convey."
 
“It’s tarnishing our town’s name and preventing businesses from wanting to invest here, preventing employees from wanting to come and work here,” Bardwell said. “We can’t control whether they want to take that sign down. We are just asking them to do the right thing.”
 
In a joint statement to KARK, the mayor and Chamber of Commerce president and county judge said they have "taken community efforts to denounce racism on all fronts and we are committed to doing more."

"Our race relations task force has worked to successfully remove four of the five privately-owned billboards," they said. "They continue trying to remove the last one.”