A billboard perched along a Harrison, Arkansas highway has caused quite a bit of controversy since its resurrection for the seemingly racist message it portrays, so one man thought it would be a good idea to change one of the words in an effort to stop the spread of hate. Now, that man has been arrested for vandalism and is facing charges of first-degree criminal mischief.
“Anti-Racist is a Code Word for Anti-White,” reads the controversial billboard in the small Arkansas community. There has been a lot of debate surrounding this billboard, with many saying that it is racist and offensive, and others saying that it is an exercise in free speech.
Chad Watkins, 47, believed that it promoted racism and wanted to stop the small town from getting a bad reputation, so late one night, the man took a can of spray paint and replaced “Anti-White” with the word “Love.”
A person reportedly witnessed the act of vandalism taking place and was able to write down the plate number of the vehicle leaving the scene. That led police to Watkins, and now the man is being charged.
The person behind the billboard remains anonymous but has said that it is a political statement. There is reportedly a one-year contract to keep the billboard up. Reports claim that there is a branch of the Ku Klux Klan not far from Harrison and that the city has been trying to repair its racist image for a long time.