Hacking threat reported in Harrison as racial controversy continues | Arkansas Blog

Hacking threat reported in Harrison as racial controversy continues


Arkansas Times contributor Sam Eifling writes for The New Republic about anonymous hacking threats received by Harrison police after news of another racially inflammatory billboard in the city, historically infamous as a "sundown town" unfriendly to blacks.

City leaders have worked mightily in recent years to show city progress, but efforts have been set back by attention to racist billboards, the latest leased by a leader of the KKK who lives nearby.

The daily newspaper in Harrison, Arkansas—a town you may know, if at all, as a Ku Klux Klan refuge—reported Thursday that someone claiming affiliation with the hacker group Anonymous made a couple of calls to the local police station this week. In the calls, placed from numbers in two Boston suburbs, an automated voice warned that if the city didn't properly address its racism problem within the next week, there would be consequences. A reporter reached actual people at those numbers and was told that for being "the most racist fucking community in the country," the group was prepared to launch a cyberattack against residents and the city, gathering their credit card numbers and other sensitive data.

Eifling's article notes that there's some resistance to the notion that Harrison has anything to atone for.

One famous white supremacist who welcomes reporters to his home can, over the years, develop a reputation that overwhelms everyone in a small town who pushes back.

"It's a very nebulous thing to try to grab ahold of," Rob McCorkindale, a founding member of the Harrison Community Task Force on Race Relations, said. "And there's resistance. A substantial portion of our population denies Harrison has this negative image. In the realm of politics, if you have faith, then you disregard facts."

Still, Eifling concludes, a couple of billboards and a hate-monger who doesn't reside in Harrison seem small justification for attacking a whole city.

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