Sunday, December 5, 2021

Arkansas Official Apologizes for Racist FB Post about Black Protesters

Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Director Wixon Huffstetler
Jonesboro, AR Parks and Recreation Director Wixon Huffstetler

*A government official in Jonesboro, Arkansas will be punished for a comment he posted on Facebook regarding protesters marching against the recent police shootings of black men.

On Sunday, the demonstrators shut down a portion of Interstate 40 in Memphis, Arkansas.

Black Lives Matter protesters gather Sunday on the Hernando de Soto Bridge in Memphis. Protesters occupied the bridge over the Mississippi River, blocking traffic on Interstate 40.
Black Lives Matter protesters gather Sunday on the Hernando de Soto Bridge in Memphis. Protesters occupied the bridge over the Mississippi River, blocking traffic on Interstate 40.

In response, Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Director Wixon Huffstetler posted a comment with a picture of the I-40 protesters and the caption, “And they wonder why they are profiled.” He added the hashtag “#idiots”.

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Regarding Huffstetler’s punishment, Jonesboro’s mayor said “appropriate action will be taken,” but didn’t specify what that might entail.

Huffstetler, meanwhile, apologized for his post in the following statement:

“I made a serious mistake using social media, and I apologize to each and every resident of Jonesboro. In a moment of frustration over the fact that a child could not get to medical attention because of a protest roadblock, I vented inappropriately and in a way that does not reflect my heart. In doing so, I hurt people I love, and offended many who don’t know me well and might not be willing to give me the benefit of the doubt. I apologize also to my staff in the Parks and Recreation Department and to Mayor Harold Perrin.”

Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin issued the following statement about the post:

“I am disappointed in the decision to post this comment on social media,” stated Mayor Perrin. “It contradicts the opinions and attitudes of the City of Jonesboro, and I will not abide any action, intended or unintended, that insults or damages our citizens. Appropriate action will be taken.”

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