Editorial in SW AR paper upsets folks in De Queen, Nashville

Editorial in SW AR paper upsets folks in De Queen, Nashville

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The publisher and owner of a southwest Arkansas newspaper is taking to the airwaves to apologize for a column he wrote that upset the residents of two towns.

Nashville News Publisher and Owner Mike Graves wrote an editorial about his experience at a recent high school football game between De Queen and Nashville. Residents of both towns felt there was a racist tone to the article.

"Here at Nashville we do not support this, we do not agree with it," said Nashville Mayor Billy Jones.  "Rivalries between towns are for high schools."

In the editorial, Graves wrote, "I was really embarrassed for the decent citizens of De Queen, especially when the prayer and our national anthem were ignored by the thugs in the crowd who kept their caps on.

"We heard someone say they played the wrong national anthem and might should have prayed in their "new language." How sad."

"I think it is incredible racist. My husband is Hispanic and my girls both are Hispanic and they are going to be going to De Queen and possibly Nashville schools," said De Queen Resident Christina Marrufo.

Another resident, Rosa Valazquze, said," This is directly to Mr. Graves - we are educated we, are not thugs. We are very disgusted by the comments because it was generalizing and we are not everything that he said we were."

Lorene Hinton, a talk show host on De Queen radio station KDQN, said the article generated a lot of talk after it was published.

"We discussed that it was not good for the school, it was not good for De Queen and at the same token it was not good for Nashville as well because it painted them with a bad brush," he said.

Mr. Graves did not want to speak publicly about the editorial, but he has bought radio time to try and apologize to the residents of both towns.

Part of the radio ad says, "I'd like to express my sincere regret for offending the citizens of De Queen, Arkansas and anyone who took personal offense to the poorly worded article."

Nashville resident Tina Carter offered her thoughts on the situation, "People need to put a lot of thought (into what they say) when they speak out, especially if they have a public voice like a news paper."

A Facebook page was built by residents upset with the editorial. You can see it by clicking here.

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