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"By promulgating such a law, Arkansas lawmakers bound themselves to a racial rhetoric that included an intense fear of African Americans who lived outside the constraints of slavery and so could not be controlled as easily. This fear increased in magnitude as the issue of slavery continued to divide the nation during the tumultuous decade of the 1850." And I would include an intense fear of African American men. I am from Fort Smith, Arkansas. I am glad I read some of these entries about early Fort Smith. And in particular the quote above because it explains a great deal about the problems some whites still harbor regarding African Americans. Until they acknowledge and understand their own fears and motivation, race relations will continue to be a longstanding problem always ready to erupt. And until then, White America is not post racial. And as long as they have problems with racism so will we, the most visible and most directly opposite of white.

Mary Christian
Los Angeles, CA