Also on the race beat and the theme of where we stand 60 years after Central High:
Anti-racist organizations posted on Facebook over the weekend photographs and news (here the Boston Mountains ARA) about a meeting of a white supremacist organization led by the infamous Billy Roper that was held at the Mean Bean coffee shop in Conway. The Mean Bean page was inundated with unflattering comments and vows to take coffee business elsewhere. All that conversation has now been removed.
In its place, the Mean Bean has posted this apology (following an earlier post distancing itself from the event).
Recently, a long time employee asked if our business could be used after hours for a political meeting of a conservative group. We questioned the employee in detail about the purposes of the gathering and we were assured that no extremist or other hateful views would be exchanged as we do not condone that. We were leaving town for the weekend after our family had suffered a loss. Our mistake was trusting an employee, who in hindsight, should not have been trusted. We are appalled that the employee hijacked our business to provide a platform for hate and we absolutely denounce it and all forms of hate.
Steps have been taken to insure this does not happen again, and the employee has been fired. We absolutely love our community and it’s diversity. Through the years, our business has made positive contributions to our community and we will continue to do so. We are sorry for our mistake and ask for your forgiveness.
Comments are pouring in, pro and con.
I confess I tried to ignore this controversy when it first developed because, inevitably, it achieves exactly what Roper desires — publicity.