The Racial Divide in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Part I

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Harrisburg, PA – As reported by The Washington Post in 2008, the idea of a racial divide in the City of Harrisburg is not new to the election cycle, locally. In fact, the tense racial history of this city goes back for centuries.

Currently, in the aftermath of a local election which featured some smear campaigns, and became chippy at times, the incumbent Mayor Papenfuse has been reelected as the Democratic nominee for the upcoming general election, this fall. Now, ‘racial divide’ has resurfaced as an issue that has not yet found resolve in the fair city.

In a post-election interview, Mayoral challenger Lewis Butts issued a statement on his willingness to work with Papenfuse on the racial divide, and the need to make sure that all cultures are embraced:

 

From the follow-up commentary of the video, respondents describe a variety of opinions. One person said:

All cultures are not at a disadvantage, but black folk issues cannot be clumped with everyone else issues. We need to focus strictly on our own issues as black folk.

 

Of Papenfuse, another citizen mentioned:

[Papenfuse] needs a visionary, such as Lewis Butts, in his ear.

 

Of Butts, recent School Board Director elect, Carrie Fowler said:

Lewis Butts deserves a seat in [Papenfuse’s] administration. Harrisburg and it’s citizens would profit from his vision.

 

At a local polling center, city resident Beau Brown takes direct action towards unity, on the day of the election. Brown, and Tim Rowbottom are pictured here with the team of Gloria Martin-Roberts, an opposing challenger:

Brown comments:

Many of us had a great time running from poll to poll yesterday! While there was some mild tension (kind of fun), there was a lot of collective love for Harrisburg City.

Many of the Jennie Jenkins team had very great interactions, and discussions with members of the Gloria Martin-Roberts team while visiting these polls.

Mr. Eric R. Papenfuse – respectfully sir – this is how you heal divides. Just go talk to each other.

 

In another perspective on race, local BLM activist Katherine Lugaro, who is not happy about Papenfuse being reelected, also recently posted her disapproval of Sheriff David Clark joining forces with President Trump:

Exclusively for Harrisburg100, Lugaro offers a very in depth perspective on the controversy surrounding Sheriff David Clark:

Sheriff Clarke is a fascist that launched his career on Fox News as a self hating- black hating contributor. This is a trend at Fox, where they will pay/hire a self hating black gov’t official to come smear Black Lives Matter. Sheriff Clarke’s black hate reminds me of the old “Is WE sick boss” house negro, who will lay his life down for his white master and sell his fellow black slaves down the river. It’s the sickness of the House Negro, who runs the plantation and functions on the plantation as a free man…why would he want to upset the apple cart? Clarke is a fitting addition to the Trump Administration. No doubt about it…Clarke validates all the stereotypes held by rich white males in this country…why wouldn’t they love him? The list of reasons of why Clarke is a gross and telling pick for the Trump Administration goes on and on…. starting with Clarke seriously claiming that Black Lives Matter is going to work with ISIS to take over the country.

 

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