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Arkansas Dem who once attended KKK rally accuses Republican of racism

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Robby Soave
Reporter

Arkansas state Rep. Butch Wilkins, a Democrat, blasted one of his Republican colleagues in the Arkansas state House for using racist language.

How did Wilkins know that former Rep. John Hubbard’s language was racist? Because Wilkins heard similar words and phrases at a Klu Klux Klan rally he once attended.

Wilkins took to Facebook recently to criticize a guest column written by Jon Hubbard in the Jonesboro Sun.

“How many of you have ever attended a Klan rally,” asked Wilkins in a Facebook post. “I did once out of pure curiosity in the early 1960’s. The babbling of the speaker is now available in the form of the guest columnist of the JBoro sun. Not the same man but very much the same words.”

The post has since been taken down.

In an interview with The Arkansas Project, Wilkins said his Facebook post was intended as a criticism of Hubbard, who has a history of making racially inflammatory statements.

“It’s just racist to me, a lot of it,” he said. “And that’s where I stand on it.”

But Hubbard’s column–which criticized globalism, secularism, leftism and Islam–made only a passing reference to race, calling for Christian of all races to preserve their faith.

Wilkins said he was just a teenager when he and a friend attended a KKK rally.

“I didn’t have no interest in it,” he said. “I just happened to go with another guy.”

Nic Horton, editor of The Arkansas Project, wrote that Wilkins’ attendance at the event was forgivable, being that it was the act of a much younger man more 50 years ago. Still, he said, someone who once attended a KKK rally has no business casually tossing around accusations of racism.

“It’s especially a mistake if the newspaper column in question said nothing racist at all — and it’s not a mistake that Rep. Wilkins can defend himself against by invoking his own youth and inexperience,” wrote Horton.

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