FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFTA) — The letters “KKK” that were once visible on several buildings in Fort Smith are now covered with stars resembling the U.S Marshals emblem.
The letters that were symbolizing the white supremacist group Ku Klux Klan were welded onto three buildings in downtown Fort Smith.
“They didn’t want to make any more misconceptions about who we are in Fort Smith, Arkansas. And I’m very proud of them,” says Mayor George McGill. “I applaud the people from those buildings that made the decision and made it quickly. It cost them money but they did the right thing.”
Mayor McGill says he reached out to the owners of the buildings, discussing the perception of the letters in a city that prides itself on being welcoming to everyone.
They agreed to cover them.
“I think the point to make is that how open our citizens are to listening to one another, and doing an honest assessment of what needs to be done and then taking action,” McGill said.
The idea of replacing KKK with Marshals stars is something he calls fitting for this community.
“We are a community where the Marshals have been recognized for many many years. In fact, we are building the home of the U.S. Marshals Museum right here right now.”
Fox 24 reached out to the owners of the buildings, but have yet to hear back.