JONESBORO, Ark. – The Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Director is in hot water after making a racially insensitive Tweet on his personal Twitter account in recent days.
Several NEA Report readers reached out Tuesday, indicating an inappropriate message was sent out by Jonesboro Parks and Recreation Director Wixson Huffstetler. One reader anonymously sent a screenshot of the message in question along.
In the Tweet, Huffstetler wrote, above a photo of black protesters, “And they wonder why they are profiled. #idiots.”
The protesters in question were at the I-40 bridge in Memphis, some standing on vehicles and others blocking traffic, over the weekend following nationwide outrage over the deaths of individuals in police custody.
Mayor Harold Perrin issued a statement to media saying he would “not abide” any
insensitive statements insulting or damaging to citizens and that “appropriate action would be taken.” It was not clear from the statement what Perrin intended to do about the matter.
As for Huffstetler’s Twitter account, it has since been deactivated and the account, along with the Tweet, are no longer visible. City of Jonesboro Director of Communication Bill Campbell sent along a statement from Huffstetler about the issue.
“I made a serious mistake using social media and I apologize to each and every resident of Jonesboro,” Huffstetler’s statement said. “In a moment of frustration over the fact that a child could not get to medical attention because of a protest roadblock, I vented inappropriately and in a way that does not reflect my heart. In doing so, I hurt people I love, and offended many who don’t know me well and might not be willing to give me the benefit of the doubt. I apologize also to my staff in the Parks and Recreation Department and to Mayor Harold Perrin.”