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Hummingbird mural painted over racial slur graffiti in Little Rock

A Little Rock man was jogging one morning across the overpass near MacArthur Park in Little Rock when he saw a racial slur spray painted across the walls.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Chris Attic was jogging Monday morning across the overpass near MacArthur Park in Little Rock when he saw a racial slur spray painted across the walls of the bridge.

He continued his run, but couldn't help but go back to snap a photo of the painted graffiti spelling out the N-word.

"The fact that that is the entrance to MacArthur park for folks that live here on the south side of 630, and I thought of my neighbors and my friends crossing that bridge and seeing that word," said Attic.

He posted the image to social media which prompted outrage from other downtown Little Rock neighbors. He wrote: 

I want to post the unredacted version, as a reminder of the ugliness that thrives in Arkansas, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Can I clean it off myself - or paint over it? I don’t want the city to send a Black man to clean up white supremacy.

"I've got a friend of mine who's a Vietnam vet who's Black and I thought of him seeing that word and thinking somebody here who lives in that town thinks of him that way," said Attic. 

An anonymous artist decided to paint over the racial slur with the image of a hummingbird and a message trailed behind it that reads, "More Human Kindness."

Tanya Hollifield has volunteered to paint the 7th Street murals and said hate speech being displayed through graffiti art isn't new. Instead of focusing on the people who perpetuate the hate, she encourages love overpowering their message.

"I'd rather see somebody put something pretty and something positive over anything that is negative. No hate speech," said Hollifield.

Many people have said they wanted to paint more of the walls on and around the overpass, but the structure is under the direction and control of ARDOT since it's over the highway. 

"It could hide a potential structural flaw. If there's something developing there and then you put a different color, obviously it's going to hide that and disguise that and we may not be able to see that or detect it as easily," said Dave Parker with ARDOT.

Parker encourages people to send in complaints and sightings to ARDOT so crews can go out to paint over graffiti with the same color paint as the structure, but for Attic, he was just appreciative of the immediate response from his neighbors.  

"It made me feel good to see that folks in the community responded in similar ways and that people jumped on board to find a way to get rid of the word," said Attic.