Can viral videos impact how people view a city?

Local

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – We’ve all seen videos go viral of incidents in other cities around the country.

A recent video of a dispute between neighbors in Owensboro, which includes the use of racial slurs, brings up the question of how those videos can affect someone’s view of the city.

Phone videos posted earlier this week on Reddit and Instagram show a dispute between neighbors over what some say is a property dispute, It also happens in the middle of Owensboro’s efforts to keep a good image for tourists and other visitors. The video shows one neighbor hitting a fence with a sledge hammer, while people were yelling back and forth. People can also be heard using racial slurs in the video.

“It’s not putting a very good image of Owensboro,” said Thomas Crabtree of Owensboro, after he saw the video.

“People get mad over something simple, and I thought people here in Owensboro were more polite than that. It would have been easier if someone had said, ‘Hey, please, don’t do that,'” adds Diana Miranda of Owensboro.

Iris Nard is one of the neighbors. She says the dispute stems from a disagreement over a property line, which includes who controls a driveway between the two houses.

“When they do things, and when I say about them blocking, my daughter can’t go to work, or something, then we got to argue because they won’t move,” she described.

This happens as the city promotes its awards and honors. Rhondalyn Randolph of the Owensboro chapter of the NAACP says negative viral videos can put a negative image out there, but it also highlights the needs that race related issues must be addressed.

“I just I hate that something like this is being shown as the base of what is taking place in our city. But we know that there are racial issues that need to be addressed within our community with regard to discrimination, hiring, and being more inclusive across the board,” she says.

We also reached out to Mayor Tom Watson, who told us videos like that one can impact someone’s view of city. Owensboro Police say they are aware of the video and are looking in to it.

We also reached out to the other family in the dispute, but were unable to reach them for comment.

(This story was originally published on March 26, 2021)

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