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Pinehurst's Neighboring Community Uses U.S. Open To Show Inequality

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Oneal Russ
JACKSON HAMLET, N.C. — Communities around Pinehurst are excited about the U.S. Open and their reason has nothing to do with golf.

Residents of Jackson Hamlet, a community of 300 people, are using the tournament to show what they say is a huge inequality between the wealthy white communities and the surrounding black communities.

On Friday, they took civil rights advocates on a tour of their community.

"It's so important to me that I'm willing to stick with this issue for a long time," said Oneal Russ, who moved to Jackson Hamlet 40 years ago. "As long as God gives me breath, I'm committed to this."

Residents are asking Moore County leaders to pay for a sewer project, something the county did not include in its budget.

"There are other areas that it's a priority just as much," said Moore County Commissioner Michael Holden. "We have to allocate resources throughout the county."

Steve Bouser is editor of the local newspaper, The Pilot, which has been vocal on the issue.

"Let's face it, that in a community like this, with 43 golf courses, a community that can bring in the U.S. Open, that you still have these neglected pockets of people that don't enjoy the services most of us do," Bouser said.

With the U.S. Open on the horizon, the community sees this as a chance to shine the spotlight on itself and stop living in the shadow of towns such as Aberdeen and Pinehurst.


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