The editor of a small city Alabama newspaper published an editorial that raised many concerns.
Goodloe Sutton, the longtime editor of the Democrat-Reporter in Linden called for the return of the Ku Klux Klan to clean Washington, DC of the Democrats and Republicans he says want to raise taxes in Alabama.
“Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again,” Goodloe Sutton, who runs the Democrat-Reporter in Linden, wrote last Thursday. “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.”
“People who do not understand the constitution do not like to be responsible. Slaves, just freed after the civil war, were not stupid. At times, they borrowed their former masters’ robes and horses and rode through the night to frighten some evil doer. Sometimes they had to kill one or two of them, but so what.”
Concluding the article, he believes the “Klan would be welcome to raid the gated communities up there.” The Montgomery Advertiser asked Sutton about the piece, he restated saying that “if we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out DC, we’d all been better off.”
“We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them.”
Sutton, who has worked at the Democrat-Reporter since 1964, tried to defend himself saying he wasn’t “calling for the lynchings of Americans. These are socialist-communists we’re talking about.” He proceeded to compare the KKK to the NAACP when asked if the Klan was racist and violent.
“A violent organization? Well, they didn’t kill but a few people,” he said. “The Klan wasn’t violent until they needed to be.”
Us. Sen Doug Jones (D-Ala.) and US Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) both ordered the editor to resign.
“OMG! What rock did this guy crawl out from under? This editorial is absolutely disgusting & he should resign -NOW!” Jones tweeted Monday night. “I have seen what happens when we stand by while people-especially those with influence- publish racist, hateful views. Words matter. Actions matter. Resign now!”
Sewell tweeted about the article as well.
“For the millions of people of color who have been terrorized by white supremacy, this kind of ‘editorializing’ about lynching is not a joke – it is a threat,” she wrote. “These comments are deeply offensive and inappropriate, especially in 2019. Mr. Sutton should apologize and resign.”
Chip Brownlee, editor-in-chief of the Auburn Plainsman, Auburn University’s student-run newspaper, originally found the article and posted it online Monday.
“Granted, I’m the editor of a student newspaper, but all newspapers should be held to the highest ethical and moral standards. Editorials should be about new ideas, constructive criticism and opinion backed up by facts. To call for the return of domestic terrorism — no matter its form — is counterproductive and wrong. It’s important to welcome and encourage differing opinions, but violence is never right.”
Although many slammed Sutton for the “ignorance” he’s apparently displayed for years, the head of the Alabama Press Association said that the state trade association for papers has “no authority over what” the member newspapers publish.
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