Alabama lawmakers are calling for the resignation of a small-town newspaper editor who published an editorial calling for the Ku Klux Klan to return and “night ride again.”
The Feb. 14 editorial in the weekly Democrat-Reporter in the west Alabama town of Linden called for the KKK to act against “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats” for “plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.”
When contacted by the Montgomery Advertiser, editor and publisher Goodloe Sutton confirmed he had written the editorial—and doubled down on his remarks. “If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out DC, we’d all been better off,” Sutton said, explaining that by “cleaning out,” he means lynching: “We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb, and hang all of them,” he said.
Sutton, who inherited the paper from his father, said he wasn’t calling for the lynching of real Americans. “These are socialist-communists we’re talking about,” he said.
When asked if he saw the KKK as group of violent racists, Sutton claimed they were more like the NAACP. “Well, they didn’t kill but a few people,” he said. “The Klan wasn’t violent until they needed to be.”
The editorial was first brought to wider attention in a tweet from Auburn Plainsman reporter Chip Brownlee, who expressed amazement that it was published in 2019.
“What rock did this guy crawl out from under?” Sen. Doug Jones said of Sutton in a tweet Monday night. “This editorial is absolutely disgusting & he should resign – NOW!” Rep. Terri Sewell also urged Sutton to step down, reports AL.com. (Last week, a West Virginia lawmaker likened gays to the KKK.)