The editor of the Democrat-Reporter newspaper, Goodloe Sutton, declared in a Feb. 14 editorial that it is “time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again,” as The Washington Post points out. No, you didn’t misread that. Yes, our world is in shambles.
These virulent comments are by no means surprising to the residents of the newspaper’s home base, Linden, Ala. 38-year-old Judson Coleman, who is black, told the Montgomery Advertiser that the Democrat-Reporter has “called for violence against minorities for years.”
While the editorial was run sans byline, Sutton confirmed to the Advertiser that he wrote the hate-mongering piece. The 79-year-old claimed that the white supremacist group should have a resurgence (not that they ever entirely disappeared) in order to punish “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats” who allegedly plan on hiking taxes in Alabama.
The Advertiser asked Sutton to clarify his position, and he replied, “If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off.”
Later, when the Advertiser asked about whether he as an editor for the Linden-based newspaper should be calling for such violence, Sutton added, ” ... It’s not calling for the lynchings of Americans. These are socialist-communists we’re talking about. Do you know what socialism and communism is [sic]?”
This shouldn’t need saying, but the KKK is a racist hate group and promoting lynchings is downright evil. However, according to Sutton, the KKK didn’t go around intimidating and terrorizing black families out of racist fervor. No, they waited until it was “needed”—and Sutton even bizarrely compared the organization to the NAACP.
“A violent organization? Well, they didn’t kill but a few people. The Klan wasn’t violent until they needed to be,” he told the Advertiser.
Make no mistake—these are not just the crazed ramblings of an old man with an ass-backwards point of view. They also represent a very real threat by an increasingly emboldened, xenophobic facet of the population.
Alabama lawmakers have called for Sutton’s resignation—see below. The editor has also been removed from his alma mater’s Communication Hall of Fame.