The editor of a small weekly Alabama newspaper is facing an avalanche of criticism after penning an editorial calling on the KKK to return and stop Alabama lawmakers whom he said were plotting to raise taxes in the state.
The editorial was written and published by Goodloe Sutton, the editor of the small Democrat-Reporter newspaper in Linden, Ala. In the editorial, Sutton declared that it’s time “for the KKK to night ride again” as “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.”
Sutton wrote that Democrats “do not understand how to eliminate expenses when money is needed in other areas,” adding that “this socialist-communist ideology sounds good to the ignorant, the uneducated, and the simple-minded people.”
Instead of stopping at the Alabama statehouse, Sutton said the KKK should “raid the gated communities” up in Washington DC.
When approached for comment about the editorial by a reporter for the Montgomery Advertiser, Sutton doubled-down on his controversial commentary while comparing the KKK to the NAACP. He added that he wasn’t calling for the lynchings of “Americans” – but of “socialist-communists”.
He said the country would ultimately be better off if the KKK could “get the hemp ropes out” and hang all of the elites in Washington.
“…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?” Sutton said.
When asked if he recognized the KKK as a racist and violent organization, Sutton disagreed, comparing the Klan to the NAACP.
“A violent organization? Well, they didn’t kill but a few people,” Sutton said. “The Klan wasn’t violent until they needed to be.”
As the backlash to the editorial grows and Alabama lawmakers demand that Sutton resign from his position (which would likely be tantamount to closing the tiny 3,000-circulation weekly newspaper), the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Mass Communication and Journalism has removed Sutton from its Hall of Fame.
OMG! What rock did this guy crawl out from under? This editorial is absolutely disgusting & he should resign -NOW!
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! https://t.co/V1V1vxDBKH
— Doug Jones (@DougJones) February 19, 2019
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. These comments are deeply offensive and inappropriate, especially in 2019. Mr. Sutton should apologize and resign. https://t.co/AOYYGINEdh
— Rep. Terri A. Sewell (@RepTerriSewell) February 19, 2019
Sutton’s family has owned the paper since 1917. He has worked there since 1964, and previously published an award-winning investigation back in the 1990s that led to the federal indictment of an Alabama sheriff. He published that series with his late wife, Jean, who died in 2003.