LINDEN, AL (Gray News) - An editor at a small-town Alabama newspaper would like to see the Ku Klux Klan “night ride again” to clean up Washington D.C.
In fact, Goodloe Sutton went so far as to publish an editorial in the Feb. 14 edition of the ironically named Democrat-Reporter that called for the Klan to ride against the “Democrats in the Republican Party” and the Democrats who are plotting to raise Alabama’s taxes.
“Seems like the Klan would be welcome to raid the gated communities up there. They call them compounds now. Truly, they are the ruling class,” Sutton wrote,
The Democrat-Reporter is based in Linden, AL, about 100 miles west of Montgomery. Sutton, who is also the publisher, has worked there since 1964 and inherited the paper from his father.
He confirmed with the Montgomery Advertiser that he penned the editorial, in which he claimed that after the Civil War, former slaves would borrow robes and horses from their former masters and ride to scare off evil-doers.
The editorial railed against the socialist-communist ideology that “sounds good to the ignorant, uneducated and the simple-minded people.”
Sutton also recommended lynching when asked what he meant by cleaning up D.C.
"We'll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them," Sutton told the newspaper. "... 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?"
Despite bringing up lynching, Sutton said he doesn’t see the KKK as a violent or racist organization. He even compared it to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
“Well, they didn’t kill but a few people," Sutton said. “The Klan wasn’t violent until they needed to be.”
The editorial was first discovered by Mikayla Burns and Chip Brownlee. Burns is the managing editor at The Auburn Plainsman and Brownlee is the student-paper’s editor-in-chief.
“As a newspaper editor myself, it’s disturbing to see this type of editorial printed,” Brownlee said in an email to the Advertiser. “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.”