After an editorial published in a small Alabama newspaper called for the Ku Klux Klan to lynch politicians, critics are calling for the resignation of the paper's editor.
USA Today reports Goodloe Sutton, the publisher of the Democrat-Reporter newspaper in Linden, Alabama, admitted to writing an editorial that calls for violence against politicians in Washington, D.C.
Due to the efforts of the local paper the Montgomery Advertiser, Sutton's controversial Feb. 14 article has hurled his paper into the national spotlight. Journalists Chip Brownlee and Mikayla Burns of The Auburn Plainsman also shared the editorial online Monday grabbing the attention of politicians.
The article entitled "the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again" seemingly intended to serve as a critical takedown of supposed "Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats [who] are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama."
In it, Sutton argues the KKK could put Washington, D.C., on the right track through heinous, violent acts.
"They do not understand how to eliminate expenses when money is needed in other areas," he wrote. "This socialist-communist ideology sounds good to the ignorant, the uneducated, and the simple-minded people."
Sutton doesn't back down from his garish criticism. Instead, he doubles down calling socialists/communists un-American. "If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we'd all been better off," Sutton told the Advertiser.
By cleaning up, the publisher meant lynching. "We'll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them," Sutton added.
To Sutton, the KKK is not a violent organization. He downplayed the racial terror the group carried out on Black people, claiming the organization was like the NAACP.
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The paper only serves about 3,000 people. In its history, the small town paper gained national attention for covering the corruption case of Sheriff Roger Davis, who pleaded guilty to extorting money from a bail bondsman. There were awards and praise from high-ranking politicians years ago. But such esteem is quickly waning as Sutton is now at the center of a racial firestorm.
Alabama U.S. Sen. Doug Jones and U.S. Rep. Terri A. Sewell are calling for his resignation of the paper he owns.
OMG! What rock did this guy crawl out from under? This editorial is absolutely disgusting & he should resign -NOW!— Doug Jones (@DougJones) February 19, 2019
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
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
While it seems unlikely the publisher will vacate his post, other rewards and accolades seem to be removed due to his article. Brownlee shared on Twitter the University of Southern Mississippi’s Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame has removed Sutton from its prestigious journalism hall of fame.
Goodloe Sutton — the editor-publisher who wrote an editorial calling for the return of the Klan — is being removed from the University of Southern Mississippi’s Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame. pic.twitter.com/MYJEMpTCPj— Chip Brownlee (@ByChipBrownlee) February 19, 2019
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