An Alabama newspaper drew an unprecedented censure Tuesday from the state’s press association this week after it ran an editorial calling for the return the Ku Klux Klan.
The bizarre plea, entitled “The Klan Needs to Ride Again,” was published by The Democrat-Reporter, a weekly in Linden, Alabama, on Valentine’s Day, published by Goodloe Sutton.
That drew the rebuke from the Alabama Press Association, as well as removal of Mr. Sutton from the University of Southern Mississippi’s journalism hall of fame. Auburn University has also voted to revoke a community journalism prize it once awarded him
.The Democrat-Reporter is headquartered in a town of fewer than 2,000 people in Marengo County, surrounded by Half Chance, Pin Hook, and Octagon about 50 miles east of Meridian, Mississippi. Linden’s population is about evenly split between African-American and white residents, according to census data.
The newspaper has not responded to questions about the editorial or its fallout. This week, no one responded to e-mails seeking comment, and no one answers the phone number, the voice mailbox of which is full
.In the editorial, Mr. Sutton’s newspaper said the KKK must “night ride again” to check Democrats and “Democrats in the Republican Party” who want to raise taxes.
“Seems like the Klan would be welcome to raid the gated communities up there,” the editorial said. “They call them compounds now. Truly, they are the ruling class.”
In his only comment since the editorial, Mr. Sutton was quoted in The Montgomery Advertiser as saying if the Klan would “clean up D.C., we’d all be better off.”
Mr. Sutton’s editorials are often given to remarkable prose and positions. In November, as midterm election recounts dragged on in Palm Beach and Broward counties, Mr. Sutton chided “Florida’s illiterate black election officials” for the debacle.