This article originally appeared on VICE News US.
As far as the publisher of a small Alabama newspaper is concerned, it’s time for the Ku Klux Klan to “night ride again,” because politicians are touting a “socialist-communist ideology.”
Goodloe Sutton, publisher of the Democrat-Reporter in Linden — a rural town of under 2,000 residents, about 41 percent of whom are black — wrote in a Feb. 14 editorial that the white supremacist group should “raid the gated communities” as “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.” The newspaper doesn’t have a website, but the editorial was seen by another Alabama paper, the Montgomery Advertiser. The Advertiser called Sutton to follow up on the meaning of the editorial, at which point he suggested lynching “socialist-communists.” Sutton also disagreed with the paper that the Ku Klux Klan is a recognized, racist hate group.
Politicians in the state, including Democratic Sen. Doug Jones, are now calling on Sutton to resign from the paper, which the Sutton family has owned for a century.
“Words matter. Actions matter. Resign now!” Jones wrote in a tweet Monday night.
The editorial reads, according to the Montgomery Advertiser:
“Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again.
Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.
They do not understand how to eliminate expenses when money is needed in other areas. This socialist-communist ideology sounds good to the ignorant, the uneducated, and the simple-minded people.
People who do not understand the constitution do not like to be responsible.
Slaves, just freed after the Civil War, were not stupid. At times, they borrowed their former masters’ robes and horses and rode through the night to frighten some evil-doer. Sometimes they had to kill one or two of them, but so what.
This is the same so what was used (sic) when Democrats got us into World War I and World War II. Then they got us fighting in Korea. Next when the industrial Northeast wanted more money, they got us in the Vietnam war, and now in the Middle East war.
If you haven’t noticed, they did away with the draft so their sons would not have to go into battle.
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.”
The Sutton family has owned the paper since 1917, and it won several journalism awards for reporting on a corrupt county sheriff’s department in the late 1990s, according to AL.com. The paper was even honored on the Congressional floor in 1998, when Democratic Rep. Earl Hilliard said Sutton’s “story is a shining example of the best and the brightest which occurs in America when a single citizen has the bravery to stand alone, in the face of mounting pressure and odds, and stands up for justice and equality,” according to the Washington Post.
Cover: Members of various Ku Klux Klan organizations from Alabama, Florida, Texas and Louisiana marched through downtown Jennings, La., Saturday, April 28, 2001, for a rally in front of the Jennings Public Safety Building. In all, about 40 KKK members marched and held a 40-minute rally. (AP Photo/American Press, Shawn Martin)