Just when we thought Virginia had taken the heat off of Alabama as the state most likely to be racially embarrassed, along comes the publisher of the Democrat-Reporter newspaper in Linden to put us back on the map.
Publisher Goodloe Sutton ran an opinion column in his 2,000-circulation newspaper last week that suggests he’s either addicted to cough syrup or was kicked in the head by whatever jackass he rode to work that day. Sutton’s piece, titled “Klan needs to ride again,” is a rambling screed calling for the infamous white supremacists’ group to protect the state from Democrats and “socialist-communists” in Washington, D.C.
The 202-word column blames Democrats for both World Wars, the Korean War, war in Vietnam and the current wars in the Middle East. But the real lesson comes from Sutton’s history lesson on former slaves.
“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,” he wrote.
He also suggested the Ku Klux Klan’s terroristic tactics would be ideal for handling the problems in D.C.
“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,” he wrote.
If all that wasn’t bad enough, Sutton dug in deeper when contacted by the Montgomery Advertiser about his column.
“If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off,” Sutton reportedly said. Asked to elaborate on what he meant by “cleaning up D.C.,” Sutton suggested lynching, according to the paper.
“We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them,” Sutton said.
The Advertiser also reported Sutton defended Klan violence as well.
“A violent organization? Well, they didn’t kill but a few people,” Sutton reportedly said. “The Klan wasn’t violent until they needed to be.”
Sutton, 79, inherited the Democrat-Reporter from his father and has been working at the paper for roughly 54 years. He is reported to have told the Advertiser reporter that people were welcome to write him or boycott his paper. I have little doubt he’ll get both of those wishes.
He and his wife were inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi Journalism School’s hall of fame in 2007, but that honor is reportedly being rescinded in light of this latest column. In the ‘90s the paper was lauded with several journalism awards for its coverage of the Marengo County Sheriff’s Department.
After student journalists brought this latest column to light, Sutton and his paper have gone viral in the worst kind of way. People are digging up past racist articles in the paper from years ago and putting them on the web. The Democrat-Reporter doesn’t have a web page, which is probably one reason these types of articles weren’t noticed sooner.
The paper celebrated its 100th anniversary just two years ago.
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