What’s Going On?: Editor of Small-Town Alabama Newspaper Calls for ‘the Ku Klux Klan to Night Ride Again’ and ‘Clean Out D.C.’

In this photo from Advertiser archives, Democrat-Reporter Publisher Goodloe Sutton reviews an article in 2015 about the paper moving to a new location. (Photo11: Alvin Benn/Special to the Advertiser)

The editor of a small-town Alabama newspaper published an editorial calling for “the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again” against “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats (who) are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.”

Goodloe Sutton, who is the publisher of the Democrat-Reporter newspaper in Linden, confirmed to the Montgomery Advertiser on Monday that he authored the Feb. 14 editorial calling for the return of a white supremacist hate group.

“If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off,” Sutton said.

Asked to elaborate what he meant by “cleaning up D.C.,” Sutton suggested lynching.

“We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them,” Sutton said.

When asked if he felt it was appropriate for the publisher of a newspaper to call for the lynching of Americans, Sutton doubled down on his position.

“… 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?” Sutton said.

In the newspaper editorial, Sutton wrote:

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.

When asked if he recognized the KKK as a racist and violent organization, Sutton disagreed, comparing the Klan to the NAACP.

“A violent organization? Well, they didn’t kill but a few people,” Sutton said. “The Klan wasn’t violent until they needed to be.”

Sutton, 79, said he didn’t know any Klan remaining in the area, stating most died out after the 1960s.

The editor said he welcomed people to call him, write him a letter or boycott him.

Sutton, who has worked at the paper since 1964, inherited the publication from his father. Sutton and the newspaper received national acclaim in the 1990s for their reporting on a corrupt local sheriff. Sutton and his wife, Jane, reported a series of stories of misused funds and abuse of power.

The New York Times in 1998 reported Sutton and the Democrat-Reporter lost advertising dollars and subscribers over their reporting.

In 2007, Sutton was inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Communication Hall of Fame for the couple’s anti-corruption articles and editorials.

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SOURCE: Montgomery Advertiser, Melissa Brown