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Publisher’s Call For Klan “Ride” Is Inexcusable

Other Editors Say...

Has he lost his mind?

If so, the publisher of an Alabama newspaper who has called for lynching some federal legislators should check himself into a psychiatric hospital. If he hasn’t, then he should face criminal charges.

Goodloe Sutton of the tiny Democrat-Reporter authored and published an editorial suggesting it was “time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again.”

He is angry with lawmakers whom he believes are planning to raise taxes in Alabama.

Mr. Sutton believes the appropriate consequence is death by hanging. He doubleddown on his position, telling the Montgomery Advertiser, “If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all be better off. We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb, and hang all of them.”

Mr. Sutton’s speech goes beyond what’s federally protected. He is inciting violence. The FBI has been asked to investigate.

It is a strange turn of events for little Linden, Ala., the Democrat-Reporter newspaper and Mr. Sutton.

There was a day, about 20 years ago, when Mr. Sutton was being praised on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives for “his truly American heroism and dedication to the truth.”

He was given a congressional citation and was the subject of profiles in major publications for his reporting, which included a series of stories that ended with the arrest and conviction of a local sheriff and a couple of deputies who stole government funds.

What happened? Mr. Sutton’s vitriol comes amid reports of record-breaking gun violence involving children in 2018 and several mass shootings already in 2019.

He isn’t blasting away with a firearm, but his speech does violence to anyone with a soul. Its impact on the unhinged fringe? Who knows. And that he has easy access to a printing press? Frightening.

It’s an odd hope, but better for Mr. Sutton that he be unwell than so morally bankrupt. There could be treatment for the former.

If it is a case of the latter, his readers should put him out of business and the law should get involved.– Toledo Blade

Editor’s Note:

Sutton turned over control as editor/publisher of the newspaper to Elecia Dexter on Thursday, Feb. 21. Dexter then quit after she claimed interference by Sutton, the owner of the paper.



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