The editorial in the Democrat-Reporter newspaper in Linden, Alabama, said the KKK “would be welcome to raid the gated communities up there,” apparently referring to where Democrats and “Democrats in the Republican Party” live in and around Washington, D.C.
The editorial blamed both for “plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.”
Goodloe Sutton, the newspaper’s publisher, told the Montgomery Advertiser that he wrote the editorial.
He was unapologetic.
“If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off,” he told the newspaper. “We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them.”
Sutton also claimed he was not calling for the lynching of Americans.
“These are socialist-communists we’re talking about,” he explained.
Sutton also railed against the “socialist-communist ideology” in his editorial, saying it was for “the ignorant, the uneducated, and the simple-minded people.”
Lawmakers from the state slammed Sutton and urged him to resign:
OMG! What rock did this guy crawl out from under? This editorial is absolutely disgusting & he should resign -NOW!
I have seen what happens when we stand by while people-especially those with influence- publish racist, hateful views.
Words matter. Actions matter. Resign now! https://t.co/V1V1vxDBKH
— Doug Jones (@DougJones) February 19, 2019
For the millions of people of color who have been terrorized by white supremacy, this kind of “editorializing” about lynching is not a joke – it is a threat. These comments are deeply offensive and inappropriate, especially in 2019. Mr. Sutton should apologize and resign. https://t.co/AOYYGINEdh
— Rep. Terri A. Sewell (@RepTerriSewell) February 19, 2019
Sutton was inducted into the University of Southern Mississippi’s Mass Communications and Journalism Hall of Fame in 2007, along with his wife, Jean Sutton, who died in 2003.
A USA Today profile of the Democrat-Reporter from 2015 painted a portrait of a struggling operation that’s lost more than half of its subscribers with a history of “racial references” in headlines.
One example given: “Selma black thugs murder Demopolite Saturday night.”