The publisher of an Alabama newspaper confirmed that he authored an editorial that called for the return of the Ku Klux Klan to "ride again" because of rising taxes in the state.
On Feb. 14, a short editorial ran in The Democrat-Reporter in Linden, Alabama under the headline "Klan needs to ride again." The paper is not published online, but journalists in the state shared photos of the editorial in that day's paper.
The piece, which ran without a byline, claimed that "Democrats in the Republican party and Democrats are planning to raise taxes," and that the Klan would be "welcome to raid the gated communities up there (Washington)."
"Sometimes, (the Klan) had to kill one or two (freed slaves), but so what," the editorial also said.
On Monday evening, the Montgomery Advertiser reached out to the Democrat-Reporter's publisher, Goodloe Sutton, who confirmed that he had written the editorial. When asked about his piece, he doubled down.
"If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we'd all be better off," Sutton told the Advertiser. "We'll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them."
Sutton claimed he was calling for the lynchings of "socialist-communists," implying that people with such beliefs were not Americans.
Sutton also compared the KKK to the NAACP, saying the KKK "didn't kill but a few people."
"The Klan wasn't violent until they needed to be," Sutton told the Advertiser.
According to the National Memorial for Peace and Justice , more than 4,400 African Americans were killed by white mobs between 1877 and 1950 — many of those at the hands of the KKK.
Sutton has worked at the newspaper since 1964. In the '90s, Sutton and the paper earned
on a series of pieces exposing corruption in the sheriff's office in Marengo County.