A newspaper in Alabama has called on the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) to “raid” Washington DC in an editorial railing against Democrats and “socialist-communist ideology”.
The column, which paints Democrats as a “ruling class” that needed to be challenged and that it was “time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again”, was published on Valentines Day in The Democrat-Reporter, a local paper in Linden.
Goodloe Sutton, the paper’s editor, confirmed he was the author to local media on Monday and stepped up his calls for the return of the white supremacist group.
“If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out DC, we'd all been better off,” he told the Montgomery Advertiser, adding: "We'll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them.”
Mr Sutton denied he was calling for the lynching of Americans, but “socialist-communists”, who he said in the editorial were “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats [who] are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama”.
The newspaper editor defended the KKK as non-violent “until they needed to be” and killing “but a few people”.
On Monday evening, Alabama senator Doug Jones called for Mr Sutton’s immediate resignation.
“OMG! What rock did this guy crawl out from under? This editorial is absolutely disgusting and he should resign – NOW!” Mr Jones tweeted.
“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!"
Terri Sewell, an African-American congresswoman for Alabama, also called for Mr Sutton to quit.
“For the millions of people of colour who have been terrorised by white supremacy, this kind of ‘editorialising’ about lynching is not a joke – it is a threat. These comments are deeply offensive and inappropriate, especially in 2019,” she tweeted.
Social media users accused the paper of a history of racism. One Twitter user unearthed a 2017 editorial, allegedly published by The Democrat-Reporter, which criticised black NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest police violence.
“That’s what black folks were taught to do two hundred years ago, kneel before a white man,” it said. “Is that it? Let them kneel.”
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