The Montgomery Advisor reported Tuesday that Goodloe Sutton, the editor of the Democrat-Reporter based out of Linden, AL, wrote a column on Valentine’s Day that called for the Ku Klux Klan to “ride again.”
According to the Advisor, Sutton has been at the Democrat-Reporter since 1964 and took over publisher duties when his father passed them down to him. When the paper contacted him, Sutton, maybe unsurprisingly, was not all that remorseful about the thoughts expressed in his column.
“If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off,” Sutton told the Advisor, doubling down on the argument he made in the original column.
The editor also compared the KKK to the NAACP and said the hate group “wasn’t violent until they needed to be.” If all else fails, he told the paper, “We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb, and hang all of them,” referring in no uncertain terms to lynching.
The Advisor asked Sutton whether he thought it right for an editor to be calling for lynchings; again, you will not be shocked by his answer.
“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, per the paper.
This isn’t Sutton’s first rodeo, either. As explored by Alabama Political Reporter’s Chip Brownlee, the Democrat-Chronicle has a long history of publishing racist and xenophobic articles and cartoons. You should go read APR’s round-up, because holy shit, but it’s essentially more of the same 1960s-era rhetoric: There’s the anti-Colin Kaepernick column where Sutton wrote that black people were taught 200 years ago to “kneel before a white man,” one headlined “Need cotton pickers” that somehow pivoted to an anti-Semitic rant, and a thank you letter to Russia for their role in the campaign against Hillary Clinton, who he refers to as “little Miss Piggy.”
The attention brought to the paper’s vile editorials by the local press spurred responses by state Rep. Teri Seawell and Sen. Doug Jones, both of whom criticized the paper and called for Sutton’s resignation.
As noted by the Advisor, the Democrat-Chronicle is a member of the Alabama Press Association. When the Advisor contacted the APA to inquire about the Democrat-Chronicle’s membership in light of the column, the executive director responded that while the APA does not agree with Sutton’s opinion, “We simply have no authority over what our member newspapers publish.” They did not mention whether or not such articles could amount to membership being revoked or suspended.