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Alabama senator demands resignation of newspaper editor who called for return of KKK
Alabama Sen. Doug Jones (D) called for the resignation of a local newspaper editor for publishing a "disgusting" editorial urging the return of the Ku Klux Klan.
"OMG! What rock did this guy crawl out from under?" Jones, a former U.S. attorney who successfully prosecuted two klan members for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing, tweeted Monday.
"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," he continued. "Words matter. Actions matter. Resign now!"
Jones's comments came in response to an editorial published by The Democrat-Reporter in Linden, Ala., on Thursday that was written by the newspaper's publisher, Goodloe Sutton.
In his editorial, Sutton called for the return of the white supremacist group to block tax increases in the state, writing: "Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again. Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama."
Sutton wrote that Democrats "do not understand how to eliminate expenses when money is needed in other areas."
"This socialist-communist ideology sounds good to the ignorant, the uneducated, and the simple-minded people," he added.
Sutton doubled down on his position when pressed about the editorial by The Montgomery Advertiser on Monday.
"If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we'd all been better off," he told the paper.
"We'll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them," Sutton said, according to the paper, when asked for clarification about his comments regarding "clean[ing] up D.C."
The newspaper publisher told the Advertiser that he was "not calling for the lynchings of Americans."
"These are socialist-communists we're talking about," he continued.
Asked if the KKK was a "racist and violent organization," Sutton compared the KKK to the NAACP, according to the paper.
"A violent organization? Well, they didn't kill but a few people," Sutton claimed. "The Klan wasn't violent until they needed to be."
Sutton said he was open to criticism over the editorial, telling the paper that he welcomed letters and calls or boycotts against him.
When asked to comment on Jones calling for his resignation, Sutton responded by email saying, "What is Doug Jones?"
Updated at 12:59 p.m.