An Alabama newspaper editor on Tuesday was removed from the University of Southern Mississippi’s journalism Hall of Fame for writing an editorial that called for the Ku Klux Klan to “ride again” to block tax increases.
Goodloe Sutton, the publisher of the Democrat-Reporter in Linden, Ala., was stripped of the honor over the “misguided and dangerous nature of his comments.”
“The School of Communication strongly condemns Mr. Sutton’s remarks as they are antithetical to all that we value as scholars of journalism, the media, and human communication,” the school wrote on its website.
Sutton was inducted into the honorary group in 2007 based on his anti-corruption articles in the 1990s which earned him and his wife, Jean, recognition.
He confirmed to the Montgomery Advertiser on Monday that he wrote the column which said it was "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, saying 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 reiterated his statements during an interview with the Montgomery Advertiser, saying, “if we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we'd all been better off.”
"We'll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them," Sutton said.
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."
His statements were met with backlash, including from Alabama Sen. Doug Jones (D) who called for Sutton’s resignation.
“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!”