Black woman replacing Alabama newspaper editor who endorsed KKK’s return

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After facing immense backlash for penning an editorial that called for the Ku Klux Klan to “ride again,” an Alabama newspaper editor is turning over control of the publication to a black woman.

The Democrat-Reporter, a small-town paper in Linden, Ala., announced Friday that Elecia R. Dexter, 46, will take over as publisher and editor.

Goodloe Sutton, 80, will still maintain ownership of the publication, but Dexter told The Associated Press that she will “handle everything else.”{mosads}

News of the editorial change comes after Sutton made national headlines earlier this month for writing an editorial calling for the Klan to “ride again” to block tax increases in the state.

“Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again,” the first line of the editorial reads. “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.

In a subsequent interview with the Montgomery Advertiser, Sutton doubled down on his endorsement of the KKK, 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 told the paper.

He defended himself, saying he was “not calling for the lynchings of Americans.”

“These are socialist-communists we’re talking about,” Sutton said.

Sutton, whose family has operated The Democrat-Reporter since 1917, faced immediate backlash for the remarks.

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones (D) and Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) called for his resignation. He was also stripped of journalism honors from the University of Southern Mississippi and was censured by the Alabama Press Association.

Sutton refused to apologize for his remarks on Thursday and said he would “do it all over again.” 

Dexter told the AP that she began working at the local newspaper, which has a circulation of about 3,000, earlier this year.

“I told him there were some different ways you could have made your point,” she said of Sutton’s editorials.

Dexter said she hoped her new role would show the community “this is everybody’s paper.”

Tags Doug Jones Goodloe Sutton KKK Ku Klux Klan Terri Sewell Terri Sewell

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