Black editor resigns from Alabama newspaper that called for KKK to 'ride again'

Black editor resigns from Alabama newspaper that called for KKK to 'ride again'

The African-American woman who took over an Alabama newspaper after its previous editor endorsed the Ku Klux Klan's return has resigned after less than month. 

Elecia R. Dexter told The New York Times on Friday that she stepped down because of interference she received from the previous editor, Goodloe Sutton.

“I would have liked it to turn out a different way, but it didn’t,” Dexter, 46, told the newspaper. “This is a hard one because it’s sad — so much good could have come out of this.”

Dexter's decision is the latest in a saga that began after Sutton penned an editorial in the The Democrat-Reporter, a small-town paper in Linden, Ala., calling for the KKK to "ride again" to block tax increases in the state. 

“Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again,” he wrote in February. “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.”

Sutton later defended his argument, telling the Montgomery Advertiser that if “we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we'd all been better off.” 

The editorial quickly gained attention around the country, and it was announced shortly after that Dexter would replace Sutton as publisher and editor. Dexter told The Associated Press on Feb. 23 that Sutton would maintain ownership of the newspaper, but that she would “handle everything else.”

Dexter, who previously had worked as an office clerk, said at the time that she hoped she could show the Linden community that  "this is everybody's paper."

But she told The Times that she ran into issues with Sutton. For example, Sutton reportedly emailed an altered version of the The Democrat-Reporter's Feb. 28 issue to local news outlets and advertisers. 

The altered version included a front page story defending Sutton's editorial and admonishing The Montgomery Advertiser's coverage, according to a copy provided to The New York Times. The story replaced an article about Sutton's retirement that ran on the actual front page. 

Dexter told The Times that she resigned to keep her “integrity and well-being.” Sutton did not respond to requests for comment from the newspaper.