The Ku Klux Klan was denied its request to adopt a stretch of highway in Georgia and now the group has turned to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for help. The civic focused law group has not offered to take the case but they are thinking about potentially representing the hate-group.
Officials in Georgia recently said in a statement that the adopt-a-highway program is meant only for “civic-minded organizations in good standing.”
State officials say that promoting a group with a “history of inciting civil disturbance and social unrest would present a grave concern to the department.”
The KKK has said that they are no longer attempting to hurt people of color but instead choose to live among their “own people.”
According to ACLU Georgia branch executive director Debbie Seagraves:
“The law is pretty clear you may not deny participation in a program like this—that is, run by the state—based on the mission and the message of the organization. It’s a free speech issue.”
Seagraves further tells the Guardian:
“I’m concerned the decision makers of the state thought that this was OK: It’s viewpoint discrimination.”
For its part the ACLU points out that the first amendment was put into place to protect “unpopular views.” The organization believes that by letting this case slip through its fingers it could lead to the erosion of further 1st amendment rights in the future.
In the meantime the KKK member who filed the application says the organization is no longer violent.
If it was your choice would you give the Ku Klux Klan a stretch of highway to watch over based solely on 1st amendment rights?