An Alabama newspaper editor who wrote an editorial saying “the Klan needs to ride again” to attack and lynch Democrats is now gone — and replaced by an African-American woman.
Goodloe Sutton left his position as publisher and editor of the weekly Democrat-Reporter after the controversial editorial calling for the racist group Ku Klux Klan to rise up again and oppose Democrats, who Sutton claimed were planning to raise taxes. As CNN reported, he was replaced by Elecia R. Dexter, an African-American woman with a background in strategic leadership.
After the controversial editorial, Goodloe Sutton refused to back down, telling the Montgomery Advertiser that he hoped for the racist group to travel to Washington, D.C., to lynch who he saw as political opponents.
“We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them,” Sutton told the newspaper.
Sutton also doubled down when asked about the violent history of the Ku Klux Klan, especially in Alabama, where the group carried out lynchings and firebombings aimed at the black community.
“The Klan wasn’t violent until they needed to be,” Sutton said.
As CNN noted, Sutton had a history of controversial editorials in the small newspaper, which had a circulation of less than 3,000. In 2017, the paper published an editorial bashing the NFL players who took a knee during the national anthem and wrote, “That’s what black folks were taught to do two hundred years ago, kneel before a white man.”
The February 14 editorial sparked a nationwide backlash against Goodloe Sutton and the newspaper, and amid the controversy, the 79-year-old announced that he would be stepping down from his position. Sutton told the Alabama Political Reporter that he now planned to be an “out-of-work deadbeat” after leaving the paper.
“I’m going to drink beer and sex young women. I am not going to do anything with [the newspaper],” Sutton said.
The editorial also came among heightened racial tensions, with a rise in hate crimes over the last two years. That includes a rise in white nationalism, peaking at the Charlottesville rally that was marked by violent clashes and an attack that left a counter-protester dead. Many blame the rise on Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric for the increase in tensions.
The editor and publisher of the Democrat-Reporter, Goodloe Sutton, told me he has stepped down from his post. His next words: "I’m going to drink beer and sex young women." #GoodloeSutton #KKKEditorialhttps://t.co/FRz3E67JoM
— Chip Brownlee (@ByChipBrownlee) February 22, 2019
Despite leaving his post as editor, Goodloe Sutton still owns the Democrat-Reporter. It was not clear if he directly signed off on the hiring of Elecia R. Dexter to replace him.