The board of directors of the Alabama Press Association on Tuesday voted to censure newspaper publisher Goodloe Sutton for writing an editorial calling on “the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again,” and suspend his newspaper’s membership in the organization.
The group, which represents a range of daily and weekly newspapers in the state, said in a statement that in addition, it plans to consider “the question of expulsion of the newspaper at our next membership meeting.”
Sutton, publisher of the Democrat-Reporter, wrote an editorial last week arguing that it was “time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again” because there are “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.”
He later doubled down on his editorial in an interview with the Montgomery Advertiser.
“If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off,” he said Monday, before referencing the brutal history of black people being lynched in the South.
“We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them,” Sutton said of politicians in Washington. He then claimed that he was “not calling for the lynchings of Americans.”
Sutton has faced a wave of condemnation for his racist editorial. On Tuesday, the University of Southern Mississippi’s communications and journalism school removed him from its hall of fame, citing “the misguided and dangerous nature of his comments” and his “recent and continued history of racist remarks.”
Several Alabama lawmakers have called for Goodloe’s resignation, including Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.), who, as a federal prosecutor, helped convict two KKK members for bombing a black church in Birmingham.