The editor-publisher of a local newspaper in a small Alabama town has resigned his position after stirring up controversy with a recent editorial that called for the Ku Klux Klan to “ride again” against the Democrats in Washington, D.C., according to the Auburn Plainsman.
The now-former editor-publisher of the Democrat-Reporter in Linden, Goodloe Sutton, will hand the reins of the publication over to an African-American woman named Elecia Dexter, who has worked at the paper under Sutton’s leadership for some time.
Unrepentant in resignation
Asked by the Plainsman about his resignation, Sutton told the Auburn paper, “I can drink beer and chase women now. They can’t run too fast, or I can’t catch them.”
Asked further about the offense many had taken to his Feb. 14 editorial that essentially called for the KKK to lynch Democrats in D.C., Sutton said, “Some of the yankees didn’t like that, and none of the Democrats liked it.”
“About 2,000 other folks loved it,” he added.
As to the woman who would be taking over the paper in his place, Sutton expressed his confidence in her ability to get things done, even as he made disparaging sexist remarks about women to the female reporter interviewing him.
“You know how managing you females are,” Sutton said to the managing editor of the Plainsman. He ended the call by suggesting she “be sweet” and “behave.”
Call for KKK to lynch D.C. Democrats
Prior to the announcement of his resignation, the 79-year-old Sutton — who had worked at the small paper since 1964 — spoke with the Montgomery Advertiser about the editorial, which called for “the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again” against “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats [who] are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.”
“If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off,” he told the Advertiser. He further elaborated that by “clean out D.C.,” he meant, “We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them.”
Sutton says there is nothing wrong with his reference to lynchings, as, “These are socialist-communists we’re talking about,” and proceeded to suggest that the KKK and NAACP were equivalent to each other.
The Plainsman reported that resigning his position as editor-publisher of the paper wasn’t the only professional repercussion Sutton faced over his racist editorial.
Indeed, the Auburn Journalism Advisory Council voted to strip Sutton of a Distinguished Community Journalism award he had received in 2009. On top of that, Sutton’s alma mater — the University of Southern Mississippi — stripped Sutton of his place in the Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame.
Further, the Alabama Press Association announced that they would officially censure Sutton and suspend the membership of the publication pending possible expulsion.