Editorial: No Room for Racist, Threatening ‘Editorials,’ Alabama Editor Rightfully Censured

The Alabama Press Association Board of Directors voted to censure the editor of an Alabama newspaper on Feb. 19 after he wrote an editorial in support of the Ku Klux Klan.

The press association also suspended the membership of The Democrat-Reporter.

Goodloe Sutton, editor and publisher of The Democrat-Reporter, claimed it is “time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again” against Democrats that “are planning to raise taxes” in the state in his Feb. 14 editorial.

Sutton has confirmed to numerous media outlets that he was the person who penned the editorial.

“If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we’d all been better off,” he told the Montgomery Advertiser. “We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them.”

Sutton said he was calling for the lynching of  “socialist-communists.”

He does not deserve to write for a newspaper, let alone be an editor and publisher. There is no place for an editorial about lynching — this is a horrendous threat. People take words like Sutton’s seriously, and we are lucky that a lynching did not occur after this editorial was published.

Sutton has yet to apologize for his asinine remarks, and these racist, hateful words can have a true impact.

Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., called for Sutton to resign in a tweet, writing, “Words matter. Actions matter. Resign now!”

Jones is absolutely right, words do matter. The act of putting these words on paper and publishing it in a newspaper that has a circulation of 3,000 shows how truly senseless Sutton is.

Other legislators in the state have also called for his resignation.

His editorial was written about a month after a racist photo emerged from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook — one man was in blackface and the other in a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood. Northam denied that he was in the photograph, but admitted that he wore blackface when he dressed as Michael Jackson for a Halloween party.

Northam has resisted calls for his resignation.

Not only should Sutton be censured, but he should never be allowed to publish a written word again. We need to hold people in power accountable — there is no room for racist, disgusting “editorials.”