Tuesday, February 19, 2019


This story from the Montgomery Advertiser has been getting a lot of attention:
The editor of a small-town Alabama newspaper published an editorial calling 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."

Goodloe Sutton — who is the publisher of the Democrat-Reporter newspaper in Linden, Alabama — confirmed to the Montgomery Advertiser on Monday that he authored the Feb. 14 editorial calling for the return of a white supremacist hate group.

"If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we'd all been better off," Sutton said.

Asked to elaborate what he meant by "cleaning up D.C.," Sutton suggested lynching.

"We'll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them," Sutton said.
Goodloe Sutton has been a small-town journalist for more than half a century. He and his wife won nationwide acclaim in the 1990s when they uncovered corruption in the office a local sheriff, who was sentenced to prison time for his offenses.

That's admirable, and now Sutton keeps a local paper going when many others have folded. But Sutton is a crank and a bigot. This isn't the first time an editorial like this has appeared in his paper. In fact, this is probably not the paper's most racist editorial.

I've been looking in the paper's archives, and it didn't take me long to find equally offensive pronouncements. Here's one from May of last year:

When parents who are uneducated get a mindset on what's best for a school, watch out world.

Tribal rules from the dark continent will not suffice.
I don't quite understand the point being made here. Something something communism, something something teachers' unions, something something television and cellphones rot the brain. But it all seems to get back to the values of "the dark continent" -- a term for Africa that was used even in polite society when I was a child (and I'm a bit younger than Goodloe Sutton).

Here's one from 2015. It concerns Terri Sewell, a black congresswoman.

Again, blacks are collectivists:
Republicans believe in capitalism and the free enterprise system. Barack Obama and Sewell believe in the government running all business, industry, education, health care, and banking.
We move on from there to the slave trade (all King George's fault), and then to this:
In the South, the plantation owners fostered social, family, and religious life for the slaves.
Sklavery in the South was good for blacks. Of course that idea would show up.

Here's another one from 2015:

Not having grown up in America, Barack Obama harbors no pride in this country. He thinks of it as a welfare state where the money source is unlimited....

We could tell Obama was nothing but a shallow yard boy out of his element after his first speech eight years ago.

Why did not the television news shows jump on this hard?

Their Ivy League bosses told them to stay off the boy.
Yes, "the boy."

There's far more than I've unearthed here. And yet Alvin Benn, a reporter from the Montgomery Advertiser -- not the one who wrote the story about the Klan editorial -- praised Sutton in a 2015 USA Today story:
Weekly newspapers represent the heart and soul of small communities, and Goodloe Sutton is doing the best he can to keep The Democrat-Reporter off life support....

His bare-bones office staff is without an advertising executive to keep the weekly’s bottom line above water, and he’s seeking anyone with selling experience to consider the paper as a future.
Benn praised Sutton even though he knew that the man's work could be poisonous.
He’s still as irascible as ever and his racial references in headlines and stories still upset many of his readers although some dismiss them as examples of “Goodloe being Goodloe.”

On March 19, his main big-letter headline blared off the paper’s front page with: “Selma black thugs murder Demopolite Saturday night.” That would be a resident of Demopolis, Ala., population 7,500, and the largest city in Marengo County.

“What if they were white thugs from Selma, Goodloe?” I asked him. He didn’t respond to that question, but I seemed to detect a wink from him.
A wink! It was just Sutton being "irascible"! Nothing to see here!

No comments: