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Alabama newspaper publisher suggests KKK should lynch Democrats in Washington

The publisher of an Alabama small town's newspaper is facing calls to resign after he suggested the Ku Klux Klan should lynch Democrats in Washington. Goodloe Sutton, publisher of the Democrat-Reporter newspaper in Linden, made the comments to the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper.

"We'll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them," Sutton told the paper Monday. The Advertiser had contacted him about an editorial the Democrat-Reporter published last week calling for the Klan "to night ride again" against Democrats.

Sutton confirmed to the Advertiser that he wrote the editorial, which was published Thursday. It gained attention after the editor-in-chief of Auburn University's student newspaper posted a picture of it to Twitter.

In the editorial, Sutton claimed Democrats and "Democrats in the Republican Party" were "plotting to raise taxes in Alabama." He said it seemed "like the Klan would be welcome to raid the gated communities up there."

Goodloe Sutton, a newspaper editor from Alabama, presents the International Press Freedom Award Nov. 24, 1998, during a ceremony sponsored by the Committee To Protect Journalists in New York.
Goodloe Sutton, a newspaper editor from Alabama, presents the International Press Freedom Award Nov. 24, 1998, during a ceremony sponsored by the Committee To Protect Journalists in New York. Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

He didn't walk back his comments when he spoke to the Advertiser. "If we could get the Klan to go up there and clean out D.C., we'd all been better off," Sutton told the paper.

Officials representing the state have called for Sutton to step down. "What rock did this guy crawl out from under?" Democratic Sen. Doug Jones said on Twitter.

"This editorial is absolutely disgusting & he should resign -NOW!" Jones said. "I have seen what happens when we stand by while people-especially those with influence- publish racist, hateful views."

Rep. Terri Sewell, the state's lone Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, said Sutton's comments were "deeply offensive and inappropriate." "For the millions of people of color who have been terrorized by white supremacy, this kind of 'editorializing' about lynching is not a joke – it is a threat," she said on Twitter.