Georgia | News

ACLU Backing KKK's Highway Crusade

Kkkaclu

The Ku Klux Klan in Georgia garnered plenty of headlines last month when it announced plans to "adopt" a stretch of Union County highway, meaning that they would be responsible for keeping it neat and tidy.

Most people were naturally uncomfortable over the idea of a known hate group lending their name to a public road, and the KKK's application was subsequently rejected. Now the group has enlisted the ACLU to represent them in a lawsuit against Union County, and they may just have a case.

From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

A likely precedent was established in 2005 when a federal court ruled that Missouri had no right to ban the KKK from the Adopt-a-Highway program based on the Klan's political beliefs.

[ACLU Georgia executive director Debbie] Seagraves declined to discuss the case in detail.

"Yes, we are representing them, but we are still working on the strategy," she said Tuesday afternoon.

Seagraves said the Klan reached out to her organization last week after the DOT struck down its application to participate in the statewide highway cleanup program.

The Department of Transportation said they denied the Klan's request because they only let "civic-minded organization[s] in good standing" participate in the Adopt-a-Highway program. Being hatemongering racists apparently does not qualify as civic-minded. Who knew?!

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Comments

  1. If the county was smart they'd allow them to "adopt" the stretch of highway, but refuse to put up any signs acknowledging it. It's one thing to deny the KKK access to a public program due to their beliefs -- the ACLU is probably right, that seems unconstitutional to me -- but it's another thing entirely for the government to put up a sign at least arguably constituting an implicit endorsement of the group or recognizing them as good citizens. I could definitely see a distinction there.

    Posted by: Glenn | Jun 27, 2012 10:14:11 AM


  2. Just as we deny convicted felons certain civil liberties, groups with a history of lawbreaking and violence can and should be discriminated against in the public sphere.

    Posted by: patrick | Jun 27, 2012 10:23:12 AM


  3. Well, if they get to adopt that part of the highway, I know where I'd dump all my trash.

    Posted by: EddieEddie | Jun 27, 2012 10:29:29 AM


  4. Let them adopt, but no hoods when they are working in that hot Georgia sun. Then the whole state can see which of their neighbors are members of this odious group.

    Posted by: busytimmy | Jun 27, 2012 10:41:49 AM


  5. If they want to pick up trash, let them.

    Posted by: Eric | Jun 27, 2012 11:22:55 AM


  6. I seem to remember a similar story a few years back in which a state court ordered the Missouri DOT to allow the Klan to adopt a highway and to post the same form of signage for it as for other participants. The DOT's response?

    It renamed the road the "Rosa Parks Freeway"! :-D

    Posted by: Reilly | Jun 27, 2012 11:23:43 AM


  7. while I do NOT agree with the ACLU all the time - Id rather Live in an America WITH an ACLU, then an America without one!

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Jun 27, 2012 11:40:11 AM


  8. The ACLU Backed Fred Phelps on protesting soldiers funerals. This is hardly surprising.

    Posted by: Craig | Jun 27, 2012 12:23:21 PM


  9. The ACLU defends free speech and rights even when they detest that speech.

    I don't always like it but I respect it.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 27, 2012 12:51:27 PM


  10. As disgusting as the group is, I agree with the ACLU in this. But...the county should sandwich their stretch between black, gay and Jewish groups.

    Posted by: Michaelandfred | Jun 27, 2012 12:54:50 PM


  11. It's something of an odd case, given the limited first amendment issues involved. In theory, the govt. can't hand out cash only to groups that they like based on speech and political views. Otherwise, they could grossly favor pro-govt. groups and out-fund protestors and opposition. Mind you, you can't be a terrorist organization like ELF and get funding.

    Posted by: anon | Jun 27, 2012 2:10:48 PM


  12. This is why instead of supporting the ACLU I give to People for the American Way. They do essentially the same thing as ACLU, but they're a bit... choosier.

    Posted by: ByTheBay | Jun 27, 2012 2:55:32 PM


  13. I think they should be entitled to adopt a stretch of highway and keep it clean and have a sign just like any other group can. That is their right to do so. They will win that case.

    Posted by: Aiden Raccoon | Jun 27, 2012 3:09:12 PM


  14. It wasn't that long ago that the ACLU defended gay groups' rights to speak when the majority said our message was vulgar and offensive, only about "deviant" sex.

    I'm not comparing the KKK with gay rights but Free Speech is Free Speech and we wouldn't be where we are without it.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jun 27, 2012 3:23:37 PM


  15. @BYTHEBAY:

    So, essentially, you think that only people you agree with deserve civil liberties.

    Posted by: Jack | Jun 27, 2012 3:57:31 PM


  16. I actually support the KKK if they can get their hands on our resident angry black man on here, Christopher Allen Norton. Just telling the truth.

    Posted by: Dynex | Jun 27, 2012 5:12:15 PM


  17. the wonderful thing about ACLU is the fact that the org will go to bat for people, groups and ideas that I find loathsome. That forces me to evaluate my own ideas and emotions regularly. If I support a group that only defends MY rights and interests, what good is the constitutional guarantee? So: let the KKK, even the Pheplps tribe if they ever got off their asses to do anything constructive, get out and sponsor highways, pet shows, pageants and anything else. And don't give up on the folks who speak up for their right to do those things.

    Posted by: gregory brown | Jun 27, 2012 5:40:26 PM


  18. GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR LAWSUIT, Ku Klux Klan. YOU HAVE RIGHTS, TOO. AS A NEGRO MALE, I FORGAVE YOU MORE THAN THIRTY YEARS AGO. BEST WISHES.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON | Jun 27, 2012 6:02:25 PM


  19. This is why I, as a liberal/progressive, never give money to the ACLU. They don't know where to best spend their donars money.They don't know where to draw the line. Progressives should give their donations directly to progressive charities or institutions. Then you can be certain that you are not helping the KKK and Phelps types who hate you. Only fools give money to help those who hate them.

    Posted by: andrew | Jun 27, 2012 9:36:08 PM


  20. I really don't care about this, partly because I doubt too many people read those signs anyways, so having anyone clean up the road is a good thing. After all, how many people object to seeing inmates along the side of the road cleaning it up? But my issue is that there will be a few people who will throw trash out because of who's cleaning up the road, and I really wouldn't want to drive through a landfill if too many people do it.

    Posted by: Garst | Jun 28, 2012 2:43:54 AM


  21. "GLENN" (27 JUNE; 10:14:11 AM),

    ISN'T IT HYPOCRITICAL OF YOU, SIR - AS A CAUCASIAN MALE HOMOSEXUAL - TO RIDICULE Ku Klux Klan WHEN YOU WANT OTHERS TO STOP RIDICULING YOU FOR BEING SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO OTHER MALES?

    IT HAS BEEN YEARS SINCE KKK HAS COMMITTED VIOLENCE. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH CAUCASIANS WHO DO NOT LIKE NEGROES. IT IS MY DUTY - AS SOMEONE WHO IS SEXUALLY ATTRACTED TO CAUCASIAN MALES - TO EXTEND AN "OLIVE BRANCH" TO Ku Klux Klan. OTHERS SHOULD FOLLOW SUIT; THIS IS 2012.

    CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON

    Posted by: CHRISTOPHER ALLEN HORTON | Jul 15, 2012 2:44:58 AM


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