The Ku Klux Klan's New Ally: The ACLU
Despite being a group of racist, knuckle-dragging hillbillies, members of the Ku Klux Klan are entitled to the same rights as anyone else -- so says the American Civil Liberties Union, which is representing Klan members in a lawsuit over an Adopt-a-Highway program in Georgia.
Just to get the laughter out of the way before we go any further, the Klansman behind the lawsuit, Harley Hanson, considers himself the "exalted cyclops of the Georgia Realm of the International Keystone Knights of the KKK."
The alliance is odd for a number of reasons. For starters -- and as we mentioned -- the KKK is a group of racist, knuckle-dragging hillbillies that's hate-filled political agenda goes beyond the realm of despicable. The ACLU, on the other hand, is one of the leading voices against racism in America.
In any event, the civil rights group views the case as a First Amendment issue, and is trying to downplay the fact that it's aiding a bunch of racists who want to adopt a highway.
About two weeks ago, the Georgia Department of Transportation rejected the Klan's application to adopt a highway in Union County because, well...the Klan is made up of racist, knuckle-dragging hillbillies with titles for its members like "exalted cyclops."
"Exalted Cyclops" Hanson, however,doesn't live in Union County, which is part of the reason the DOT gave for denying the Klan's application.
From the Atlanta Journal Constitution:
Instead, [Hanson] lives in Morganton in Fannin County, which he described as "a mile or two from the Union County border." But he said the KKK's headquarters is in Blairsville. He said it also has a physical headquarters there but would not provide specifics.
"That's one of the secrets we do have," he said, adding that the fact that he lives in Fannin has no bearing on the Adopt-a Highway application. "It doesn't matter where we live, it's irrelevant to the case."
Irrelevant or not, Union County officials aren't exactly thrilled with the idea of government-issued road signs applauding the Ku Klux Klan for cleaning up a highway in their county.
"We don't know why they picked Union County," Union County Commissioner Lamar Paris, a native of the county and the top elected official for a dozen years, tells the ACJ. "They could have easily chosen the last mile of Fannin County as opposed to the first mile in Union County."
Aside from confirming to the ACJ that it's involved in the lawsuit, the ACLU isn't saying much about its decision to help a gang with the mission of promoting hate and violence -- the group is yet to return our call requesting comment.
We'll let you know if we hear back. Check back for updates.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.