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
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.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 27, 2012