Monday Evening Reads: Clean up on Hwy 515, Burning Crosses AheadPosted: June 11, 2012
Please sign the petition…Human Rights Petition: Don’t Let the KKK Adopt a Highway | Change.org
Just a quick post tonight, since I am off visiting my Aunt who is up here in Banjoville on vacation. In fact, tonight’s reads touches on my hometown of Banjoville…we are in the news yet again.
The Ku Klux Klan wants to “adopt” a stretch of highway in North Georgia, which would allow the white supremacy group to receive official state recognition for cleaning litter from the road, according to records obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through an open records request.
The Georgia Department of Transportation is reviewing the May 21 request filed by International Keystone Knights of the KKK in Union County and are set to meet with lawyers from the state attorney general’s office today to decide what to do.
The application — which covers a one-mile stretch of Route 515 in the Appalachian Mountains near the North Carolina border — has placed Georgia officials in a bind. A lengthy legal battle took place in Missouri after that state sought to ban an effort by the KKK to adopt a road there. Missouri eventually lost, with courts holding that the First Amendment prevented the state from denying an applicant because it disagreed with their viewpoint.
This is the same group that is planning a huge KKK rally in Banjoville…at our county courthouse in September…from what I hear, this rally is going to be the 6th such KKK rally in the state this year. Back to the AJC article,
Harley Hanson, who filed the application and said he is the exalted cyclops of the Klan’s Realm of Georgia, said the group is simply trying to be civic minded.
“We just want to clean up the doggone road,” the 34-year-old electrician from Blairsville, said in an interview with the AJC. “We’re not going to be out there in robes.”
But state Rep. Tyrone Brooks, head of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials called on state officials to reject the application from a “domestic terrorist group” even if it means a costly legal fight.
“This is about membership building and rebranding their name in a public way,” the Atlanta Democrat said of the KKK. “If the state approves [their application] then they are complicit.”
Hanson said if he is denied, he’ll sue and would seek help from the American Civil Liberties Union, which assisted in the Missouri lawsuit.
The move is another way to bring the Klan into mainstream, just as the list of “beliefs” on the KKK site are almost mirrored taking points of the GOP. What I mean is they espouse, prayer in school, closed borders, anti-immigration, drug screening for “welfare” assistance, pro-life blah…blah…blah.
If the Georgia Department of Transportation accepts the application, the KKK would be responsible for cleaning litter on a part of Georgia State Route 515 in the Appalachian Mountains near the North Carolina border.
“All we want to do is adopt a highway,” said April Chambers, the chapter’s secretary. “We’re not doing it for publicity. We’re doing it to keep the mountains beautiful. People throwing trash out on the side of the road … that ain’t right.”
Jill Goldberg, a Georgia DOT spokeswoman, confirmed the application but said, “the department is deferring comment beyond that, however, until a resolution is determined.”
DOT officials will discuss the matter Monday with representatives from the state attorney general’s office, she said.
“We’re not racists,” Chambers said Monday. “We just want to be with white people. If that’s a crime, then I don’t know. It’s all right to be black and Latino and proud, but you can’t be white and proud. I don’t understand it.”
Chambers said the group is more than 100 strong. “We have a lot of support,” she said.
“I don’t see why we can’t (adopt the stretch of highway),” she said. “Would it be any different if it was the Black Panthers or something? Someone always has some kind of race card.”
On its website, the International Keystone Knights of the KKK says it is “fed up with the Federal tyranny and oppression of Reconstruction, and the time was ripe for Clandestine Armed Resistance.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors hate groups, lists the KKK as “the most infamous — and oldest — of American hate groups.”
“Over the years since it was formed in December 1865, the Klan has typically seen itself as a Christian organization, although in modern times Klan groups are motivated by a variety of theological and political ideologies,” the law center’s website says.
“We’re not a hate group,” Chambers insisted Monday. “We don’t hate anybody. We’re just white people that want to stick with white people. The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) wants to stick with black people. Just because I’m white, I can’t stick with my own group?”
The thing that gets me is that this hate-group is becoming more politically involved, like the KKK member in Pennsylvania that was elected to office a few weeks ago. Steve Smith, White Supremacist, Wins Republican Post With Single Vote
A northeastern Pennsylvania man with longstanding ties to white supremacist groups entered a polling place on primary election day and wrote in his name for a low-level position with the local Republican Party committee.
Steve Smith wound up getting elected with a single vote – his own – and now presents a headache for a GOP that doesn’t want him but might not be able to get rid of him.
Pennsylvania Democrats spread word last week of his April election, linking to a report by the Southern Poverty Law Center that described Smith’s associations with “an extraordinary array of white nationalist, skinhead, and neo-Nazi groups,” including a group formerly known as the Keystone State Skinheads.
It is a scary thing to see this happening so close to home.