Monday Evening Reads: Clean up on Hwy 515, Burning Crosses Ahead

**Update**

 

Please sign the petition…Human Rights Petition: Don’t Let the KKK Adopt a Highway | Change.org

 

Good Evening

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.

KKK group seeks Adopt-A-Highway OK  

Knighthawk (from left), April Hanson and her husband Harley Hanson, members of the International Keystone Knights Realm of Georgia, perform a traditional Klan salute along the portion of highway they want to adopt allowing them to put up a sign and do litter removal near Blairsville on Sunday, June 10, 2012. Harley Hanson, the Exalted Cyclops of the group, said "how can you say beautiful mountains and streams if trash is piled up on the side of the road."

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.

KKK chapter wants to adopt stretch of Georgia highway

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.

Chambers continues,

“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.

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18 Comments on “Monday Evening Reads: Clean up on Hwy 515, Burning Crosses Ahead”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    “fed up with the Federal tyranny and oppression of Reconstruction”

    Oppression of Reconstruction? Really? I’m confused. The Civil War ended nearly 150 years ago, didn’t it? And the South put an end to Reconstruction efforts not long after they started. The problem, of course, is that as the national hate-filled rhetoric continues to ratchet up & up, these monsters are looking & sounding more like mainstream Republicans. It’s simply mind-blowing. Can an all out, violent Uncivil War be that far away? When actual democracy = communism and public education & healthcare = socialism I guess the next “logical” statement is the KKK = patriotic, constitution supporting good Americans. Welcome to the Topsy Turvy World.

    • Seriously says:

      Yeah, and wealthy Southern whites were actually even MORE grossly overrepresented in political life in the post-Civil War period than they were before the war. The country went from counting people who were prohibited from voting as 3/5s of a person for apportionment purposes to counting people who were still prohibited from voting as full persons for apportionment purposes, for all practical purposes increasing the already disproportionate power and influence of white Southerners in the House and the Electoral College for a good 100 years.

      • You know, I was with my aunt today…all day and were were talking about this, and she mentioned that she felt the Latinos of today are experiencing the kind of discrimination we saw during the civil rights movement. My dad made a point, he said that the Spanish have been in the Americas longer than the other European groups that came here…If that makes any sense. It has been a loooooong day and I am very tired. ;)

    • I have a screen shot of that website Connie and I am not kidding, it is like a GOP paid advertisement. I have a source who says that there have been 5 of these rally’s in the state this year, last year they had a total of three, so the group is stepping it up. (Link goes to screenshot btw!)

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Why not? The current political climate is certainly more favorable to these formerly fringe groups. So when once upon a time there were the Ages of Reason & Enlightenmight, what will history call this period of time? The Age of Lunacy & Extremism?

  2. bostonboomer says:

    If the KKK ever becomes “mainstream,” we’re really in deep trouble. I really sympathize with you, JJ, having to put up with this in Banjoville.

    • dakinikat says:

      The John Birch Society is now mainstream. Undoubtedly, the skinheads and KKK are next within the Republican party. We also have a huge contingent of Holy Rollers. No one used to take them seriously in politics.

    • What is frightening, is that I could very well be friends or acquaintances with some of the folks who see nothing wrong with this belief structure. I just want to avoid that area of town when they have the rally, I don’t want to know who is part of the klan…it may seem strange to some of you that I feel that way, but it is so much a part of the culture up here, you can’t get around it.

      • Check out what this member has to say about the KKK:

        KKK group seeks Adopt-A-Highway OK – Topix

        We are looking for men and women that are Christian, family orientated and moral in their lives. People that want to see a bright future for their children. White separatism is not about sitting back in the corner and watching life go by. It’s about living an active and full life, enjoying your family and helping your race. Having pride in who you are and the culture you belong to. We believe that white people should only be romantically inclined with white people, and we are strongly opposed to homosexuality. We believe in the sanctity of the home and in family values. We believe in the Constitution and the rights provided within.
        We along with most Klan organizations, emphasize strongly that every Klansman or Klanswoman conduct themselves with Christian character. We want our associates to live their lives as honorable, decent dignified White people. When you live your life with honor and respect, people will then honor and respect you. How our members live their life is a direct example and representation of our organization. If you want to act like criminals or white trash, then we don’t want your membership or association.
        Everything within the I.K.K is of a volunteer nature. Certainly we want you to distribute literature, spread the Klan message to all who will listen, to educate yourself on the issues facing America. We ask you to educate and inspire your children by living and acting as a responsible parent. The greatest influence on your children is how you live your life. We also ask that you attend and support meetings and gatherings as often as possible, but we also understand the demands of both home life and work. The I.K.K will never ask you to put the organization first in your priorities. We believe that the family unit is the most important institution, and we encourage you to devote time to your family and relationships.
        Some associates are able to be more active then others. We are composed of many different people, with different abilities. We all can not perform the same task, but we can all work TOGETHER as a single body to accomplish great things. Some can spend many hours distributing and preparing literature, attending rallies, and organizing, while others may not feel comfortable with a particular job. Everyone has something to offer, whether it is physical, financial or clerical or even mental. We all have certain God given talents and gifts, utilizing these gifts to and contributing to not only the I.K.K but to your community and country is up to you.

        INTERNATIONAL KEYSTONE KNIGHTS
        OF THE
        KU KLUX KLAN INC

      • Seriously says:

        I know someone who shows his classes video footage of busing riots, and almost everytime he has kids in the class from those neighborhoods, they recognize people they know. “OMG, that guy pelting the little girl with rocks–that’s my uncle!” “I know that guy wearing the shirt with the noose on it, that’s my neighbor!”

  3. Fannie says:

    I think these people must be related to the nutcase down in Florida………….Terry Jones, who has Obama hanging by a noose, while holding a baby doll, and a gay flag and Uncle Sam in the background…………….and I wonder where in the hell are the Feds, or the IRS. These people can rot in hell.

    Not to mention a little three year old girl, using chalk on a sidewalk is charged with a crime, for drawing hearts, and flowers. Yet those who are out promoting hate and violence are allowed up and down the highways, and in the community churches, and they are a symbol of what? Evil and Hell, that’s what.

  4. Eric says:

    Clandestine Armed Resistance

    what does that even mean? I don’t want to think about it too long, though…

    • I don’t know but this has gotten world wide attention, I guess we will see what the decision was this week.

      • ecocatwoman says:

        Well within democracy, you get the bad with the good (lately more bad than good, unfortunately). You know what I mean – free speech (Citizens’ United, anyone), the right to assemble (unless you belong to the Occupy Movement), anti-censorship. This is why the ACLU could represent them.

        In the case of Terry Jones, it does seem to me that, at least, the Secret Service would step in. Hanging the president in effigy seems a very strong act of threatening the president, which is against the law. Remember the guy who walked up to Cheney, when he was VP, and said he disagreed with his policies – either on torture or the war? He was then tracked down, as he was on his way to pick up his daughter from daycare & questioned. I can’t remember whether or not he was picked up & detained, but I think he was. Maybe threats are only taken seriously when the prez/VP is Republican.

    • NW Luna says:

      …the time was ripe for Clandestine Armed Resistance.

      That sure sounds illegal. “Clandestine” and “armed” should be the main points to show that the KKK is not a legitimate organization.

      And WTF? Missouri lost a legal battle that the KKK was not an appropriate organization to allow in the AdoptAHighway program? Things are getting crazier and scarier by the day.