Skip to main content

In what can only be described as an embarrassment waiting to happen, a chapter of the Ku Klux Klan in northern Georgia recently applied to "adopt" a highway near the North Carolina border.

A North Georgia chapter of the Ku Klux Klan has applied to "adopt" a stretch of highway in Union County, Georgia, according to paperwork obtained by CNN on Monday.

The application, which would allow the white supremacy group to receive state recognition for cleaning up a one-mile portion of a highway, was filed by the International Keystone Knights of the KKK on May 21.

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."

Here's what makes it even more obscene--the Georgia DOT may not have a legally defensible reason to turn the application down.  Back in 1994, a Missouri KKK chapter tried to "adopt" a stretch of I-55 south of St. Louis, but the Missouri DOT balked.  A federal appeals court ruled that the state could not deny applications just because it disagreed with a group's particular viewpoint, and SCOTUS refused to hear the case.  However, the state eventually threw the KKK chapter out of the program when the Klansmen didn't clean up the road as agreed.  And in a bit of poetic justice, that stretch of highway is now named after Rosa Parks.

Needless to say, the state's black elected officials are up in arms.

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.”

Georgia DOT officials are meeting with the state attorney general's office to find a way forward.  However, from the looks of it, legally their hands are tied.  So putting sunshine on this may be the only way to derail it.
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site