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ACLU to represent Ku Klux Klan group Options · View
Buz
Posted: Monday, July 02, 2012 11:53:07 AM

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Location: Atlanta, United States
ACLU to represent KKK group
By Ernie Suggs and Shannon McCaffrey
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The American Civil Liberties Union will champion a Ku Klux Klan outfit's right to "adopt" a section of highway in Union County, an ACLU official said Tuesday — on the same day that key members of the KKK group acknowledged they live in a neighboring county.

Two weeks ago, the Georgia Department of Transportation rejected an application filed May 21 by Harley Hanson, who calls himself the exalted cyclops of the Georgia Realm of the International Keystone Knights of the KKK, and his wife.

In the application, Hanson said he could deliver at least six volunteers for road cleanup. He listed the group's address as a post office box in Blairsville. He didn't list any other names and has refused repeated requests by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to say how many are in the group.

Reached on Tuesday, he referred all questions about the lawsuit to the ACLU, but admitted that he does not live in Union County.

Instead, he 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."

But it's not irrelevant to some in Union County.

"We don't know why they picked Union County," said Union County Commissioner Lamar Paris, a native of the county and the top elected official for a dozen years. "They could have easily chosen the last mile of Fannin County as opposed to the first mile in Union County."

Paris said he was "not aware of any members of the KKK now or in the past being from the county."

Debbie Seagraves, executive director for the ACLU of Georgia, said she was "not sure it is an issue" where Hanson lives.

"It has not been a matter of discussion as far as I am concerned," she said, confirming that her group would assist the Klan in what it considers a First Amendment case.

A likely precedent was established in 2005 when a federal court ruled that Missouri had no right to ban the KKK from the Adopt-a-Highway program based on the Klan's political beliefs.

Note: Union County, Georgia is so named because this region refused to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy during the start the War Between the States aka Unites States Civil War in 1861.

LadyX
Posted: Monday, July 02, 2012 9:14:17 PM

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Racist rednecks have rights, too. I love the ACLU.
MrNudiePants
Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 6:08:06 AM

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Buz wrote:
... Harley Hanson, who calls himself the exalted cyclops of the Georgia Realm of the International Keystone Knights of the KKK...


How could he NOT have narrow vision?


That said, one of the best things about America is the idea that all speech is protected, not just that speech we personally agree with.

Buz
Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 7:04:39 AM

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I am actually a member of the ACLU and I saw this coming. But I really do feel for the people around Blairsville and Union County. They do not want to be associated with the racist KKK and are already feeling embarrassed by this outsider group. The locals are mountain people, though in the south, who's ancestors did not own slaves, and in fact refused to withdraw from the Union during America's Civil War. Because they did not own slaves, very few African-American people have ever lived there, due to demographics. (There is not industry to attract outsiders for jobs.) The high percentage of whites there has attracted some white supremacists from the cities and especially from up north, to move into the region. The locals (overwhelming majority) do not welcome these racists and do not want to be associated with them. But then there is the right of free speech, etc. to be protected. Quite a dilemma for the good people that live there.

Guest
Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 8:16:06 AM

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What's the problem? Or do you feel that people have the right to free speech only if they think the same way you do?

Juicyme
Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 10:15:50 AM

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I think this is a perfect example of how we have to put up with awful speech in order to protect our free speech. This also makes me laugh because a lot of my republican friends think that the ACLU is just a bunch of liberal lawyers that want to ruin our civil rights. Little do they know lol.

*edit: this reaffirms Snyder v. Phelps rationale, we have to put up with annoying people in order to be protected.
Guest
Posted: Tuesday, July 03, 2012 1:00:13 PM

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The ACLU has a long history of representing controversial groups. At least on the issue of free speech, the ACLU takes a very consistent position.
DirtyMartini
Posted: Wednesday, July 04, 2012 10:43:50 AM

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Buz wrote:


A likely precedent was established in 2005 when a federal court ruled that Missouri had no right to ban the KKK from the Adopt-a-Highway program based on the Klan's political beliefs.



Looks to me like the KKK will soon be proud parents of an "adopted" stretch of highway somewhere in Georgia...and as long as they don't slack in their duties of highway "adoption" should remain so...

I wonder if those pointed hats will fall off when they bend over to pick up trash along the highway?


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Milik_Redman
Posted: Wednesday, July 04, 2012 4:49:45 PM

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In an odd twist of logic this is exactly why I have always donated to the ACLU. They are defending our rights as people even when those individual rights run counter to the common good. If they tried to pick and chose what rights they wanted to defend they would be little better then the elitist who threaten anyone's rights they don't personally agree with.

You cannot pick and choose your freedoms ala carte and you cannot expect anyone to defend your right to be different if you hold an intolorent view towards theirs.

“It is a great thing to know your vices.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero


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Milik_Redman
Posted: Wednesday, July 04, 2012 4:51:31 PM

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DirtyMartini wrote:


Looks to me like the KKK will soon be proud parents of an "adopted" stretch of highway somewhere in Georgia...and as long as they don't slack in their duties of highway "adoption" should remain so...

I wonder if those pointed hats will fall off when they bend over to pick up trash along the highway?


I'm certain that many in their membership are highly skilled and experienced at cleaning up on the sides of our roadways. Regaeman Man

“It is a great thing to know your vices.”
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Milik_Redman
Posted: Wednesday, July 04, 2012 4:55:18 PM

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Buz wrote:
I am actually a member of the ACLU and I saw this coming. But I really do feel for the people around Blairsville and Union County. They do not want to be associated with the racist KKK and are already feeling embarrassed by this outsider group. The locals are mountain people, though in the south, who's ancestors did not own slaves, and in fact refused to withdraw from the Union during America's Civil War. Because they did not own slaves, very few African-American people have ever lived there, due to demographics. (There is not industry to attract outsiders for jobs.) The high percentage of whites there has attracted some white supremacists from the cities and especially from up north, to move into the region. The locals (overwhelming majority) do not welcome these racists and do not want to be associated with them. But then there is the right of free speech, etc. to be protected. Quite a dilemma for the good people that live there.


I understand what you are saying. To these people it's about perception. Having the KKK march in their back yard makes some outsiders consider them guilty by association. Sadly it doesn't take many pin heads to ruin the neighborhood.

“It is a great thing to know your vices.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero


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Guest
Posted: Thursday, July 05, 2012 7:33:43 PM

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I motion General Buck Turgidson bomb the hell out of Blairsville. Any seconds?
DLizze
Posted: Thursday, July 05, 2012 10:29:08 PM

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"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Evelyn Beatrice Hall (paraphrasing Voltaire in her famous biography of him)

We discussed this quote one day in Sunday School at the Baltimore Ethical Society, when I was a young teen, and I have never forgotten both the quote and the discussion.

I got my first checking account in 1962. The second check I ever wrote was for my first contribution to the American Civil Liberties Union, and I have renewed my membership annually ever since. I will have been a member of the ACLU for fifty years next month, when I send in my renewal check.

I have not always agreed with the groups they supported, nor the causes espoused by those groups, but I have never disagreed with the ACLU's official stance on any specific issue.

"There's only three tempos: slow, medium and fast. When you get between in the cracks, ain't nuthin' happenin'." Ben Webster
Ruthie
Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012 8:33:02 PM

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eviotis wrote:
I motion General Buck Turgidson bomb the hell out of Blairsville. Any seconds?


Blairsville is a beautiful little town in the mountains of north Georgia. Two thirds of Union county, the county where Blairsville is located, is national forest. The state's most popular park, Vogel, is there. It's home to Brasstown Bald, the state's highest peak. Blairsville is also an official Appalachian Trail Community. It is too nice a place for the Ku Klux Klan. Blairsville didn't invite the Klan, and in fact, doesn't want the Klan there cleaning their roads or doing anything else.

I really doubt that the Klan is eager to start cleaning up Union County roads. They are always showing up places to march in Christmas parades or take part in local pageants just to generate publicity. What they want is a sign that says a highway has been adopted by the Ku Klux Klan. When people come to Union county to start hiking the Appalachian Trail, the Klan wants their sign there to greet them.

The members of the Ku Klux Klan don't believe in freedom of speech. They would deny freedom of speech to other people if they were in charge of governments, as many of their members were for decades in the south, preventing not only free speech, but also the right to vote.

It's not easy being a progressive in the south. Every time these ass clowns get in the news people like eviotis start blaming all of us for the things they think and do.

In Missouri when the Nazis won the court case to adopt a highway the state named the highway after Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Union county should rename whatever highway they are forced to allow the Klan to clean up Martin Luther King Highway.
DirtyMartini
Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012 8:42:51 PM

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CoopsRuthie wrote:

In Missouri when the Nazis won the court case to adopt a highway the state named the highway after Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. Union county should rename whatever highway they are forced to allow the Klan to clean up Martin Luther King Highway.


Now that would be great...3601


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Guest
Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012 9:39:28 PM

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DirtyMartini wrote:


I wonder if those pointed hats will fall off when they bend over to pick up trash along the highway?


Knowing the KKK, they might just use a couple chain gangs. They don't have to worry about their hats then!
beowulf69
Posted: Friday, July 06, 2012 9:49:36 PM

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I wouldn't want those ass clowns in my town either. I like the idea of renaming the road after someone that would offend the KKK. That's free speech too isn't it?

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Guest
Posted: Monday, July 09, 2012 12:19:45 PM

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It was only an attempt at analogous humour there Coops. I don't blame everyone around for the wrongs of the few, small minded idiots. Read a little bit more in the forum before putting me in a time out.

This case as in many that concern law, and the ACLU for that matter is the constant slippery slope that common sense has to slide down on. Perpetual decline into a grey sandy bottom. As hard as we might, the grainy bits still stick, and annoy.
Buz
Posted: Monday, July 09, 2012 1:23:27 PM

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I think I'd push for the road to be named after Sammy Davis. Jr. He was both African-American and Jewish, and a member of the famous Rat Pack of singer entertainers which also included Italians. I don't think those Klan kooks like Italians either. That might send those brainless bedsheet bozos into a tizzy. haha Plus, I wouldn't mind a road named after any of the Rat Pack guys, they were pretty cool.

Guest
Posted: Monday, July 09, 2012 1:29:25 PM

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Second. All in favour?




All opposed?
Guest
Posted: Monday, July 09, 2012 1:36:18 PM

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Hopefully, that comedic detour won't go wasted. Now as for the ACLU, bite me. Like most attorneys, and I've worked with many, many, attorneys. The only truth and justice they seek is that of fulfilling their ego's, or in this case, taking a case that will get them publicity.
JessicaX
Posted: Monday, July 09, 2012 2:38:42 PM

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I absolutely deplore the KKK and all they stand for and I absolutely support the ACLU in their stand defending the Klan.

Just because the ACLU chose to defend the Klan doesn't mean that they support the Klan’s vitriol. Defending the rights of the unpopular is a very difficult task, and yet it is one of the most important principles of freedom and liberty on which the United States was built.

John Adams, defending the British soldiers accused in the famous Boston Massacre, heard the same attacks as I’ve read here about the ACLU, lawyers and quest for money.

Thank God, Adams was not deterred by these attacks and went on the help gain us the liberty and freedom Americans enjoy today. Thank God, the ACLU is here to protect that freedom and liberty today.

Besides, look at how clean they keep their sheets and pointy little hats. Think what they could do for our highways!



Buz
Posted: Monday, July 09, 2012 8:48:01 PM

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You are right Jessica and the ACLU stated up front that they do not approve of the mission of the KKK, just their right to legally sponsor a section of the highway. The ACLU does work in the spirit of that John Adams case that you mentioned, when he defended the British soldiers involved in the 'Boston Massacre.' He won his case in the face of great adversity and unpopularity for doing what was right.

I am not a lawyer but I joined the ACLU because they defend our civil rights. We have an ever growing larger and more oppressive government (federal, state and municipal) that unfortunately tries to run rough shod over citizen's rights.

I laughed at Eviotis statement about the attorney's egos. Unfortunately that is often the case.

But I do urge any Americans concerned about losing our civil rights to support the ACLU. (American Civil Liberties Union) You can get involved. Check them out on the web.

Aria
Posted: Monday, July 09, 2012 11:19:48 PM

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JessicaX
Posted: Monday, July 09, 2012 11:41:44 PM

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You are preaching to the choir here Buz. I joined after the Supreme Court abused its authority in Bush v Gore.



ramrod32784
Posted: Monday, August 13, 2012 8:21:59 AM

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Maybe they can paint the white lines.Seriously I have no respect for any group that preaches intolerance or hatred white,black,red,purple it is all the same and as much as I hate what they say if I have a right to say what I want they must have it as well
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