Putting a positive spin on ‘Highway KKK’

Carlton Fletcher

Carlton Fletcher

He’s a drug store truck drivin’ man, He’s the head of the Ku Klux Klan. When summer comes rollin’ around, We’ll be lucky to get out of town.

— Joan Baez

The beginning of an intriguing battle is brewing in Georgia as the International Keystone Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’s (the IKKKKK?) application to take part in the Adopt-A-Highway program in north Georgia’s Union County is being challenged by the state.

The American Civil Liberties Union, those bastions of lost and/or ridiculous causes both great and small, announced this week that it would join the fray on the side of the Klan, setting up a court fight that will do a couple of key things: (a) shine a sympathetic light — if such a thing is possible — on the Klan group and (b) cost the taxpayers of this state more needlessly-spent money.

The KKK wants to “adopt” a portion of State Route 515 in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains — the Klan in UNION County ... ironic, huh? — so that a marker bearing its name will be placed along the portion of the highway its members help keep free of litter.

Certainly, that’s a marker every Georgian would be proud to see along its various byways ... right beside one that proclaims, “See, the folks in Hollywood were right all along.”

But maybe I’m being too harsh on these civic-minded Klansmen (and Klanswomen, I’m to assume). Maybe we should give them the benefit of the doubt and support them in their keep-Georgia-clean efforts. I can see some positives.

Like, I’m sure their roadway striping would be the whitest anywhere in the state. And some ambitious planners within the organization who possess entrepreneurial skills (kash kounters?) can rent their sturdy roadway signpost out on weekends for cross-burnings, a fundraiser that would lessen the group’s need to distribute its offensive propaganda.

Heck, with a little imagination, there’d be plenty of potential upside of a KKK highway adoption:

  • Members could drape newly washed white sheets over their highway sign post (when it’s not being used in cross-burnings) to dry in the Georgia sunshine, saving electricity and giving them that nice, outdoorsy smell that all discerning Klansmen (and Klanswomen) are rumored to desire.

  • Tourists with a sense of nostalgia would no doubt flock to the area in droves, hoping to catch a glimpse of the real stars of the classic movie “Deliverance.”

  • The concept of adoption might actually curtail some Klan members’ desires to procreate.

  • Our state’s popularity would grow exponentially as talk show hosts and other comedians used “Highway KKK” as regular fodder in their routines.

  • Those just to the political right of Rush Limbaugh would have another reason to walk through life with smiles on their faces.

  • The ACLU would go from being one of the most reviled organizations in the country to being No. 1 with a bullet.

  • A group of conservative-leaning state legislators might be inclined to strong-arm their colleagues into drawing up a new law that would require at least one stretch of Klan-heritage highway in each of the state’s 159 counties, thereby assuring all citizens of Georgia “equal treatment under the law.”

  • Sheriff Buford T. Justice might be encouraged to come out of retirement.

  • It would give Democrats, liberals and others not longing for the “good old days” of the 1850s another interesting topic of conversation as they sit around the dinner table at night.

  • Klan youngsters (Klanlettes? TyKKKes?) would be given a new source of pride to show off along with their David Dukes bobbleheads.

  • And, maybe best of all, it would give lots of non-Klan Georgians a nice new place to dump their trash.

Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com.


Abytaxpayer 3 years, 5 months ago

Carlton really haven’t you learned anything from reading the postings here at albanyherald.com.

The more you talk about it the more life you give a subject. If you want it to go away just take the spotlight off of it. A good example would be BVR and Coach (Not their real names) just like the Klan if we quit shinning a light on them and their postings they would go away and swivel up from the lack of attention. Please no more wasted ink just let the Klan pass unsung, we all know their days have come and gone so turn off the light and just let them wither and die in the darkness.


FryarTuk 3 years, 5 months ago

The article sure gives Albany a rest from disgust and criticism.


Mr_Heatmiser 3 years, 5 months ago

Those just to the political right of Rush Limbaugh would have another reason to walk through life with smiles on their faces.

Conservative = Klan-supporting racist. Got it.


Cartman 3 years, 5 months ago

That's what I got out of it as well. My! What a thought-provoking and hard-hitting objective article on a sensitive topic. What journalistic courage! A virtual tour de force in sophomorism put to pen. Bravo!


agonized 3 years, 5 months ago

I agree with both of you. I personally can't stand Rush Limbaugh, but I am fiscally conservative and I greatly resented that comment.

Let's just reinforce the stereotype that all white people from the South are horrible, wretched, racist human beings who still eat dirt and marry their cousins. They are incapable of being friends with black people, and vice versa, and even if they state that they are, it will always be construed as a lie. "Oh, so you have black friends...yeah, right!" People from the South are always portrayed as hicks in comedies who just fell off the nearest turnip truck, with the occasional sassy woman obsessed with her looks thrown in, or in dramas as racists, backwards and worse.

Union County is not the home of the KKK (well, not the official capital, as far as I know), and there are perfectly nice, non-racist people living there, one of my best friends from college being one of them. It's a beautiful county, and former Gov. and Sen. Zell Miller, grew up in nearby Young Harris. To bring more attention to this unfortunate story is just fanning the flames of the deeply divided issue of race that seems to be getting worse.

It's irresponsible writing, it's not funny, and it's untrue. If the South is that bad, perhaps it's time to consider a move.


whattheheck 3 years, 5 months ago

Keep the Ks coming, Karlton. Kan't possibly have a day without injecting race, even if a half hearted joke. No, racism will never die thanks to folks like you who seem to have feelings of guilt and those who derive power and money from "keeping on keeping" on, including our local friends in the so-called "church" business. .


Twosons 3 years, 5 months ago

I do not encourage littering, but in this case maybe people will throw their trash out on that portion of the highway. Then maybe the KKK will be relieved of their cleaning duties because they cannot keep up with the litter removal.


Mr_Heatmiser 3 years, 5 months ago

I wouldn't worry about it a whole bunch. Wherever the KKK has done this in the past, I don't think the signs ever saw 2 sunrises in a row.


erudite 3 years, 5 months ago

The bottom line? Why does the KKK still exist as an organized group? It is amazing how hate finds a home. With a budget!!


VSU 3 years, 5 months ago

Why does the NAACP still exist?


darnette0101 3 years, 5 months ago

Carlton, personally I like the article and thought it was funny as heck! Thanks!!!


tennisman 3 years, 5 months ago

Carlton have you researched your subject? Do you know why the clan was formed? It was to protect Southern women and children from union soldiers and vengeful freed slaves after the war of Northern aggression was ended. As usual you never let facts get in the way of your liberal screed.


Hawk59 3 years, 5 months ago

You have got to be kidding! If your research is true, then why were so many black people lynched for nothing other than being black? How many union solders were lynched, and terrorized? That is your problem, thinking everybody wanting your women. Obviously the plan didn't work. There are mixed couples all around my city. What about yours? There is nothing positive about the KKK, other than the death of the KKK. PERIOD!!!!


Albanite 3 years, 5 months ago

You aren't from around here are you? Here's a clue. In Georgia, The KKK and the Democrat Party are the same people.


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