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KKK Causing Controversy By Asking to Adopt a Highway

Spencer Platt, Getty Images

The state of Georgia has found itself in a sticky situation after the Ku Klux Klan applied to “adopt” a mile-long stretch of highway and keep it clean, a move that would result in a road sign advertising the group’s efforts.

The Georgia Department of Transportation is reviewing the request filed by International Keystone Knights of the KKK in Union County, and is meeting with lawyers from the state attorney general’s office to decide how to proceed.

The problem is that denying the application could violate the group’s First Amendment rights — a similar battle in Missouri saw the courts siding with the KKK for that reason. But state Rep. Tyrone Brooks, head of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, thinks the legal fight is worth it.

“This is about [KKK] membership building and rebranding their name in a public way,” he said. “If the state approves [their application] then they are complicit.”

The other option is for Georgia to avoid the problem altogether by simply ending the state’s 23-year-old Adopt-A-Highway program — something Klan leader Harley Hanson said is ridiculous.

“We just want to clean up the doggone road,” he said. “We’re not going to be out there in robes.”

[The Atlanta Journal-Constitution]

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