KKK bid to 'adopt' highway rejected

2012-06-13 13:04


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Atlanta - A Ku Klux Klan chapter's request to "adopt" a stretch of road in Georgia was rejected by state authorities on Tuesday, setting up a possible court fight over the right of the white supremacist group to participate in the highway clean-up programme.

Under adopt-a-highway initiatives in Georgia and other US states, groups volunteer to pick up trash and plant trees along the highway. Road signs are typically installed to recognise the organisations' efforts.

Georgia cited public safety concerns in denying the Union County Klan's application to participate in the programme.

"The impact of erecting a road sign naming an organisation which has a long rooted history of civil disturbance would cause a significant public concern," the Georgia Department of Transportation wrote the Klan chapter.

"Impacts include safety of the travelling public, potential social unrest, driver distraction or interference with the flow of traffic."

Harley Hanson, whose formal title is the Exalted Cyclops of the Union County Klan, had earlier said his group would consider legal action if the application were denied.

Court fight

"We're not going to be deterred," Hanson told Reuters on Monday.

State Representative Tyrone Brooks said Georgia should fight the Klan's application in the courts and if it loses, "I think you might want to end the programme."

In 1997, the state of Missouri rejected a similar request from a Klan chapter, saying the group's membership rules were racially discriminatory.

But a federal appeals court ruled in favour of the Klan, saying that requiring a group such as the Klan to alter its membership requirements in order to qualify for the adopt-a-highway programme would "censor its message and inhibit its constitutionally protected conduct".

The US Supreme Court refused to hear the Missouri case.

Following the court ruling, the Klan was allowed to adopt a stretch of Missouri highway, and did so for a short period.

Read more on:    us  |  racism

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.