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Should the KKK be allowed to Adopt a Highway in Georgia?

The Georgia Department of Transportation is reportedly in the process of reviewing an application from the Ku Klux Klan under the Adopt-A-Highway program. Should this be rejected or would that violate free speech?

The state Department of Transportation is in a bit of a quandary. According to a report by Fox News, it has received an application from the Ku Klux Klan to adopt a stretch of highway in north Georgia under the Adopt-A-Highway program. The problem is, any stretch of road adopted carries a sign heralding the civic organizations participation in keeping the highway’s clean.

If the KKK application is approved, KKK members would be cleaning up a stretch of Route 515 in the Appalachian Mountains near the North Carolina border. The application is from the International Keystone Knights of the KKK in Union County. There are reportedly fears that if the state denies the application, it will be in violation of the Constitution’s protection of free speech. Legally, it is not as clear cut as many might hope. A legal battle over the same issue in 2005 in Missouri is reported to have eventually come out on the side of the KKK. In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court is reported to have ruled that maintaining membership in the program could not be denied because of the beliefs of the group. A costly legal battle is something that could impact the already financially-strapped state DOT.

So what do you think? Should this application be denied or does that violate free speech?

Grant June 11, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Pretty sure it's "Ku Klux Klan (not Klu).... In any case , offensive as they may be , they have the same rights as any other group and its doubtful that the state has any grounds on which to deny the application . FWIW at least they will be doing something productive
Sharon Swanepoel June 11, 2012 at 09:28 PM
You are right Grant, thank you.
Ben June 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Go ahead and let them Clean up, the Road, they have had to do a lot of Clean up in the past of a lot of different things
thatguy June 12, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I'm all for free speech but their's as well as other hate groups, and I include the New Black Panthers with them, are detrimental to our society. When they take off the hoods and go to work as managers, lawyers, politicians, business owners, etc. their views affect every decision they make. Adopting a road is strictly a PR move to put a warm and fuzzy on that hate group. This is a situation where just because something is within the law doesn't make it moral. Given their history I would not let them adopt a road unless it's in an area where blacks, hispanics, or another minority resides.
Zachary June 12, 2012 at 08:35 PM
I beleive they have da right to adopt a hwy because it's not a crime n it's not going to hurt anyone
Grant June 13, 2012 at 01:24 PM
State has denied the request... Now we get to watch them spend our money in great huge piles in a losing battle while giving the Klan all sorts of free publicity> Seems like the smart move would have been to simply let those guys pick up trash on the side of the highway .
e.t. sims June 13, 2012 at 02:17 PM
as long as the naacp,sclc, black panthers,aflcio,& other organizations of that ilk are allowed (not that any of them would do any thing that requires actual work )similar priveledges the kkk should be allowed also
thatguy June 13, 2012 at 05:42 PM
e.t. sims Other organizations you mentioned don't have the history that the kkk has. They are the same as those other organizations in that they divide but that's where it ends. The state did right thing to deny the request, even though it will be overturned. Whether the state approved or disapproved it, it will send a message. Can you imagine a black, hispanic, or another minority driving down that road and seeing the kkk?
Grant June 13, 2012 at 05:56 PM
thatguy, Can you assert , and give evidence proving that this current group of Klansmen has any history of illegal activity? The only message that will be sent is that the First Amendment applies even to unsavory speech and that our state officials would rather waste our tax money on lawyers then to let some guys clean up trash on the side of the road .
thatguy June 13, 2012 at 06:07 PM
Of course not. When they have a rally in full uniform they are carefull to not break any laws. Who knows what they do and how they behave when not in uniform. I do believe that with a belief system such as theirs it's hard to be objective in front of any race you deem inferior. I haven't seen any press releases for that clan that highlight a change in views and beliefs from the past. Not saying they haven't changed, just that I haven't seen it. With regards to money I understand that it would be easier and cheaper to just let them have there road but sometimes it's not about money. If we let how much something is going to cost affect our decisions, it could cost us more in the future.
Grant June 13, 2012 at 06:15 PM
So... Because they have a "different " viewpoint the government has some rights to infringe upon their rights because of some nebulous attachment to history? What other groups would you have denied and on what grounds? The Boy Scouts are known to have discriminatory policies, most religious groups have some "violence" in their history .... This will end bad for Ga. The Klan will not only win an expensive law suit but they'll also receive all sorts of free publicity and attention ,likely even increasing their membership > If they want to clean the road I'm all for it , let them do something productive .
thatguy June 13, 2012 at 06:34 PM
"Different" viewpoints are ok. "Different" viewpoints that make it difficult for minorities to thrive and create systemic problems (I'm referring to when they return to their jobs in the public and private sector) needs to be scrutinized, disected, monitored, and yes in some cases fought. Boy scouts just like any organization, if provent to have discriminatory polices need to be examined as well. Religious violence is well documented. Does the government have the athourity to stomp out religion who's to say. I do believe that currently religion is far too intertwined with politics. What happened to Separation of church and state. The kkk is not a religion however and in mostly a subtle way attack the civil rights of minorities. They exist to divide. This is where the government needs to get involved. Like I said before just because something is within the law doesn't make it moral.
Grant June 13, 2012 at 06:41 PM
"Morality" is an individual thing and is NOT up to the government to determine. Denying constitutional rights to any group is certainly not moral by any standard I'd rather the GDOT (who's currently begging for MORE tax dollars) spend what they have on roads , not losing legal battles that end up proving the Klan right
thatguy June 13, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Your right. Morality is an individual thing, and was a poor choice of words on my part. I should have used "right" as you did. Because something is within the law doesn't make it right. Lots of people made a lot of money through shady business practices, putting us all in this situation worrying about money, that were legal but we all know wasn't right. A lot of baseball players hit a lot of homers after the strike season using HGH that wasn't illegal but we know it just wasn't right. That's why they aren't in the hall of fame. Lawyers don't seek justice or the truth, just what's legal. We know that's not right. This is the same situation. It's legal for them to adopt a road, but we know it's not right.
Grant June 13, 2012 at 07:16 PM
I disagree, While I personally do not agree with the " Klan " and all that it entails I believe they have the same rights as any other group and those rights MUST be respected. It isnt usually the speech about puppies and unicorns that demands protection . Again , rubber stamp the application , collect the required info and be sure that the group fulfills the requirement . No harm no foul , no boon ion publicity for the Klan and no wasted taxpayers money Wins all the way around .
thatguy June 13, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Grant I've enjoyed our discussion, and I agree with you on the legal right of the kkk to adopt a road, and the ease of just stamping it and forgetting about it. It's not always easy to see the social ramifications of government decisions but more times than not they surface in one way or another. Even though neither of us were there, I believe the founding fathers created the bill of rights and free speech laws to protect the views that differed from the majority so that they could freely speak out against what they believed to be wrong in society, government, etc. I don't believe it was to protect views that foster a direct attack on equality, advocate superiority of individual races, and an indirect attack on civil rights of others. These are just personal feelings but minorities living here and thinking about moving here need to at least believe that the government doesn't support, condone or agree with the beliefs of groups such as these.
e.t. sims June 13, 2012 at 07:53 PM
looks like I've stirred up a shlitz storm here! just so ya'll don't think I'm speaking strictly from a wasp point of view, know that I'm a 50 something year old NATIVE Southerner (native as in I was born here AND I'm Cherokee) I'm also a card carrying member of the Boy Scouts, NRA,Sons of Coinfederate Veterans,Red Nation,but not the kkk. I was around when the kkk was a respected organization here. When they're main objective was to make sure people respected one another & lived by the rules .Reminded cheating /lazy spouses(all races) that type behaviour would not be tolerated in our communities. Before it evolved into the mostly racist group we know today. as far as being an intimidating,feared organization, I was here in the 60's & remember the race riots & yes we were intimidated &fearful of the naacp, sclc,aflcio,black panthers, whenever we left our homes. So I still say if the kkk wants to pick up trash on the side of some of our roads, let them! its not like any of those other groups are gonna be there to cause any type of confrontation.
thatguy June 13, 2012 at 08:07 PM
e.t. sims There's nothing wrong with a debate as long as it's civil. Although we don't know that the other groups you mentioned don't help out in the community like you imply. Also, why did the riots occur? Cause and effect. Sometimes we focus heavily on the effect and not enough on the cause. We pass laws to address the effect but not the cause. There is always a reason/cause.
e.t. sims June 14, 2012 at 01:54 AM
Like I said I'm Cherokee anyone out there want to give me a hard time about discrimination against my ancestors? you think slavery was bad try the Trail of Tears Wounded Knee, Sand Creek,Cheif Joseph &the Nez-Perce do I need to go on? our land was stolen by force &deceit then we were forcibly removed from our rightful home and lands &in the end just killed for the sport of it!Do we blame "whitey" because our young men are in prison or on crack? do we whimper &moan because the kkk wants to clean up the trash on the side of the road, because someone might be offended?Some might.I am offended when my tax dollars are given to someone who just doesn't want to work ,when I get up every morning and put in a full day every day &don't ask anyone for anything I haven't earned by my own labors. I'm bout done w/ all this sounds to me like some folks need to stand up on their own two hind legs put on their big boy panties &toughen -up there's allways gonna be something to complain about if you want to this just ain't it, if the kkk wants to improve their public image by pickin up trash, great! let em, just one less thing for the rest of us to have to do!
thatguy June 14, 2012 at 05:49 PM
e.t. sims said: "Do we blame "whitey" because our young men are in prison or on crack? do we whimper &moan because the kkk wants to clean up the trash on the side of the road, because someone might be offended?Some might.I am offended when my tax dollars are given to someone who just doesn't want to work ,when I get up every morning and put in a full day every day &don't ask anyone for anything I haven't earned by my own labors" There's much more to the situation then what you just discribed. But you don't seem the type to want to know more than whats on the surface. Just for fun search New York's Stop and Frisk Policy and tell me if it's just "lazy people who just want to blame whitey" for everything, or if the numbers show that there really is something deeper. I came up in that system and I can tell you, the majority of the people I knew who spent time on welfare "worked their arses off". My mom is Dyslexic but wasn't identified until adulthood. Until then she was just labeled as stupid and lazy. However, I don't remember a time when she wasn't working at least 1 job sometimes 2. Some media outlets paint just enough of a picture to get people to believe the problem rests solely on minorities cause they're "lazy and want a handout". There are lazy and bad people evenly in every race. Only minorites are "identified" or "label" lazy because of certain individuals.
Jeffrey Allen June 14, 2012 at 06:25 PM
If the Klan did this to seek publicity then they have succeeded. Best thing to do would have been to rubber stamp the app and let it fade into obscurity and not give it the media attention it now has. The KKK exists to promote division and mistrust. By placing the app in the first place they put the state in a no win situation...To approve it would mean an outcry; to deny, pretty much the same. I would not have wanted to be the descision maker on this matter. Still, what can you do? You hold your nose and approve the application. There's simply no legal way out of it, and you deny the klan whining rights for the denial. Maybe they even tidy the roads up and do something civil for a change.

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