KKK wants to ‘adopt’ highway in Georgia

KKK wants to ‘adopt’ highway in Georgia

By Dylan Stableford | The Sideshow

<snip>“This is about membership building and rebranding their name in a public way,” Brooks said. “What’s next, are we going to let Neo-Nazis or the Taliban or al-Qaida adopt highways?”</snip>

Is this discrimination? Is this suppression of Free Speech?

Aren’t they a religious non-profit organization? I don’t think you can discriminate against them (especially since there are lots of churches that adopt highways) without violating the First Amendment, upsetting as they are.

It’s kind of fucked up. Don’t they wind up putting up a sign with the name of the group that “adopted” it? It sucks that now it’s going to seem like a state endorsement of the KKK, but really, I don’t see how they could be barred from doing it if Girl Scout Troupe 119 is allowed.

Could this be covered under Free Speech?

The last time this happened, the legislature renamed the stretch of road the “Rosa Parks Parkway” and the KKK eventually went away, without ever cleaning up a single piece of trash.

Pretty clearly, they have a right to do this, as dislikable as they may be. However, keep in mind that the KKK generally consists of fuckups who chronically fail at every single thing they try to do with their lives. When they tried this stunt in Mississippi, the Klansmen were too busy doing meth and fucking their sisters to actually keep their stretch of highway clean, and their “adoption” was rescinded by the state. Looking at the prize-winning specimens in the picture, I suspect history is going to repeat itself shortly.

This may very well be true. However, do we want a Government entity “approving” who gets signs based on philosophy?

They gave a right to this sign, whether or not I approve of their philosophies

Hah! That was exactly the thought that passed through my head when I read the thread title. I was thinking: Let them adopt an MLK Highway or something like that and then see how eager they are to follow through.

Still, if we have such a program, it has to be open to any legal entity unless the state has a compelling reason to disallow it. And that compelling reason can’t be “it will upset some people”.

No, we don’t want the government to do that. I thought that was pretty clear from my post.

Just rename the highway Martin Luther King highway, better yet Jack Johnson Highway(he slept with white women) and they’ll immediately want to disassociate themselves from the project ASAP.

They already got what they wanted - a mention in the news to remind people they still exist.

Is the freeway concrete or blacktop?

It seems to be the state of Georgia has created a limited forum but the limited forum criteria are broad with the Adopt A Highway program. The Georgia Department of Transportation website says "any civic-minded organization, business, individual, family, city, county, state, or federal agency is welcome to volunteer in the Georgia Adopt-A-Highway program.”

The message conveyed is concern for the environment, being conscious of the importance of a clean and litter free environment, or roadway, or along the sides of the roads, or simply advocacy for a clean and beautfiul environment, roadway, etcetera. So, it seems to me, based on laws regarding government forums and the prohibition on discriminating because of the viewpoint or message of the speaker(s) or group(s) then the state of Georgia cannot deny this application on the basis of the groups beliefs or message.

However, the state can regulate speech when the regulation is not based on the content of the speech, the message, or belief of the speaker. So, for instance, "*State Rep. Tyrone Brooks (D-Atlanta), head of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, wants that state to reject the application. He considers the group a domestic terrorist group.

“This is about membership building and rebranding their name in a public way,” Brooks told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “If the state approves [their application] then they are complicit*.” http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/06/georgia_kkk_group_wants_to_adopt_a_highway.php?ref=fpb

So, if the state of Georgia denies the KKK application because of its unlawful acts of violence in the past then the refusal by the state of Georgia is not, ostensibly, based on the message, beliefs, or speech of the KKK. The state of Georgia will have offered a non-speech reason for denial of the application.

Seems like a distinction without a difference. Like if I couldn’t deny a Democrat a public platform because his beliefs are free speech, but could deny him because the history of his party a la Andrew Jackson stood for genocide. (not really, but I’m just looking for a reason to ban the speech…let’s use terrorism or genocide…that always is good for speech-stifiling)

It’s supression of speech wrapped up in a new cloth.

I suspect Georgia has left itself a handy out by using the phrase “civic-minded”. So long as the state agency hears evidence and determines that the group is a bunch of uncivil shitheads before rejecting the application it’s kosher.

Like it or not, the First Amendment does not prevent discrimination on the basis of all group membership, which is why the state can- for example- require its officials to affirm that they have “never been affiliated with the Communist Party or any other totalitarian party.”

That said, I’d give them their stupid road. It’s Appalachia; it probably isn’t even paved.

Heck, no! Trumpet it to the skies, send out local reporters to interview the Grand Kugel Klatter, up close and personal! Give the public a chance to better know and appreciate these splendid, civic minded people!

Not that I support the KKK, but I don’t like this type of little game by the state. Sure, we all get a good laugh if they name the highway “Sambo’s Sweaty Nutsack” and put up a sign that says “Sambo’s Sweaty Nutsack kept clean and beautiful by the White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan!”

But what if the state of, say, Nevada decided that they hate Native Americans, so if any tribe adopts-a-highway, they rename it Andrew Jackson Way, or the Great General Custer Highway. Do we still approve?

There’s a pretty big gap between the Democratic Party and the Klan. I agree that somewhere in the gap you find unlawful suppression, but we’re not close to that spot. For one thing, it’s easy to distinguish between currently held beliefs and those that are tens or hundreds of years old.

If this was Thom Robb’s Klan group, with its attendant message (“we don’t hate black people; we just want white people to love their children”) it would be different. I doubt this group’s message is quite along those lines.

Would it be unpleasant? Sure, but we’ve pretty much decided that those things are for the legislature and not the courts. That’s why there are still a million things in the South named for confederate worthies, and even people like Nathan Bedford Forrest.

It isn’t a distinction without a difference. The difference is the message or speech is not the reason or basis for the censorship, for the regulation of speech, in this case for denying the application, but the groups unlawful violent activities in the past (which are not speech). This is the distinction and to be sure there is a difference between speech and unlawful violent activities, just as there is a difference between burning the U.S. flag as expressive conduct and burning your neighbor’s house down who is a member of the Communisty Party. The former conduct is speech, the latter conduct is unlawful conduct, regardless of the fact burning down the neighbor’s home conveyed the message you disliked Communists.

You do realize this is a false analogy to what I said? Andrew Jackson advocating for genocide is still speech and to be parallel to my argument it would have to be Andrew Jackson actively participated in the unlawful act of genocide, like Adolf Hitler, Eichmann, etcetera. Your analogy is nothing more than speech compared to speech as opposed to speech compared to an unlawful act or activity. The two are not the same.

I don’t disagree about the huge gap, but you seem to imply that when you go to beliefs spouted by the KKK that you are somehow LAWFULLY supressing the speech.

I contend that from Democratic Party to KKK it is all protected speech. (The speech, not all of the acts. Obviously cross burning in someone’s yard is assault and trespass. Says that Blacks are inferior is protected speech).