The Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia Attorney General’s Office met Monday about a request from the Ku Klux Klan to participate in the state’s Adopt a Highway Program in Union County. In a statement, officials with the Georgia Department of Transportation say the department is still in the process of reviewing the application.
Last month, The International Keystone Knights applied to clean up a portion of state route 515 near the North Carolina border. On its website, the department of transportation says the program is open to any civic-minded organization, business, individual, family, city, county, state, or federal agency. But State Representative Tyrone Brooks with the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials says the state should deny the request because he doesn’t believe the group qualifies.
“They have burned, they have raped, they have robbed, they have lynched...simply because they want to keep the races separate, so for the state to even consider an application from the Ku Klux Klan is absolutely unbelievable.”
The ACLU of Georgia is not representing the chapter. But the organization’s executive director Debbie Seagraves says the application should not be denied because of free speech rights.
“Having your name on a highway, adopting a highway as a matter of civic participation, is speech. And our first amendment guarantees that governmental decisions about speech are going to have to be content neutral.”
WABE contacted the International Keystone Knights but a spokesperson for the organization declined comment.