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This Highway Adoped By the Ku Klux Klan
January 10, 2005 3:42 PM   Subscribe

This Highway Adopted By The Ku Klux Klan The US Supreme Court has declined an appeal by the state of Missouri seeking to reverse an 8th Circuit opinion which allows the Ku Klux Klan to adopt a highway. Under the controlling ruling of the 8th Circuit, "desire to exclude controversial organizations in order to prevent 'road rage' or public backlash on the highways against the adopters' unpopular beliefs is simply not a legitimate governmental interest that would support the enactment of speech-abridging regulations."
posted by expriest (114 comments total)

 
Okay, everyone, now you know where to dump your trash. Load up the pickup and head for Missouri 21, near Potosi...
posted by QuietDesperation at 3:46 PM on January 10, 2005


How many points do you get for hitting a klansmen?
posted by poipill at 3:49 PM on January 10, 2005


There's some joke to be made here about a crossroads, or a burning cross on the road, or something, but it's eluding me.
posted by seanyboy at 3:54 PM on January 10, 2005


Now seanyboy, let's not whitewash this attack on the first amendment with jokes.

Get it? WHITEwash? While talking about the klan? Har de har.
posted by Fontbone at 3:58 PM on January 10, 2005


I lived in St. Louis when this fight started up. At the time, the KKK had a stretch of Interstate 55 right near where I grew up. Missouri's response? It named that section the "Rosa Parks Highway". Pretty clever. I'd expect a similar gesture on Highway 21.
posted by AgentRocket at 3:59 PM on January 10, 2005


Good for the Supreme Court. Freedom means freedom means freedom - even, no, ESPECIALLY when it disgusts you.
posted by Ryvar at 4:01 PM on January 10, 2005


I can't wait to drive there and have inter-racial sex.
posted by Dr. Boom at 4:12 PM on January 10, 2005


Ryvar, I agree. That's why my group, MFFDD, is sponsoring a section of I-5 here in Washington State.

yours,
Todd C.
Regional President
Mother-fuckers FOR Drinking-Driving
Motto: "Any pushy can drive to Shpokan shober"
posted by tkchrist at 4:16 PM on January 10, 2005



Good for the Supreme Court. Freedom means freedom means freedom - even, no, ESPECIALLY when it disgusts you.


I'm sort of in the middle on this issue. While I appreciate the protections of freedoms, I also don't know how keen I'd be on having a hundred KKK members on my street every day yelling racial slurs. In Canada, however, we have protection against hate speech, so it's something of a different issue.

In this case, however, it seems like it may be the correct decision. Road rage seems like a pretty thin reason to remove the sign--is that seriously the best the Missouri Sate Government could come up with? I imagine the sign will be torn down or defaced regularly, though, so it might cost the state more money than it's worth.
posted by The God Complex at 4:30 PM on January 10, 2005


Isn't the KKK a terrorist organization? Does this mean that al Qaeda can adopt highways?
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:31 PM on January 10, 2005


who would be against Any group picking up trash in their neighborhood?

here in LA if i saw that a part of the highway was being cleaned by the Crips and another part by the Bloods, i would be all, at least it's keeping them off the streets.

[rimshot]
posted by tsarfan at 4:33 PM on January 10, 2005


The KKK's right to not be discriminated against is inalienable.

However, their right to discriminate against is not.
posted by RockCorpse at 4:34 PM on January 10, 2005


I'm confused. You need clean paved roads to lynch now?
posted by Peter H at 4:37 PM on January 10, 2005


I am glad that they are not forbidden to adopt a road. This is America, and any *sshole gets the same protections as the greatest citizen we have.

That's what makes America great.
posted by nathanrudy at 4:40 PM on January 10, 2005


ha, somehow *sshole looks filthier than asshole.
posted by Peter H at 4:42 PM on January 10, 2005


I have to admit there's a certain novelty in watching trash picking up trash.
posted by jonmc at 4:45 PM on January 10, 2005


Hmm, I would like to fast forward six months or so to the KKK saying they can no longer afford to do the program because every single car going by was stopping to toss bags and bags full of garbage out on their stretch of highway.

Do they clean up the highway in their coward uniforms or do they have to wear something else?

Peter H, its the pucker, baby!
posted by fenriq at 4:45 PM on January 10, 2005


" I also don't know how keen I'd be on having a hundred KKK members on my street every day"

You're assuming they could still pull 100 members together.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:45 PM on January 10, 2005


Oh they pull their members all the time, crash! Now synchronized pulling is beyond their meager brain stem capabilities though.
posted by fenriq at 4:55 PM on January 10, 2005


I'm a Black Panther.
posted by orange clock at 4:56 PM on January 10, 2005


I loathe the KKK and everything it stands for, and yet I support their right to free speech in America. Let me relate a true story told to me by a gentleman who was formerly the president of the Maryland chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union:

The Ku Klux Klan wanted to hold a parade in a small town, the name and location of which I now forget. They followed all civic procedures for parade application, but they were turned down. The KKK turned to the ACLU, arguing that their right to free speech was being infringed. The ACLU agreed, defended them, and won. The KKK would be permitted to march.

Some weeks later, the Klansmen descended on downtown to hold their parade, and discovered... a ghost town. Not a soul in sight. Every business shuttered and dark. No audience, nowhere to eat, nowhere even to go to the bathroom. The Klan slunk away and never tried to hold a parade in that town again.

That, good men and women of MetaFilter, is how you deal with hate speech in America.
posted by Faint of Butt at 4:57 PM on January 10, 2005


Well, not really so much.
posted by orange clock at 4:57 PM on January 10, 2005


This is just a reminder to me of how blatantly racist some sections of our country still are. Our government hounded and criminalized the Black Panther Party out of exsistence, yet a murderous terrorist group like the KKK is allowed to do crap like this? WTF!
posted by wonway at 4:57 PM on January 10, 2005


fenriq: Oh, thanks! Now I'm getting this mental image of klansman in their traditional white robes and pointy hoods ... but with that safety yellow fluorescent striping added. It's weird, and a more than a little disconcerting.
posted by kaemaril at 5:01 PM on January 10, 2005


I wonder if Missouri is a red state.
posted by orange clock at 5:06 PM on January 10, 2005


wonway, I'd be more than happy to have the Black Panthers or anyone else helping control litter on the highways. I don't think I'd stop any group. Except maybe the Planting Bmbs on the Roadside While Pretending to Pick Up Litter Club. That one, maybe their rights could be infringed.
posted by u.n. owen at 5:12 PM on January 10, 2005


er, bombs, not bmbs. I am a dumbfuck who does not know how to preview. *whips self*
posted by u.n. owen at 5:13 PM on January 10, 2005


Volunteer groups are publicly thanked with signs along the highway acknowledging their help.

Every state but Vermont has such a program.

Texas Solicitor General R. Ted Cruz, who filed a brief on behalf of 10 states that backed Missouri, said that states unwilling to partner with the KKK may "forgo the economic benefits of having volunteers pick up tons of roadside trash each year." The 10 states are Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Vermont.


I've just disowned my home state.
posted by kamylyon at 5:16 PM on January 10, 2005



This is just a reminder to me of how blatantly racist some sections of our country still are. Our government hounded and criminalized the Black Panther Party out of exsistence, yet a murderous terrorist group like the KKK is allowed to do crap like this? WTF!


Remember that "some sections" of our country actually includes 11 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Vermont. That's more than 1/5 of our states that have highways cleaned voluntarily by different factions of the KKK.

On a side note, my neighbor is Tom Robb, the national director of The Knights of the KKK. Most people here look past his affiliations and see him as a genuinly nice guy, who is a loving father and wife. To call him a terrorist (as people in this thread have done) is wrong because Robb actually admits that other races have affected his persoal life in no way whatsoever. The KKK is split into several different factions many years ago, and the Knights tend to be less radical than the other factions, to which they have no ties. In fact, the two highways that I know of that are cleaned by the KKK are cleaned by the Knights and not more radical factions.

Now please don't call me a sympathiser or anything, I do not support any factions of this group or conservatism in general. But let's not be quick to judge a group based on its "KKK" tag, when the people who make up the KKK are actually quite diverse in their opinions.
posted by whoshotwho at 5:32 PM on January 10, 2005


To call him a terrorist...is wrong because Robb actually admits that other races have affected his persoal life in no way whatsoever.

I don't understand what you're saying here.
posted by George_Spiggott at 5:40 PM on January 10, 2005


(from kkk.bz):

Robb is viewed by civil rights experts as the most dangerous of the new breed of white supremacists because of his communication skills, political ambitions and his impressive ability to cloak the underlying message of hatred and intolerance in an avuncular garb of reason and logic."

whoshotwho, Robb sounds like your typical small-minded white supremicist klan fuck to me. He just hides it behind purdy words.
posted by cosmonik at 5:41 PM on January 10, 2005


Did you know that the KKK adopted a highway?
Just a few miles away from my mom's house.
They paid their money and they put up a sign.
I guess they dress up in sheets and go pick up the trash.

--MU330, "KKK Hiway"
posted by infidelpants at 5:47 PM on January 10, 2005


Excuse me folks, but I think you need to be reminded that the overwhelming multitude of complaints to the FCC come from a miniscule extremist minority of the population. The moral: It doesn't matter whether the KKK can maintain the road or not, or if they have a hundred people to get together. They have the right to take any non-violent action that any other private organization can take ... period.

The KKK's right to not be discriminated against is inalienable.

However, their right to discriminate against is not.


Uhhh, sorry, but yes it is. How many athiests out there in Mefiville feel discriminated against by policies that serve the Christian fundamentalist right? Show of hands. The fundies have the right to tell you you're going to hell, they have the right to adopt highways, they have the right to excommunicate you from their membership, or deny you inclusion, they have the right hate you. They don't have the right to set public policy (a fact which appears to have escaped many in authority these days). Now look at how many highways are "adopted" by churches that claim you suck? Where's the hue and cry over those? This is no different. The Klan can behave just as assholish as any other organization out there. If it makes you uncomfortable then ask yourself what kind of environment breeds the desease, and innoculate that.

Hint, it helps to be realistic and know what you're facing.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:47 PM on January 10, 2005


See what happens when the KKK adopts playground equipment...?


posted by 327.ca at 5:52 PM on January 10, 2005


"I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to pick up roadside trash."

-Voltaire
posted by salad spork at 5:58 PM on January 10, 2005


Wow, whoshotwho, that Klan site you pointed to is vicious. They're not kidding when they say it's "best viewed with MS Explorer"! It borked my Firefox with some crashing applet in about eight seconds.

On preview, what salad spork said.
posted by 327.ca at 6:01 PM on January 10, 2005


Now please don't call me a sympathiser or anything, I do not support any factions of this group or conservatism in general. But let's not be quick to judge a group based on its "KKK" tag, when the people who make up the KKK are actually quite diverse in their opinions.

Wow. That is absolutely stunning. I mean, if you can't judge a group based on calling itself part of the KKK, who can you judge?

It's a good thing that you don't support "conservativism in general," so at least we can rest assured that you are a very tolerant person underneath it all.
posted by esquire at 6:11 PM on January 10, 2005


I have to admit there's a certain novelty in watching trash picking up trash.
posted by jonmc at 4:45 PM PST on January 10


It's fun to watch them stuff themselves into the bag, and still get around...
posted by Balisong at 6:16 PM on January 10, 2005


the ku klux kleen
posted by wbm$tr at 6:22 PM on January 10, 2005


I figure that if the KKK wants to pick up highway litter, let 'em. There are actually two big advantages here: first, it provides a handy space to dispose of your litter, used diapers, and sharp glass. Second you can always play a fun game of "peg the Klansman with a coke bottle" to while away the long hours on a family outing.

More seriously, I would argue that the appropriate response would be for anti-Klan groups to take the sections of highway on either side of the Klan's section under names such as "The Klan is still racist" and the like. Or use it as a pledge drive mechanism: get people to pledge X dollars to the Southern Poverty Law Center for every Klansman who shows up on their cleanup day.

A group actually used that tactic as an effective counter to a Klan rally. They got supporters to pledge X dollars for every minute that the Klan marched. The Klan wasn't happy about it.
posted by sotonohito at 6:28 PM on January 10, 2005


Excuse me folks...

Seems to me you're largely preaching to the converted, Wulfgar!. The majority of comments seem to reflect the 'it's their right to be an asshole, and my right to not like it' reality of the situation.

Are they any state/federal free speech edicts which address the issue of inciting hate in America? Or is this just handled through the social sphere, without legislative support?
posted by cosmonik at 6:28 PM on January 10, 2005


Wow. That is absolutely stunning. I mean, if you can't judge a group based on calling itself part of the KKK, who can you judge?

I think what he was trying to say is that there are several groups calling themselves the KKK out there ranging from half-assed "white pride" sepratists to armed groups who want to get their genocide on. I've got no time for any of the misreable fucks myself, but they are differences between them and their often antagonistic (which is helpful since then they're more likely to rat eachother out).

Although, a group that uses the name Ku Klux Klan really has no business being surprised if people don't react well.
posted by jonmc at 6:32 PM on January 10, 2005


But let's not be quick to judge a group based on its "KKK" tag

No, let's definitely be quick to judge.

Fact: there is no branch of the KKK, no matter how polite or white collar, which does not advocate segregation and racial supremacy.

Fact: The KKK's primary purpose was, is, and always will be the subjugation of the rights of minorities. That is their purpose. It is why they exist. It is not something they sometimes do, it is their reason for being.

Fact: The KKK's entire history is one of murder, rape, intimidation, voter fraud, and arson.

Fact: Mr. Robb is one of the leaders of this organization.

You be slow to judge if you want. I already know all I need to know of Mr. Robb.
posted by unreason at 6:36 PM on January 10, 2005


I agree the court made the right decision, but the strength of freedom relies so much on education and discussion... whoshotwho's comment makes me a little bit concerned about the potential consequences. The purpose of the adopt-a-highway thing is precisely to make the KKK look like "decent people", and allow it to be respectable to join a racist cult.

The thing is, most bad people are not pure evil. They are damaged goods or shortsighted or otherwise incomplete, but they can be perfectly "nice" people. That is not enough. Accepting someone with such beliefs into your community is condoning those beliefs and implicitly supporting others in your community to follow their example.
posted by mdn at 6:39 PM on January 10, 2005


They are damaged goods or shortsighted or otherwise incomplete

Aren't we all?

(not comparing you and I to the sheeted shitheels, just waxing philosophical.)
posted by jonmc at 6:42 PM on January 10, 2005


Well, fuck. I live about 20 miles from the section of highway to be adopted. I'm not about to throw bottles at 'em, but I'd like to make some sort of social statement. Reasonable suggestions appreciated.
posted by F Mackenzie at 6:43 PM on January 10, 2005


But let's not be quick to judge a group based on its "KKK" tag, when the people who make up the KKK are actually quite diverse in their opinions.

You know.. they're really not.
posted by The God Complex at 6:44 PM on January 10, 2005


Seems to me you're largely preaching to the converted, Wulfgar!. The majority of comments seem to reflect the 'it's their right to be an asshole, and my right to not like it' reality of the situation.

cosmonik, I'm not so certain. Advocating violence against them, taking advantage of their rights to pollute an environment that most of us profess to defend, attempting to deny them the basic rights that we all share (the right to believe what we want, regardless of how idiotic), those hardly seem like the actions of not liking, and much more like the actions of self-destructive hate. That's the very thing that the fundies, freepers, white supremicists, or any group that feeds off of victimization desires. Why give them what they desire, which is a fight that proves them right (in their minds)? This very case played right into their hands, and many of the reactions here on the 'Filter have done so as well.
posted by Wulfgar! at 6:49 PM on January 10, 2005


Some viewpoints are so hateful that they've been marginalized out of existence, Wulgar!. I think there may be a danger in suggesting that any and all viewpoints, even those that call for violence against minorities, should be accepted, especially when the group in question has a stories history of acting upon those calls for violence. As I said, in Canada we have protection against hate speech in public (not in the privacy of your home or club or what have you). I'm not sure how this would play out here, but I don't really have a problem with our hate speech laws. Generally, I think our democracy far surpasses the American brand. *shrugs*
posted by The God Complex at 6:52 PM on January 10, 2005


(err, storied)
posted by The God Complex at 6:53 PM on January 10, 2005


Aren't we all?

well, yeah... I guess that's even kinda the point: evilness is just human fallibility multiplied to extreme enough levels that it really Fucks Shit Up.

Which is to say, bad people aren't recognizable as demons or something. Most of the time they will seem pretty ordinary, "decent folk", or whatever. But you have to hold people personally responsible for their beliefs - befriending a klan member without explicitly clarifying your disgust, is making the statement that the organization is perfectly acceptable to you.
posted by mdn at 7:04 PM on January 10, 2005


whoshotwho - But let's not be quick to judge a group based on its "KKK" tag, when the people who make up the KKK are actually quite diverse in their opinions.

The God Complex - You know.. they're really not.

Wulfgar - You know, they really are. I read the racist sites regularly (and I will post them here, though it will likely get me banned, if the need becomes too great). The fact is, these people are human, just like you and me. They believe they're being picked on by the zionist conspiracy and the efforts to blend unholy races with the holy white race. How they deal with that is remarkably different from group to group. Some believe in non-violence (though they're only kidding themselves), some believe that God will intervene. The point is that lumping them all together as a cancerous mass of racists is no damn different than what you imagine they are doing to others. The Bush administration is considering using terrorists to fight terrorists (with death squads et. al.). What makes you think that you can be any better by fighting ignorant hate with ignorant hate?

You want to win this struggle against racial hatred? Recognize that the groups involved are different and separate and keep them that way. Don't lend credence to the fundamental belief, and you don't support the unification of opposition. Is that too difficult to grasp?

on preview, TGC: There is a very fine line between controlling viewpoints and controlling thought. I respect the Canadian government's (and people's) efforts to be forthright in what is acceptable. But I'm an American, and we cannot afford to legislate thought crime given our Constitution (IMO). Our current admin is attempting to go there, and most Canadians disrespect them for it. Why would you ask different in this case?
posted by Wulfgar! at 7:09 PM on January 10, 2005


This is funny. Its like a big nod-in or something.

KKK = Bad.

Mr. Robb = KKK = Bad.

Non-violent gathering = good.

Cleaning the highways = good.

KKK cleaning the highways = BadGood = canceling out = clean slate.

Doing a public good and getting all of this wonderful national and international publicity for free because of the public outcry and kneejerk responses (yep, I had one too). And in the end, people will have a tendency to excuse some of their past crimes. I don't equate picking up trash with hanging or killing black people but people will. It's human nature to make simple balances out of things. People will see them doing good now and not see them having done the much greater evil before and they will think the KKK's not so bad at all.

Anything and anyone having to do with the KKK will never have anything to do with me. Just like anyone who starts off their thinking with "I'm better than everyone else" or some permutation. And then they recruit other damaged goods people who want to think they are better than other people even though they know, deep down, that they are the same or less than others.

But then, any group I join won't try to dictate my beliefs for me anyway. Not so overtly at least.
posted by fenriq at 7:13 PM on January 10, 2005


KKKountry Roads, Take Me Home.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:17 PM on January 10, 2005


Why would you ask different in this case?

Because it's people he hates and fears as much as others fear and hate Muslim extremists.*

I don't mean to pick on you, TGC, but you can see where I'm going with his. We've all got our particular political boogeymen that we'd like to completely eliminate and supress, but that leads to two problems: who gets to decide? and how far do you wanna take it? If history is any guide political expedience would determine who gets suppressed. So the solution is to not supress thought and speech at all.

So repeat after me: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. [emphasis mine]

*I loathe both, but I'm not going to stoop to facism against facism.
posted by jonmc at 7:17 PM on January 10, 2005


The thought that 1/5 of our country acknowledges and even supports any faction / subset of the KKK is extremely disturbing. How many foreign aliens has America jailed (without due process) and then deported because of past so called terrorist affiliation? Yet past and current members of the KKK are still walking around with a wink and a nod. Currently a retired grand pub(sic) is on trial for the murder of three civil activist and there is a debate within the local community that such a trial is a waste of time and that it serve no purpose but to dredge up old news. The fact that the KKK is still in existence means that the murder, lynching and terrorizing of ppl of color in this country will never be old news. This is not a freedom of speech issue. Its about the continued use of terror to intimidate ppl that don't share the beliefs of the KKK. If I were to see an official sign on the side of the road blazoned with the acronym KKK it would scare the crap out of me. I don't care if its Vermont or Alabama.
posted by wonway at 7:27 PM on January 10, 2005


How many foreign aliens has America jailed (without due process) and then deported because of past so called terrorist affiliation?.....This is not a freedom of speech issue. Its about the continued use of terror to intimidate ppl that don't share the beliefs of the KKK.

If don't like the former, then you're going to have to put up with the latter. If you don't like suppression of one group you have to disallow the suppression of another. The constitution is not based on political preference and sympathy. Yours, mine or anyone's. And thank God, because the preferences that gain legal standing are usually based on who weilds political power.

That's the foundation of the constitution, that it applies to the most despised, since popular speech needs no protection. Deal with it.
posted by jonmc at 7:35 PM on January 10, 2005


Or to put it even more bluntly, if someone supresses the speech of the KKK based on the fact that they find it loathsome, what's to stop some official from supressing mine if they decide it's loathsome?

It's about self-preservation, pure and simple.
posted by jonmc at 7:38 PM on January 10, 2005


After careful consideration, I fall into the camp of "Freedom belongs to everyone."

Now if it was NAMBLA.....
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:38 PM on January 10, 2005


Did I read the article wrong? I thought it said that Missouri decided that the Klan can't clean their highways, and that 10 other states supported them. Then the Supreme Court decided that any group can be allowed to clean Missouri highways.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:38 PM on January 10, 2005


So let me ask you this wulfgar!-
10 years from now an offshoot of al-queda denounces the past violence of some of its former members( that may or not be dead) wants to participate in one of these hwy clean up programs. should we allow them to do so? No questions asked? No vetting? Would they be seen as innocent until proven guilty? Or would they be seen as guilty by association and run out of town on a rail?

If this current chapter of the KKK has taken a single cent from the parent organization then they should be held liable for the past and present actions of the parent organization. Just like we treat prior members of the IRA, PRI and many other so-called terrorist organizations.
posted by wonway at 7:41 PM on January 10, 2005


Umm, I'm pretty sure my government bans hate speech from all hate groups, not just white hate groups. If there was Muslim extremist groups putting out hate literature in Canada, they'd be subject to similar action.

But I'm an American, and we cannot afford to legislate thought crime given our Constitution (IMO).

Thought crime is far, far different from expressing those thoughts in a public place. Again, I'm not sure how the highway thing would relate to this, but there's a difference between stopping someone from handing out racist pamphlets and saying it's illegal to believe such things in the privacy of your own home (or club).

We've all got our particular political boogeymen that we'd like to completely eliminate and supress, but that leads to two problems: who gets to decide? and how far do you wanna take it? If history is any guide political expedience would determine who gets suppressed. So the solution is to not supress thought and speech at all.

Perhaps. That is the American method, after all. Then again, I'd suggest that in parts of Europe as well as Canada, you have far better systems in place to suppress these things, so far without any ill effect.
posted by The God Complex at 7:43 PM on January 10, 2005



Or to put it even more bluntly, if someone supresses the speech of the KKK based on the fact that they find it loathsome, what's to stop some official from supressing mine if they decide it's loathsome?

It's about self-preservation, pure and simple.


No. Hate speech legislation is far different than what you're insinuating. It applies strictly to language that is inciteful and derogatory towards a particular ethnic group. So unless that's what you were espousing, I don't think your argument holds. Slippery Slope is an argument that has to be made very carefully and it's rarely logically tenable. I don't think this is one of those cases (and I think history bears this out).
posted by The God Complex at 7:46 PM on January 10, 2005


I could really give a rats *ss about the speech that the KKK uses. I'm more concerned about the campaign of murder and intimidation that they waged (and still are, as far as I'm concerned) in these United States. The foriegn aliens that we have locked up and deported were not singled out because of what they said. They were singled out because of their association with a so-called terrorist organization. The KKK has been and may still be a terrorist organization and all of its members should be treated as such.
posted by wonway at 7:48 PM on January 10, 2005


If there was Muslim extremist groups putting out hate literature in Canada, they'd be subject to similar action.

And you're comfortable believing that who actually recieves the punitive action (since as you say, all groups would be "subject" to it) would be fair and impartial?

Sorry but the history of politicians in action says otherwise.

Again, I'm not sure how the highway thing would relate to this,

Me too. Would they allow La Cosa Nostra to maintain a highway, for instance. Oh hell, it's become a free speech debate anyway, let's run with it.

Again, I'm not sure how the highway thing would relate to this, but there's a difference between stopping someone from handing out racist pamphlets and saying it's illegal to believe such things in the privacy of your own home (or club).

If speech is only free in private, then the right to speak freely is meaningless. The main check on free spech is the free speech of others to tell you that you're full of shit.

I could really give a rats *ss about the speech that the KKK uses. I'm more concerned about the campaign of murder and intimidation that they waged (and still are, as far as I'm concerned) in these United States.

That's a whole other conversation, wonway. Nobody here is defending murder and terrorism. There's already laws against murder, and there's the RICO statute, and even the Patriot Act* for prosecuting criminal organizations. Or are you just trying to impres us with how much you hate the KKK? We all hate them, too. What do you want, a medal?

*which goes to the heart of my point. If the Patriot Act is a bad law when used against Al Qaeda, it's a bad law used against the KKK. We cannot be selective about civil rights and remain a democracy.
posted by jonmc at 7:52 PM on January 10, 2005


If don't like the former, then you're going to have to put up with the latter. If you don't like suppression of one group you have to disallow the suppression of another.

yeah, but I think the point was, the gov is curtailing some rights, but the KKK isn't "bad enough" to cut into civil liberties, whereas al qaida apparently is. What scares me about this isn't that the supreme court ruled as it did, which was proper, but that the Klan are organized and marketing themselves intelligently, and some people are almost certainly falling for it. That's why responses to this beyond "it's their right" are necessary. It's our right to speak back, and no one should feel compelled to be personally tolerant of intolerable beliefs.

Now if it was NAMBLA.....

now if it was nambla what?
posted by mdn at 7:53 PM on January 10, 2005


I don't think this is one of those cases (and I think history bears this out).

Excuse me? McCartyism mean anything to you? COINTELPRO? Politicians use bad law to suppress their political enemies.

What is deemed "hate speech" or "dangerous speech" is very much dependent on who's doing the deciding.
posted by jonmc at 7:58 PM on January 10, 2005


jonmc- What I'm trying to say that this is not an issue of free speech. I see this as state govt. supporting the existence of a terrorist organization. By allowing them to participate in a state run program they will enable the KKK to further intimidating ppl that don't share their views everytime we see their name on a big green hwy sign. Its send a message or maybe even sets a precedent that the KKK is okay as opposed to a group of terrorist

If the KKK wants to rent a billboard by the side of the road asking ppl not to litter more power to them.
posted by wonway at 8:01 PM on January 10, 2005


I'm talking about logical nations that have used hate speech suppression, not the history of your morally bankrupt nation. Sorry for the confusion ;)

Also, for what it's worth, commie propaganda wouldn't fall under "hate speech" in any way whatsoever. As I said, the cases this can be used on is very strictly laid out, so you'd have to try very hard to make a slipper slope argument that would hold (or not hold and slide, as the case may be). Also, don't try to slide "dangerous speech" in there because it's not the same thing, even if it strengthens your argument ;)
posted by The God Complex at 8:04 PM on January 10, 2005


There is a very fine line between controlling viewpoints and controlling thought. I respect the Canadian government's (and people's) efforts to be forthright in what is acceptable. But I'm an American, and we cannot afford to legislate thought crime given our Constitution (IMO).

But you're American.... so? We don't have 'thought crimes' up here in Canada. Hate speech, and hate crimes, are rather carefully defined, both on paper and by common law/judicial rulings. Ernst Zundel, for example, is perfectly free to think what he likes. He is entirely free to promulgate his views-- unless and until those views step over the line into advocating hatred. Your country would actually do well to look at the model we use up here.


What is deemed "hate speech" or "dangerous speech" is very much dependent on who's doing the deciding.

Don't be so disingenuous, jonmc. COINTELPRO and McCarthyism were very, very different things to what is being discussed here, and I know you're too smart to set up such a straw man. So we'll leave him sitting over there.

I'd suggest looking here for some of the relevant Canadian laws on the subject. It must be clearly shown that the point was to incite hatred-- merely having, and even promulgating, a given opinion is not always going to be grounds for criminal charges.

So as TGC pointed out, communism is not covered by this. Saying that black (Asian/white/Christian/Jewish/Pygmy/Gay/whatever) people are inferior, and should be kept as slaves, et cetera, however, does, depending on the circumstances, qualify as hate speech.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:07 PM on January 10, 2005


Would they (al Qaeda) be seen as innocent until proven guilty?

Yes. By God, yes. Absolutely and unequivocably yes. With no doubt or hesitation YES YES YES!!!! Innocent until proven guilty is the end-all-be-all of a system that adheres to a rule of law which claims that one is innocent until proven guilty. If you begin to legislate that a belief system is guilty, and all that hold it are guilty, then you are well too far along the road to tyranny. That isn't America. It isn't what we've built and it isn't what we profess to believe.

And know this, with absolute certainty, the white supremacists want that world of authoritative hatred against their beliefs. They want that tyrannical boot against their throats ... precisely because they know that I and many like me would fight for their revolution; not at all because I believe what they believe but because I believe in fighting tyranny in all forms. I believe in freedom, and thought control, pre-judgement, and state sanctioned hatred of a "type" is not freedom.

I've said it before as regards terrorism and I'll say it now as regards the KKK: DON"T create a world in which their beliefs make sense. Don't create a world in which their war against oppression is possible.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:26 PM on January 10, 2005


Saying that black (Asian/white/Christian/Jewish/Pygmy/Gay/whatever) people are inferior, and should be kept as slaves, et cetera, however, does, depending on the circumstances, qualify as hate speech.

So, what if saomeone says all capitalists/communists/anarchists/Smiths fans are evil, and inferior and must be destroyed by any means neccessary? Hate speech? It's incitement, definitely. But I wouldn't want it banned.

And laws being on the books and how those laws are enforced are two different things. Would the KKK and The Nation Of Islam recieve equal treatment from those in power regardless of political sympathy?

I'm not being disingenuous at all. Human nature and history say that it's not so.
posted by jonmc at 8:36 PM on January 10, 2005


As evil as the find the Klan's ideology and as reprehensible as I find their "views", they do have a right to free speech. Establish a precedent of restricting that and the slope gets very slippery very quickly.

All those people who want to be brought up on charges for agreeing with me that Gee Dubya Bush is a puppet chimp who lied us into war, raise your virtual hands.

See what I mean?
posted by davy at 8:39 PM on January 10, 2005


Just to lend a modicum of support to Jon's line of thought, I certainly am not the only one who's noticed the growing cry for "liberals" to be deported, criminalized, shot, hung from lampposts, intered in camps, raped in prison, thrown in mental wards, or sent to the front lines of the war-on-terror (trademark BushCo, Inc.). "Hate speech" is definition that allows much interpretation, by whomever has the power to do so. If that's what you want, then be aware of the consequences of your support.
posted by Wulfgar! at 8:42 PM on January 10, 2005


Late to the party, but for what it's worth:

In 2001, the Deputy Executive Director of the Federal Highway Administration requested that the department look into whether Adopt-A-Highway signs were being used as a form of commercial promotion, which would have violated federal law.

No action further investigation seems to have taken place, as the memo was cancelled six months ago (because it had become "obsolete").

Civic action is one thing, and even groups I don't approve of have the right to try to "contribute" to their community. Advertising is another thing, I think. Those groups have the write to advertise, to.

But on government signage? That makes me uneasy. (And aren't those signs bascially goodwill advertising?)
posted by mudpuppie at 8:46 PM on January 10, 2005


Mud- ya took the words outta my mouth!
That's what I'm trying to say here. If they want to advertise let them rent a billboard from their pals over at Clear Channel. Why should my tax dime or dollar pay for it?
posted by wonway at 8:51 PM on January 10, 2005


Why should my tax dime or dollar pay for it?

I'll take that seriously as soon as you post a list of (tax exempt) churches that get free advertisement from your dime. Is there a difference?
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:00 PM on January 10, 2005


Wulfgar! - my understanding of American tax law is poor, but the tax exempt churches are just that - 501(c)(4) tax exempt non-profit organisations. The KKK is not, and so wouldn't qualify for government funding.

(anyone, please correct me if I'm off the mark)
posted by cosmonik at 9:07 PM on January 10, 2005


cosmonik, I work for a 501c organization, and I assure you we do not qualify at all for government funding. But that obscures the point. We are elegible to "adopt a highway", as are churches or many non 501c organizations. Why should some people be pissy about their tax dollars advertising the anti-jew KKK and not the anti-athiest baptists, the anti-everyone scientilogists, the anti-athiests Knights of Columbus/Silver Star, the anti-muslim VFW? Where does one draw the line?
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:14 PM on January 10, 2005


Wulfgar you seem to dance around my point though- ya got me on the tax point . I should have never have gone there. But what about the issue that The KKK is indeed a terrorist organization. If this is true then why should'nt the state go after them as such as opposed to putting their name on a green govt sign by the side of the road. I can't think of one church where there are documented pictures and testimony linking them to murder and other crimes.
posted by wonway at 9:21 PM on January 10, 2005


Wulfgar! - I misunderstood your problem with difference between the KKK vs religious groups.

(Tax exemption is a form of government funding, however.)

Chances are, however, you know the answer yourself. Baptist execution of athiests has not been nearly as widespread as KKK killings, and the scientologists have been kind enough to focus their killing efforts on their own members (or ex-members).

(so my own answer is, 'proximity to violent, murderous and/or criminal acts' is why some single out the KKK)

Not to say funding anti-anything with government funds is good or proper, mind you.
posted by cosmonik at 9:28 PM on January 10, 2005


Did I read the article wrong? I thought it said that Missouri decided that the Klan can't clean their highways, and that 10 other states supported them. Then the Supreme Court decided that any group can be allowed to clean Missouri highways.
posted by 23skidoo


Precisely.

It is worth noting that the trademark registration obtained for Ku Klux Klan by its second incarnation lapsed into the public domain, and anyone can use it nowadays. I've often wondered why there hasn't been an attempt to "steal" the name away by anti-racist organizations, much as skinheads were split between racist and anti-racist factions. I can't find that it's happened, but it seems the kind of thing that might be useful here. What if St. Louis were suddenly inundated with applications by groups such as "Rainbow KKK" to clean their highways, especially the stretches right near the one in question? I'm also thinking of Pythonesque "silly party" analogues.

Some weeks later, the Klansmen descended on downtown to hold their parade, and discovered... a ghost town.

The good people of Pulaski, Tennessee deserve remembering:
In 1989, after Aryan Nations announced it would march with the Klan, Giles County United [a group formed to oppose the march] virtually shut down the town the day of the rally. When the marchers showed up, they found a ghost town draped in orange banners, the international color of brotherhood. There were no restrooms available, no businesses open and no restaurants serving food.

There are also similarities with the infamous Nazi march in Skokie, which never actually took place, despite a Supreme Court decision authorizing it.
posted by dhartung at 9:40 PM on January 10, 2005


Remember that "some sections" of our country actually includes 11 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and Vermont. That's more than 1/5 of our states that have highways cleaned voluntarily by different factions of the KKK.

You have that completely ass backwards.

Missouri says "We won't let these slack-jawed troglodytes clean our highways, because, I mean, damn."

The ten other states then say "Right on! Supreme Court, you should let Missouri stop them, 'cuz we want to stop them too! And if you don't, if you make us let the Klan into this program too, we'll just cancel it altogether, motherfuckers, and not let anyone clean the damn highways for free. Suck on THAT, Scalia."

Your country would actually do well to look at the model we use up here.

I'm not comfortable with any model where the government reserves the right to edit Al-Jazeera. You fight bad speech with good speech, not by censoring it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:42 PM on January 10, 2005


wonway, if the McCarthy era taught us nothing else, its that the government cannot and must not legally go after (internal) organizations as opposed to individuals. If you break the law, then you face the penalty of law. A modern member of the KKK may not advocate murder any more than a modern member of the Mormon church (though some of those did indeed commit murder in the past), or someone who flies the Confederate flag, or a member of the iron workers local (don't get me started). An organization is not evil, just the actions of its members, yes? If you believe that the KKK is a terrorist organization then it is logical to conclude that a school computer club is one as well (computer clubs invariably attract hackers, hackers are defined as terrorists by the Patriot act, therefore computer clubs are terrorist organizations ...).
posted by Wulfgar! at 9:43 PM on January 10, 2005


The good people of Pulaski, Tennessee deserve remembering

Don't forget the Mass Mooners of Austin in 1993(?).
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:48 PM on January 10, 2005


F mackenzie:
Don't want to leave trash and be a litterbug? I've got a pcikup truck with a big, steel bumper.
(hey, if the KKK is gonna *advertise* how to find 'em...)
posted by notsnot at 9:49 PM on January 10, 2005


No kidding! I saw this adorable little boy picking up trash here last weekend. Brings a tear to your eye.
posted by mannythedog at 10:04 PM on January 10, 2005


What surprises me is that no one seems to question the whole "adopt a highway" scam.

Do your tax dollars not pay for highway maintenance? Why the hell, then, is the government sluffing off its responsibilities?

I'm pretty sure that Workers' Comp/Labour Code/etc would spell out that employees doing this job be protected by traffic control flagsmen: a truck with the big blinking arrow indicating a closed lane, a few miles of cones, an on-site St. Johns aide, workers wearing hiviz vests, piercing-protective boots, kevlar-and-leather gloves, etc.

Who is held liable should some "volunteer" gets hurt while doing the government's job for them? If someone gets jabbed by a hypo, will the government be covering the health care costs?

It's a very poor idea from top to bottom.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:23 PM on January 10, 2005


fff - all these adopt-a-something-the-government-used-to-run are scams, man. It's the new way of outsourcing. Governments keep taxes low, but then appeal to the private citizen to pay for what the taxes used to provide. Great for election-based societies where government want to keep taxes low, but keep standards up. Why the hell are there appeals for families of soldiers to pay to up-armour vehicles the pentagon should pay for? Insanity.

The worst of it.
posted by cosmonik at 10:54 PM on January 10, 2005


I'm not comfortable with any model where the government reserves the right to edit Al-Jazeera. You fight bad speech with good speech, not by censoring it.

That is less the government actively doing so, and a government agency clearly overstepping its bounds. This, of course, does not happen in America.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:57 PM on January 10, 2005


so thats how you get the feds off your back: be an actual terrorist.
posted by tsarfan at 11:43 PM on January 10, 2005


faith of butt, a while back, said:

>I loathe the KKK and everything it stands for, and yet I support their right to free speech in America.

How is sponsorship free speech?

Oh, and I saw an X-File episode on this stuff, the one where Mulder was abducted and used in bizarre alien sex experiments. Where was his right to free speech?
posted by gsb at 12:37 AM on January 11, 2005


It's a set-up...

I once threw a cigarette out of my car window onto the highway (I know, my bad) and was fined $35. Imagine all the revenue the local government(s) along that stretch of highway are about to generate!
posted by LouReedsSon at 3:52 AM on January 11, 2005


I thought that when this happened once before, the county renamed the KKK-cleaned stretch of road "The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Highway"?

Or is that just an urban legend?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:42 AM on January 11, 2005


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Now, what exactly are you people bringing up free speech for? What law is being made that is restricting the KKK's right to speak freely? This is a distraction technique. Adopting a highway has nothing to do with free speech. That should be obvious, but people are still bringing it up as some kind of aegis behind which anything at all can occur. That is not what the wording says.

Free speech is specifically about nobody making a law that limits your speech. These KKK members are, as far as I can see, still very freely and openly speaking each and every day, in a variety of media, which is and should be perfectly legal. Adopting a highway has absolutely nothing to do with this.

A better argument would be for someone to try and figure out whether the KKK qualifies as a domestic terrorist organization (hint: They probably do.) I'm sure there is much more logic in this route than there is in trying to equate free speech with highway maintenance.
posted by odinsdream at 8:31 AM on January 11, 2005


Governments keep taxes low, but then appeal to the private citizen to pay for what the taxes used to provide.

You think taxes are low?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:37 AM on January 11, 2005


odinsdream, you're dead wrong about how the first amendment is actually interpreted. If you want to argue that you're right and they're wrong, go ahead, but you'll have to do some work to convince me that you know better than Thurgood Marshall and William Brennan.

There's long been a requirement that if the state creates a forum for expression -- such as non-curriculum-related clubs in high school, or an adopt-a-highway program with the adoptees clearly labeled on signs, which express the sentiment "We are here" -- it must allow people to use that forum irrespective of the content of their expression, within very broad limits. If you allow your students to form a model rocketry club, you must also allow other students to form a role-playing-game club, or a Bible study club, so long as they otherwise fulfill the process. If you allow one club to sponsor a highway, you must allow any other club to sponsor a highway.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:50 AM on January 11, 2005


ROU, how is cleaning the highway a forum for expression?

Clubs, groups, societies... sure, of course. Cleaning the highway is a task, though. It isn't up for interpretation. I'm not saying the KKK shouldn't be allowed to clean the highway. I'm just trying to understand why people are bringing up free speech.

The task is not an expression. It is not speech. It is not art. They get attribution in the form of their name on a sign. That's it. That's the extent of their "expression" here.
posted by odinsdream at 8:57 AM on January 11, 2005


That is less the government actively doing so, and a government agency clearly overstepping its bounds.

Even if we assumed that were true, how does that distinction make any useful difference? Besides, it seems to me that that isn't true; the CTRC more-or-less straightforwardly applied the relevant statute.

This, of course, does not happen in America.

It happens everywhere, and is to be lamented. That doesn't mean I can't find it creepy for somewhere to actually enshrine in law the idea that some opinions must not be publicly uttered. If you're referring to the recent tightening of FCC restrictions on T&A and cursing, well, there's a big difference between regulations that allow you to publicly express ~any opinion, so long as you have your clothes on and aren't swearing while you do it, and regulations that prohibit the public expression of certain inferior opinions no matter what you're wearing and no matter whether you use harsh language or not, and there's a vast difference between punishing after the fact and actual prior-restraint censorship. None of which is to defend the FCC; I'd prefer to just let people broadcast whatever it suits their dark little hearts to broadcast.

Sure, Canada has been applying the hate-speech laws in reasonable enough ways so far. But I wouldn't be surprised, given past history in this matter and the previous efforts of Dworkin and MacKinnon, to see vigorous attempts to get pornography firmly classed as hate-speech against women sometime in the next twenty years or so.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:03 AM on January 11, 2005


ROU, how is cleaning the highway a forum for expression?

I told you that. The sign associated with the program expresses the idea that the group is present. That is, in fact, expression. The Kiwanis are provided with an opportunity to say "We are here." The VFW is provided with an opportunity to say "We are here." The Teamsters Local 295 is provided with an opportunity to say "We are here." That opportunity must be provided to others in a content-neutral manner.

Why do you think that Missouri doesn't want to let the Klan do it, for crying out loud? To deny the Klan an opportunity to say "We are here" to all passersby.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:08 AM on January 11, 2005


If you litter on this stretch of highway on purpose, aren't you just helping the KKK validate their beliefs? I mean, I can imagine them sitting around saying "Those dirty *racist term*-lovers are evil, believe it. They even throw trash when they know respectable men like us have to clean it up!"

Just ignore it, and don't drive down that highway unless you have to. The cleaner it is, the less work they'll do, and the less time they'll be seen looking respectable.
posted by mikeh at 9:17 AM on January 11, 2005


Okay, everyone, now you know where to dump your trash. Load up the pickup and head for Missouri 21, near Potosi...
posted by QuietDesperation at 3:46 PM PST on January 10


Just make sure its white trash.

It's a set-up...
Imagine all the revenue the local government(s) along that stretch of highway are about to generate!
posted by LouReedsSon at 3:52 AM PST on January 11


Hmmm. Good point. Don't get caught. This is the one and only time I am going to condone littering.

These guys would look MUCH better out there picking up trash if they were wearing birght orange jumpsuits or b/w stripes dontcha' think?
posted by nofundy at 9:22 AM on January 11, 2005


That's just it -- they're not going to go out and look like criminals. They'll be dressed well, or at least well for people who are picking up trash. Probably clean-shaven, friendly, with families. It's an activity that's geared at making people sympathetic to their supposed cause. Dumping more garbage isn't going to help that, unless it makes you feel good to "punish" someone with messed-up beliefs.
posted by mikeh at 9:26 AM on January 11, 2005


Now that I've thought about it, the best reaction would be to have all your non-white friends drive by when they're picking up litter and offer their assistance, or adopt a stretch of highway next to this one and clean up at the same time.
posted by mikeh at 9:34 AM on January 11, 2005


One big reason why this is an issue is that if we say that it is OK for the government to play favorites in processing applications for this sort of thing, then we give the government license to play favorites in a mess of other related issues. If the government can deny the KKK recognition for cleaning up roadways, then it can deny the NAACP permission to use the park.

And yes, if an al Qaeda cell decides to go legit and engage in non-violent protests rather than terrorist attacks, and if one of their forms of activism includes adopting a highway, then they should get one also.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:17 AM on January 11, 2005


I also should add that I'm strongly supportive of the KKK and other white supremacist groups to engage in public activity. It's not because I agree with the KKK, it's because the KKK fares the worst when they crawl out from under their rock, expose their pasty white skin to the sun, and are seen outnumbered 10-1, 20-1, and even 100-1.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:23 AM on January 11, 2005


the best reaction would be to have all your non-white friends drive by when they're picking up litter and offer their assistance, or adopt a stretch of highway next to this one and clean up at the same time.

There was a Klan rally in Ann Arbor a few years back. Of course, all the good liberals turned out to counter-protest, ensuring media coverge/free publicity for the Klan. I believe the grand wizard's wife was hit in the head with a brick. Also, a mob attacked a guy with a confederate flag on his jacket. It was a black woman who saved him, by shielding him with her body.

I knew quite a few white supremacists when I was younger. Mostly underemployed factory workers with middle school educations who needed something in order to feel good about themselves. Only people who have absolutely nothing else to take pride in would take pride in their fucking skin color. A bunch of pussies for the most part. They'd throw stuff or shout at black people out of moving cars, but would never really have the balls to confront a black person face to face.

I got the impression that the younger generation of racists today regard the Klan as stodgy and old-school and are more likely to attach themselves to groups like the White Aryan Resistance.

My impulse would be to protest, too, but I don't know how successful that would be. The more publicity these groups get, the easier it is for them to recruit.
posted by apis mellifera at 10:34 AM on January 11, 2005


I told you that. The sign associated with the program expresses the idea that the group is present. That is, in fact, expression. The Kiwanis are provided with an opportunity to say "We are here." The VFW is provided with an opportunity to say "We are here." The Teamsters Local 295 is provided with an opportunity to say "We are here." That opportunity must be provided to others in a content-neutral manner.

You're missing my point. I'm not saying they should be denied their application to clean the road. I'm taking issue with people declaring it Free Speech. It isn't speech, and it's not expression. It's a job. The reason they have just as much a right to clean the highway as anyone else is that there isn't a law that says "the KKK cannot do this job." The reason is not because cleaning highways is a form of expression.

I feel strongly about people attaching the "Free Speech" label to these kinds of unrelated things; it cheapens the whole idea of free speech.
posted by odinsdream at 10:44 AM on January 11, 2005


The reason is not because cleaning highways is a form of expression.

Cleaning highways is not expression. The sign associated with it, saying THIS STRETCH OF HIGHWAY ADOPTED BY FOO, however, is.

I don't think anyone cares whether or not the Klan actually cleans up garbage. The argument is about the sign.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:03 PM on January 11, 2005


Is it really all about the sign? If so, I genuinely misunderstood this whole thing. My apologies.

Folks - it's just about the sign! ~whew~
posted by odinsdream at 12:05 PM on January 11, 2005


...much like my right to get a driver's license, no matter what my political/religious affiliation, is based on my free-speech right to express myself by having my name printed on a plastic card that I can display publically.
posted by odinsdream at 12:13 PM on January 11, 2005


odinsdream: Well, I do think that you have a point in that "free speech" legally has become a bit counter-intuitive. Freedom of speech has become coupled with freedom of political association. The First Amendment has been interpreted to prohibit the government from playing favorites among political groups on the basis of ideology. If you don't like it, take it up with the Supreme Court.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:58 PM on January 11, 2005


a genuinely nice guy, who is a loving father and wife.

Really? Do his KKK buddies know about this?

There are also similarities with the infamous Nazi march in Skokie

Illinois Nazis. I hate Illinois Nazis.
posted by Vidiot at 8:31 PM on January 11, 2005


There already has been a stretch of highway adopted by the klan in Arkansas, and people like to say it's the most littered mile in America (though I think it's more wishful thinking than reality).

For those making comments about directing anger/outrage to the people cleaning that mile, you might want to confirm who actually does perform the clean-up. "Adopting" for clean-up doesn't mean they are the actual ones who go out and pick up trash. I heard that the actual litter removal was done by the public works people, and the name on the sign is basically who donated money for the program (in exchange for the publicity/name on sign).
posted by MightyNez at 1:07 AM on January 12, 2005


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