Based on a recent report published by Reuters, Georgia rejected Ku Klux Klan request to “adopt” a stretch of highway on Tuesday. State authorities and the white supremacist group may have to resort to legal representatives in order to settle the dispute.
The Ku Klux Klan chapter in Georgia wanted to be a part of the clean-up program that was initiated in Georgia and other states across America. They expressed their intention to “adopt” a stretch of the Georgian highway, but authorities rejected their bid claiming that their decision could cause “significant public concern”.
According to the program, the volunteer group is supposed to take care of the portion of road they adopted by picking up trash and planting trees along the highway. Road signs representing the organization are placed at the beginning and the end of the stretch to acknowledge the efforts that the group made. Authorities in Georgia fear that the Ku Klux Klan signs could lead to public safety concerns.
Authorities wrote a statement explaining the Ku Klux Klan chapter why they cannot accept their request. They stated that they cannot erect road signs with the name of an organization that has caused numerous controversies in the past because this could have a powerful impact on the population. In their opinion, drivers could be distracted and the flow of traffic could become dangerous.
The Ku Klux Klan chapter was not pleased with the response they received from the Georgia Department of Transportation. Harley Hanson, also known as the Exalted Cyclops of the Union County Klan, told Reuters reporters that he plans to consider legal action if his bid is rejected. He added that the group will not be deterred by the rejection.
State Representative Tyrone Brooks supported the decision of the Georgia Department of Transportation. He even suggested them to end the program if the Ku Klux Klan chapter continues to file application for the stretch of road.
A similar event took place in 1997 when the state of Missouri rejected the Klan’s request because their membership was racially discriminatory. Their legal action was approved by a federal appeals court, whereas the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the case. In the end, the Klan chapter was allowed to take care of the highway stretch for a short period of time.