Klan Highway. The Ku Klux Klan wants to join Georgia's 'Adopt-A-Highway' program. Does the Constitution support the KKK bid for a 'Klan Hiwghay'?
(AP Photo/The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Curtis Compton)
A Ku Klux Klan group is trying to join Georgia's "Adopt-A-Highway" program to clean up litter on a mile-(1.6-kilometer)long stretch of road, creating a quandary for state officials hesitant to acknowledge a group with a violent, racist past on a roadside sign.
The International Keystone Knights of the KKK applied last month to adopt part of Route 515 in the Appalachian Mountains. The Georgia Department of Transportation is meeting with lawyers from the state Attorney General's Office on Monday to decide how to proceed.
The program enlists volunteers from groups and companies to pick up trash. Each group that volunteers is named on a sign along the road it adopts.
April Chambers, the KKK group's secretary, said she applied for the program to keep the scenic highway beautiful, not for publicity.
"I live in the mountains and I want to keep them beautiful," Chambers said, adding that tourists frequently litter along the road as they pass through. "We didn't intend on this being big. I don't know why anybody's offended by it."
State Rep. Tyrone Brooks said he welcomes the opportunity to educate Chambers and the group about the Klan's legacy of violence and racism — which he experienced first-hand as a civil rights activist in the fight to end segregation in the South.