The Ku Klux Klan wants to “adopt” one mile of Route 515 in northern Georgia along the North Carolina border, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The Georgia Department of Transportation can now either accept the KKK’s application, deny the request and face a lengthy legal battle, or end the 23-year-old Adopt-A-Highway program altogether.
In 1997 Missouri denied a similar request from the KKK, but was overruled by a federal appeals court.
Harley Hanson, the Exalted Cyclops of the Klan’s Realm of Georgia, told Reuters the Klan would pursue legal action if it is denied.
“We just want to clean up the doggone road,” Hanson said. “We are good, decent Christian Americans, and what we’re trying to do is to work with the local community.”
State Rep. Tyrone Brooks, head of the Georgia Association of Black Elected Officials, believes Georgia must deny the request.
“They have to say no. If it brings a lawsuit, so be it. If it ends the program, so be it,” Brooks said. “What’s next, are we going to let Neo-Nazis or the Taliban or Al-Qaeda adopt highways?”
The Georgia Department of Transportation website broadly defines eligibility as, “Any civic-minded organization, business, individual, family, city, county, state, or federal agency is welcome to volunteer in the Georgia Adopt-A-Highway program.”
Jill Goldberg, a department of transportation spokeswoman, declined to comment to Reuters about the application “until a resolution is determined.”
Raw Story is reporting that Georgia transportation officials met with lawyers in the state attorney general’s office on Monday and are deciding how to proceed.
The dilemma created by the Klan’s proposal may disappear if Georgia chooses to accept the KKK’s application.
Bob Brendel, a Missouri Department of Transportation spokesman, told CNN the Klan was eventually kicked out of their program because they were not picking up trash as agreed.
“We’re not going to be deterred,” Hanson said.