The Georgia Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that it would not allow the Ku Klux Klan to participate in the state’s Adopt-A-Highway program.
“The impact of erecting a sign naming an organization which has a long rooted history of civil disturbance would cause a significant public concern,” the department wrote in a denial letter to the Klan group.
“Impacts include safety of the travelling public, potential social unrest, driver distraction, or interference with the flow of traffic. These potential impacts are such that were the application granted, the goal of the program, to allow civic minded organizations to participate in public service for the State of Georgia, would not be met.”
The International Keystone Knights of the KKK in Union County had applied to adopt one mile of Route 515, located in the Appalachian Mountains near North Carolina. The state would have been forced to give the group official recognition in the form of road signs bearing their name and other benefits in return for cleaning up litter on the stretch of highway.
However, the Klan group has said it would take legal action over the Adopt-A-Highway program and the American Civil Liberties Union has acknowledged receiving a “request for assistance” in the case.
The state of Missouri argued in 1999 that they could prohibit a Klan group from participating in the state’s Adopt-A-Highway program. With the help of lawyers from the ACLU, the Klan group eventually won its legal battle in 2001.
But the state’s Department of Transportation later kicked the Klan group out of the program after they failed to pick up trash.
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