Overheard on CNN.com: Reader 'feeling a bit dirty' for agreeing with KKK on litter pickup
June 11th, 2012
06:36 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Reader 'feeling a bit dirty' for agreeing with KKK on litter pickup

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

You've probably seen those highway adoption signs emblazoned with the names of various local organizations. A North Georgia chapter of the Ku Klux Klan wants to adopt a one-mile stretch of Georgia State Route 515. The group is applying to receive state recognition for cleaning up litter in the Appalachian Mountains near the North Carolina border. The Georgia DOT is considering the matter, as are many of our readers.

KKK chapter wants to adopt stretch of Georgia highway

Some readers said the KKK just might have something there.

Techsupp0rt: "Agreeing with the KKK kinda leaves me feeling a bit dirty. They've got a point. If other racist organizations can do it, they should be able to as well. Treat all racists equally. You do gotta pick up the trash though."

This person would beg to differ.

Clabdurch:
"Dear KKK,
Thank your for your inquiry, but no, you KKKan't have it.
Signed,
The Southerners that are not proud of you."

Some of our readers got ideas.

agentxyz: "At least I'll know where to dump my trash"

Is the move legit?

sunlight99: "If the KKK wants to keep an area of road clean they just need to pick a spot and do it quietly as private citizens else people will drive for hundreds of miles to throw trash on the official KKK clean-up road. I can see the cars backed up for miles (with all sorts of state plates) as people shovel trash out of cars and trailers. They might even have to divide it into sections ... used cat litter goes here, piles of dog poop go there, dirty diapers down the road about 10 feet."

chuckrita: "They are just wanting to see their names on the adoption sign. It's a head game that seems to give them an ounce of legitimacy for all of the public to see. You would think that these people would start by cleaning up their front porches, removing old cars from their front yard and selling the giant stash of beer cans collected in the back yard."

Coastal0ne: "Exactly what I was thinking. People would make a point to trash that area of highway."

What about other groups that could pick up trash?

kendallpeak: "It would be nice if the government would require able-bodied welfare recipients to pick up the trash in order to receive welfare."

The following reader talked about a past incident - referenced in the story - involving the KKK in Missouri.

ktrav: "The KKK tried this in Missouri. There is nothing legal to stop them so they got their section of highway. In response, Missouri re-named that stretch of road 'The Rosa Parks Memorial Highway.' No more KKK. Simple but clever solution."

Many suggestions came in.

Wisewoodchuk: "They should give them a stretch of MLK Boulevard."

Another reader said the controversy smacks of hypocrisy.

chuckrita: "This is hilarious. They are offended by trash, 'that ain't right,' but are wholly down for racism, discrimination, stereotyping and brow beating."

Others talked about the different kinds of groups out there.

gdaym8: "I don't agree with the KKK, at all. But if they can have an NAACP they can have a KKK."

Aucausin: "The NAACP never lynched anybody. Any group that has ever participated in violent acts that were completely condoned by the organization should never be recognized by the government as anything but a terror threat."

DCCommuter: "The NAACP is not an all black group. It was founded to further integration and its members never went around at night setting fires and killing people. People who hate the NAACP hate the words they use, people who hate the KKK hate the murders, lynchings, church bombings and fires they set and inflicted."

Some said fair is fair.

lacertosus: "They have every right to adopt a highway. One's disagreement for what they stand for is not a factor."

David Railfan: "Actually, it IS a factor. The rules clearly state 'Any civic-minded organization ... is welcome to volunteer in the Georgia Adopt-A-Highway program.' The KKK, Black Panthers, etc., are NOT civic-minded. They are racist terrorist groups that need to be shut down and disbanded."

Maybe something else needs a wash.

psgmichigan: "Maybe they could start by cleaning the 'trash' from their hearts. The state of Georgia should not recognize a group such as this. Georgia has enough problems with diversity as it is."

Why shouldn't the KKK value the white race? One reader referred to a quotation from April Chambers, chapter secretary, who said, "We're not racists. We just want to be with white people. If that's a crime, then I don't know. It's all right to be black and Latino and proud, but you can't be white and proud. I don't understand it."

chef: "She has a point about white pride. The gays can have it, blacks can have it, Hispanics can have it (and I have no problem with that) but as soon as white people want to keep to their own it's racism. If you are white tell me when was the last time you were invited to one of their parties? Or to go to church with them? Or to go to their daughter's wedding? Or just to hang out. Any white people out there invited to join a black fraternity or sorority? We say you can't have it both ways, but they sure as hell do!"

This reader doesn't want to see any of it.

David Railfan: "I live and work in Blue Ridge, Georgia, right off Highway 515. I don't want to see 'adopted by the KKK' when I drive to work. If I do see this I will pull down every sign I see, and if I see them out there cleaning up I will throw trash at them. The KKK ARE nothing more than WHITE TRASH. They are ONLY doing this because more Latinos and African-Americans are starting to move into the area. So my message to the KKK is this. GROW UP and stop being A-holes! This is NOT your private world. We ALL live here. Don't like it? Go jump off a bridge."

DawgsFan: "Please read your comment and apply the same thought process as the last four sentences. Are their views wrong? If based on the historical heritage of the Klan, then yes. If they have 'evolved' into a whites rights group then so be it. As for taking down all the signs, that would be a misdemeanor offense punishable by jail time. I don't think it's worth the risk."

Another said the whole story is ironic.

NBG10: "There's a beautifully ironic scene here that you guys are missing, and best of all, it would be a poignant lesson for parents of families with young children who are driving by the road to teach their young children. Finally, a group of white-trash-spewing men picking up trash! The littered trash they pick up will be just like the trash that spews from their filthy mouths!"

What's your take? Have you ever adopted a highway? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

You can read another edition of Overheard on CNN.com about space planes on CNN's Light Years blog.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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Filed under: Georgia • Overheard on CNN.com • Race
soundoff (89 Responses)
  1. justathought

    I think if the KKK were to adopt a mile of hiway they would soon get weary of collecting the extra trash that it would attract. What I mean is that there would be people that would deliberately throw trash in that one mile stretch of hiway. Kind like: trash attracts trash.

    June 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Ron

    You mean they will all be there together in day light?

    June 11, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. W. Anderson

    One or possibly more of the comments reflect ignorance amoung many Americans. There are many white, Latino, Asian and other ethnic persons who are members and officials of the NAACP. The purpose of the group is to assist the advancement of repressed and murdered "People of Colour" – or non-whites in this country who by coincidence were and are deprived of their rights as citizens to all the freedoms and opportunities "automatically" afforded to Caucasians.

    If the KKK is awarded a stretch of road to cleanup in exchange for recognition, I wonder what the reaction would be to a group calling themselves themselves – for example – American Jihad, for their stretch of road cleanup.

    In case any negative thinking southerner or other American would object to that request on premise that such folks are Terrorist who want to kill Americans, they should think again, as the exact same description appropriately applies to the KKK.

    June 11, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Portland tony

    I wonder if those outfits they wear are imports or made in the Good old USA?

    June 11, 2012 at 10:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Pete

    Like another said here ,trash attracts trash,they'd be out 24/7 cleaning that stretch of hiway.The state would have to intercede because people would throw the most discusting garbage just to insight a fight of sorts.Plus ya never know of innocents getting gunned down by drive bys on that road,it all depends on its use,is it isolated,is it well traveled,heavy traffic,many problems arise with this decision to let them clean that stretch of road,lives will someday be affected,just by driving by seeing ignorent men,women and children wearing hoods and someone someday will interfere causing racial discourse,we don't need it now,never have wanted it ,never will welcome it.Tell them to go clean cow parties somewhere else,its more productive ,the crap pickin up the crap...

    June 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Portland tony

    I would guess that at least 70% of today's youth haven't the faintest idea who the KKK are or were. And since Kids don't necessarily read or watch CNN, the secret is still safe. And @CNN, why give these psychopaths more publicity than they deserve!

    June 11, 2012 at 10:30 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    @Portland Tony
    It kind of makes you wonder, if thier planning on wearing thier klown outfits out of that stretch of highway in the middle of July, when it gets in the upper 90's? ;)
    @Barbara O'Brien
    What? Expose the KKK? Our nation is already divided amongst itself, with little chance of advancement. It's a waste of time and energy "to have hatees to worry about the haters". White supremacy has had it's chance in this nation. Three quarters of the world is non white, and thats a fact. The KKK is it's own worst enemy. It's all in thier minds.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Jesse L

    To compare the NAACP to the KKK is frivolous. The Klan is a terrorist organization. The NAACP never bombed churches, homes, killed or lynched people unlike the Klan. I'm condemning anyone to have pride in their race or heritage, but the KKK needs to do more than just adopting and cleaning roads in order to change their tarnished image.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:34 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • mickey1313

      @jessie, high ranking members of the naacp support the black panther s, which is the black equivalent to the kkk. They are an openly hostel urban terrorist group.

      June 11, 2012 at 11:29 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Greek American

    Its Ku Klux Klan by the way, not 'Klu'.
    And thank you to the poster for saying the KKK is equal to the Tea Party, hahahahahaha. That made my night, very funny.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:35 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right Wing Insanity"

    Georgia (because of the KKK's reputation), now has to worry about drive by shootings. But some how I get the idea, they'll be conveniently at the dougnut shop.

    June 11, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  11. mickey1313

    It's only fitting, trash will be picking up trash. I hope a local steals the sign though.

    June 11, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  12. kay

    everyone i know has to clean up something wether it be your own mess or another persons that dosent mean you just deserve a highway but anyone can be apart of adopt-a-highway program, look at the people that put there lives on the line serving the community despite of there looks, smell, color, walk, talk, age, height now they should get the highway....and call it " CULTURE HIGHWAY"

    June 12, 2012 at 2:11 am | Report abuse | Reply
  13. normanbolden

    I am an african american former United States Marine that served in Viet Nam, and after reading all of the comments
    against these cowards that have to hide behind a sheet, my faith in American citizens is restored and I am proud to
    have served for those of you who stand against these (Yes) terrorist.

    June 12, 2012 at 4:25 am | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Lon

    It is interesting that the official who is calling for the rejection of the KKK's application is Rep Tyrone Brooks, head of the Georgia's Association of Black Elected Officials. It's a little ironic that the head of one racist group is protesting the actions of another racist group because of race.

    June 12, 2012 at 5:02 am | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Jorge

    Aww heck, they might as well, it's not like Georgia, the rest of the South and many other places in this country haven't been adopted by klan sympathizers, Louis Farrakhan types, fundamentalists and other supremacists of one form or another, that type of thing is as American as apple pie (social denial and political correctness notwithstanding).

    June 12, 2012 at 7:26 am | Report abuse | Reply
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