A campaign on Change.org started by a Midtown resident calling on the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) to deny the Ku Klux Klan’s application to “adopt” a north Georgia highway had gained more than 1,300 signatures only a few hours after it was started on Tuesday.
Nioshii Wilde, a Midtown visual artist and civil rights advocate, launched the campaign following reports that state transportation officials are currently reviewing the application, which is open to any “civic-minded group.”
"As a Georgia resident, I do not want a highway funded by taxpayer dollars to become an advertising site for an organization that has murdered, maimed and terrorized American people for 150 years,'' wrote Wilde in the petition. "The KKK is not a civic-minded organization; they are a domestic terror group."
Should the KKK be allowed to participate in the Adopt-a-Highway program? Tell us in the comments.
In a press release, Wilde said, "My community is diverse. The people I celebrate holidays and birthdays with, whom I love and care about, are the very same people the KKK has terrorized for over a century. I don’t want to be fearful while driving a section of road that a group known for terrorism and violence patrols -- even if only to collect litter -- with the sanction of the state of Georgia. We've had that before with Jim Crow, and we refuse to go back.”
For every new signature on Wilde’s petition, an email is sent to Keith Golden, the chairman of the GDOT board.
GDOT spokesperson Jill Goldberg said Monday that the department has not yet reached a decision on whether they would allow the KKK to participate in the Adopt-a-Highway program.
“Nioshii Wilde and other Georgia residents are speaking out and letting the Georgia Department of Transportation know that they don’t support a KKK-adopted highway,” Gabriela Garcia, campaigner at Change.org, said in the release. “The petition is gathering hundreds of signatures by the hour--it’s clear that the issue is resonating with people.”
The petition reads:
I just signed the following petition addressed to: GA Department of Transportation.
Deny KKK's "adopt a highway" application
The Ku Klux Klan (KKK) is an organization intent on promoting white supremacy through terrorism and political violence. Throughout their 150+ years of activity, they've organized and carried out lynchings, bombings, cross burnings and actively campaigned against the Civil Rights Movement and desegregation. Anyone who does not fit their bill of being a "true American"- white and Christian- is a target of their violence, including African Americans, Catholics, Jews, immigrants, communists, etc. Their death toll numbers are in the thousands and the damages they have inflicted on our country are immeasurable.
And now, the Ku Klux Klan wants to "adopt" a highway in Georgia.
The "adopt a highway" program allows local civic-minded organizations to help clean up stretches of highways in return for free advertising along the road. Meaning the KKK would be able to advertise their organization and increase their membership on public land, for free.
Harley Hanson, the leader of the Klan's Realm of Georgia who filed the application for the Klan, says: "I love my race. Does that make me wrong? I'm proud to be white."
As a Georgia resident, I do not want a highway funded by taxpayer dollars to become an advertising site for an organization that has murdered, maimed and terrorized American people for 150 years. _The KKK is not a civic-minded organization; they are a domestic terror group.
"What's next, are we going to let Neo-Nazis or the Taliban or al-Qaida adopt highways?" asks State Rep. Tyrone Brooks.
And I agree. So now I'm calling on the Georgia Department of Transportation to reject the KKK's application to adopt a highway. Terrorists have no place on the sides of our highways.
This is not the first time Wilde has started a campaign at Change.org. Last month, she organized the petition, Atlanta City Councilmember H. Lamar Willis: Stop PARKAtlanta 24-hour Parking Enforcement, that garnered more than 1,000 signatures.