REPORT: Georgia state lawmaker who defended KKK named to House committee post
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A Republican state lawmaker in Georgia who has defended the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was named to a House committee post on Friday.
Georgia state Rep. Tommy Benton will chair the House Retirement Committee, overseeing retirement funds for teachers and state employees, after previously being condemned for controversial remarks related to the KKK and the Civil War, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The article goes on to state the following:
Benton faced national backlash in 2016 when he appeared to defend the KKK, insisting that it “was not so much a racist thing, but a vigilante thing to keep law and order.”
“It made a lot of people straighten up,” he told the paper at the time. “I’m not saying what they did was right. It’s just the way things were.”
“A great majority of prominent men in the South were members of the Klan,” he continued. “Should that affect their reputation to the extent that everything else good that they did was forgotten?”
Benton also openly opposed a statue of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., being erected at the Georgia Capitol, arguing that only elected officials should be memorialized at the statehouse, the newspaper reported.
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