A black woman who took over as editor-in-chief of a local Alabama newspaper after her predecessor published an editorial praising the Ku Klux Klan has herself resigned from the position, the New York Times reported on Friday.
Elecia R. Dexter had only served in the position at the Democrat-Reporter for a few weeks before stepping down and after interference from the paper’s ex-editor-in-chief Goodloe Sutton, according to the NYT.
“I would have liked it to turn out a different way, but it didn’t,” Dexter told the Times. “This is a hard one because it’s sad — so much good could have come out of this.”
The decision caps a brief but eventful career for Dexter at the 144-year-old paper, which she joined as an office clerk roughly two months ago. She had no prior journalism experience .
Both Dexter and reps for the paper did not immediately respond to request for comment from TheWrap.
Once an obscure southern broadsheet with no official website and a circulation of just a few thousand, The Democrat-Reporter made it into the spotlight in February after, Sutton, the paper’s 80-year-old editor, published an editorial lauding the Ku Klux Klan.
“Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again,” the Feb. 14 editorial read. “Seems like the Klan would be welcome to raid the gated communities [in Washington]. They call them compounds now. Truly they are the ruling class.”
The piece additionally took aim at D.C. politicians for “plotting to raise taxes in Alabama” and said D.C. Democrats were leading the United States into unnecessary wars. The editorial was brought to widespread attention through social media and was denounced by some of the state’s most prominent voices — including Alabama Senator Doug Jones, who called on Sutton to resign.
“OMG! What rock did this guy crawl out from under? This editorial is absolutely disgusting & he should resign -NOW! I have seen what happens when we stand by while people-especially those with influence- publish racist, hateful views,” Alabama Senator Jones said in a tweet. “Words matter. Actions matter. Resign now!”
Sutton later said the piece was intended to be ironic, but the pressure ultimately did force him out. He remained on as an advisor to Dexter. It has not been announced who will succeed Dexter leading the paper.