The Alabama woman who replaced a racist editor at her local newspaper has resigned.

Update: Just a few weeks after taking over as editor of the paper, Elicia Dexter has resigned. In an interview, she revealed that the paper's former member, who openly called for a return of the KKK to power, was still meddling in the paper's affairs. “I would have liked it to turn out a different way, but it didn’t,” Dexter told the New York Times. “This is a hard one because it’s sad — so much good could have come out of this.”

The original story begins below.


via Martin / Flickr

After 50 years of leading the The Democrat-Reporter of Linden, Alabama, the paper’s owner, Goodloe Sutton, is stepping down as publisher and editor. In February, the 79-year-old wrote an editorial calling for the Ku Klux Klan to “night ride again.”

The staggering editorial with the headline “The Klan Needs to Ride Again” urged the KKK to rise up to combat “Democrats in the Republican Party and Democrats are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama.”

Photographs of the editorial quickly went viral on social media. The weekly print-only paper has a circulation of around 3,000 which has fallen by half over the past two decades.

After the editorial was published, an unapologetic Sutton said he urged the white supremacist group to “clean out D.C.” through lynching. “We’ll get the hemp ropes out, loop them over a tall limb and hang all of them,” Sutton said.

During the interview, Sutton also compared the KKK to the NAACP and downplayed its murderous past. “A violent organization? Well, they didn’t kill but a few people," Sutton said. “The Klan wasn't violent until they needed to be.”

Alabama representative Terri A. Sewell called for called for Sutton to resign.

On February 21, the Democrat-Reporter announced Sutton had stepped down as the paper’s publisher and editor, although he still owns the publication.

His replacement is Elecia R. Dexter, an African-American woman who holds master’s degrees in Counseling from Argosy University and Human Services from the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies.

“Ms Dexter is coming in at a pivotal time for the newspaper,” it said, “and you may have full confidence in her ability to handle these challenging times.”

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

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"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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