Georgia is in the news again concerning the Ku Klux Klan. But unlike the recent story where the KKK were denied the right to adopt a stretch of highway, the current scandal surrounds Roger Garrison. Garrison is a 30 year law enforcement veteran and is currently running for re-election as Sheriff of Cherokee County, a position he has held for the last 20 years. The issue is a photograph of Garrison at a 1985 costume party obtained from an anonymous source by WSBT television reporter, Jodie Fleischer. The costumes of choice? KKK robes and hoods. (Picture below the fold.)
Garrison has claimed that he and a friend were dressed as characters from a scene in the movie
“Blazing Saddles” and that he has never espoused any of the KKK’s beliefs.
From the picture, it is impossible to tell if the robes had the same “Have A Nice Day” smiley face logos on the back like the ones in the Mel Brooks comedy classic, but they do bear the Knights Cross emblem long used by the KKK on the front. Garrison told the Cherokee Tribune “This is by no means a reflection upon my career… or personal beliefs,” Garrison said. “It was a simple, childish Halloween costume party — nothing more, nothing less.” He also blamed the release of the photos on his opposition in the current election, David Waters, a commander with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. “It appears Mr. Waters has sent those photos to the Atlanta media and asked for stories,” Garrison said. “I’m deeply appalled he would stoop to this level (and) that he chooses not to stick to the issues.” Willing to up the ante of “moral outrage”, the Cherokee Tribune is also reporting that Garrison said he found it especially appalling Waters was trying to make a moral judgement when Waters has been married five times. “(He) is not one to be throwing stones at other people,” Garrison said. “It’s clearly an act of desperation on his part and I believe that the voters will respond accordingly. They’re sick of that type of campaigning.” After asserting the Mel Brooks defense of his actions, Garrison also told WSBT’s Jodie Fleischer, “I don’t deny it wasn’t
stupid, looking back now, but there again I say what 21- or 22-year-old in this world hasn’t made some stupid mistakes?”
Is this case of parody gone wrong? Youthful indiscretion run amok?
Or should the photo be considered a valid campaign issue?
What do you think?
~submitted by Gene Howington, Guest Blogger