66 Former State AGs Send Trump a Message About Hate

More than 60 former state attorney generals are urging President Trump to follow the example of an Alabama official who once famously told the Ku Klux Klan to "kiss my ass."
by | August 23, 2017 AT 10:30 AM

By Leada Gore

More than 60 former state attorney generals are urging President Trump to follow the example of an Alabama official who once famously told the Ku Klux Klan to "kiss my ass."

In a letter obtained by Buzzfeed, 66 former state and territorial attorneys general asked Trump to "respond directly to the voice of hate." The letter goes on to cite a 1976 exchange between then-Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley and Edward Field, the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan.

"In 1971, the 29-year-old Attorney General of Alabama began his quest to bring to justice the perpetrators of the Birmingham church bombing which killed four little girls," the letter to Trump said. "It was a crime rooted in hate and his determination to prosecute the case gave rise to voices of leaders of hate. He faced political furor, lack of cooperation from federal and state government agencies and constant threats of physical violence and death. But he persisted. It took years but he obtained a conviction.

"In 1976, when the Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan wrote a threatening letter and demanded the Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley respond to his letter, he did.

"We commend his response to the attention of all who seek to equivocate in times of moral crisis."

Baxley's letter, written on official Attorney General letter head, stated:

Dear "Dr." Fields,

My response to your letter to Feb. 19, 1976 is -- kiss my ass.

Sincerely,

Bill Baxley, Attorney General

The letter was later published in a Klan newsletter.

The former AGs letter to Trump comes after the president was widely criticized for his comments after racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia in which he said there were "many sides to blame" for the unrest.

The letter was signed by:

--Robert Abrams, New York

--Ronald Amemiya, Hawaii

--Jeff Amestoy, Vermont

--Bruce Babbitt, Arizona

--Thurbert Baker, Georgia

--Paul Bardacke, New Mexico

--Steve Beshear, Kentucky

--Bruce Botelho, Alaska

--Margery Bronster, Hawaii

--Charlie Brown, West Virginia

--Richard Bryan, Nevada

--Charles Burson, Tennessee

--Bonnie Campbell, Iowa

--Steve Clark, Arkansas

--Walter Cohen, Pennsylvania

--Robert Cooper, Tennessee

--J. Joseph Curran, Jr., Maryland

--Fred Cowan, Kentucky

--Frankie Sue Del Papa, Nevada

--Jerry Diamond, Vermont

--Richard Doran, Florida

--John Easton, Vermont

--Rufus Edmisten, North Carolina

--Drew Edmondson, Oklahoma

--Tyrone Fahner, Illinois

--Lee Fisher, Ohio

--Karen Freeman-Wilson, Indiana

--Terry Goddard, Arizona

--Chris Gorman, Kentucky

--Slade Gorton, Washington

--Jennifer Granholm, Michigan

--Scott Harshbarger, Massachusetts

--Peter Harvey, New Jersey

--Hubert H . Humphrey III, Minnesota

--Drew Ketterer, Maine

--Oliver Koppell, New York

--Peg Lautenschlager, Wisconsin

--Joseph Lieberman, Connecticut

--Michael Lilly, Hawaii

--Alicia Limtiaco, Guam

--Bill Lockyer, California

--David Louie, Hawaii

--Robert Marks, Hawaii

--Brian McKay, Nevada

--Jeff Modisett, Indiana

--Betty Montgomery, Ohio

--Mike Moore, Mississippi

--Jeffrey Pine, Rhode Island

--Warren Price III, Hawaii

--Hector Richard, Puerto Rico

--Clarine Nardi Riddle, Connecticut

--Dennis Roberts, Rhode Island

--Stephen Rosenthal, Virginia

--Stephen Sachs, Maryland

--James Shannon, Massachusetts

--Mark Shurtleff, Utah

--William Sorrell, Vermont

--Rbert Spagnoletti, District of Columbia

--Robert Stephan, Kansas

--Mary Sue Terry, Virginia

--James Tierney, Maine

--Anthony F. Troy, Virginia

--Jim Guy Tucker, Arkansas

--Paul Van Dam, Utah

--Bob Wefald, North Dakota

--Grant Woods, Arizona

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