Circuit Court LC No. 16-004874-NO
Before: Gleicher, P.J., and Fort Hood and Swartzle, JJ.
Restatement (Second) of Torts § 559 lists
"membership in the Ku Klux Klan" as the
quintessential illustration of a defamatory statement. In an
opinion piece in The Detroit News, columnist Bankole
Thompson asserted that radio show host James Edwards is a
"leader" of the Ku Klux Klan. There is no record
evidence to suggest that Edwards holds a formal leadership
position in the Ku Klux Klan, nor is there any record
evidence to suggest that he is even a member. Notwithstanding
this lack of formal relationship, Edwards has espoused views
consistent with those associated with the Klan and, equally
as important, he has repeatedly and publicly embraced several
individuals who are strongly associated with the Klan.
Mindful of Aesop's lesson, "A man is known by the
company he keeps, " we hold that Edwards cannot make claims
of defamation or invasion of privacy and affirm summary
disposition in favor of defendants.
CONTEXT-THE KU KLUX KLAN AND THE POLITICAL CESSPOOL
better understand the underlying dispute, it is helpful to
review briefly the history of the Ku Klux Klan as well as
James Edwards' radio show, The Political
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE KU KLUX KLAN
Klux Klan has a long, sordid history. From a secret club
started by six young ex-Confederate soldiers, the Klan
transformed itself into a terrorist force bent on turning
back Reconstruction in the years immediately following the
Civil War. The Klan's reputed first leader-"Imperial
Wizard"-was Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.
In response to the Klan's growing power, Congress held
hearings and passed a strong anti-Klan law that, among other
things, authorized the President to declare martial law and
suspend the writ of habeas corpus. The Ku Klux Klan faded
away in the late 1800s.
terrorist group experienced a rebirth of sorts during WW I,
inspired in no small part by the silent film, The Birth
of a Nation. During the decades that followed, the
strength of the Ku Klux Klan ebbed and flowed, reaching its
near-apex during the Civil Rights clashes of the 1960s.
Again, in response, Congress held hearings and the Klan's
the 1970s, David Duke became the face of the modern-day Ku
Klux Klan. Joining the Klan in the late 1960s, Duke
eventually became the Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku
Klux Klan. Duke later left the organization and started the
National Association for the Advancement of White People, a
white nationalist group. Duke currently hosts a radio show
and is a frequent guest on The Political Cesspool.
Donald "Don" Black succeeded Duke as Grand Wizard
of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Black was later arrested
and convicted of trying to overthrow the small island
Republic of Dominica. He later started a bulletin board
system in the 1990s called Stormfront.org. The
bulletin board remains active today as an online forum for
white nationalism, white separatism, Holocaust denial,
neo-nazism, and racism, among other topics.
its messaging and tactics have changed over the years, at its
core, the Ku Klux Klan has remained a loosely organized
movement fueled by racism, white supremacism, anti-Semitism,
THE POLITICAL CESSPOOL
is the creator and host of The Political Cesspool
radio show and website. He started the radio show in October
2004. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, the show went on a brief
hiatus in 2008, but otherwise has been on the air
continuously to present day. The radio show is currently
carried on the Liberty News Radio Network.
published his "Statement of Principles" on the
show's website. Among other statements, Edwards proclaims
• "The Political Cesspool Radio Program
stands for the [sic] The Dispossessed Majority. We represent
a philosophy that is pro-White . . . ."
• "We wish to revive the White birthrate above
replacement level fertility and beyond to grow the percentage
of Whites in the world relative to other races."
• "America would not be a prosperous land of
opportunity if the founding stock were not Europeans. . . .
You can't have a First World nation with a Third World
• "Secession is a right of all people and
individuals. It was successful in 1776 and this show honors
those who tried to make it ...