News, Straight to the Point

David Duke's Racist Views Were Well-Known When Scalise Spoke To His Group

Fd4mnj57ntt4pd7dj7y5
AP Photo / J. PAT CARTER

Duke laid out his extreme nationalist views in a 1998 autobiography

After his failed political ventures, Duke published an autobiography in 1998 titled "My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding" that the Anti-Defamation League would go on to describe as a "minor league Mein Kampf."

The book attempted to discredit the Holocaust and took a leaf from Charles Murray's book "The Bell Curve" to argue that blacks are genetically inferior to whites.

He was prominent enough to be invited on C-SPAN in 1999 to discuss the autobiography, his past as a leader in the KKK and his political beliefs.

Duke spent nearly three years abroad lecturing on 'white survival'

In early 2000, Duke left the United States to travel Europe -- namely Italy and Austria -- and Russia giving lectures about "white survival" against Jews and other non-Europeans. He initially went to Russia at the invitation of the editor of an ultranationalist newspaper and held court with nationalist lawmakers, including the well known anti-Semite Albert Makashov.

During his time abroad, Duke was frequently mentioned in U.S. congressional hearings on anti-Semitism in Europe and Russia.

He also published an anti-Semitic book in 2001 that went on sale in the parliament building in Moscow. The book was a Russian translation of his chapter on the "Jewish question" from "My Awakening," according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Federal agents raided Duke's Louisiana home in 2000

Federal agents raided the former KKK leader's Mandeville, Louisiana home in November 2000. The warrant for the raid, based on testimony from confidential informants, alleged that Duke pilfered hundreds of thousands of dollars from supporters, according to the Associated Press.

From his perch overseas, Duke accused then-U.S. Attorney Eddie Jordan of trying to validate an earlier investigation into his affairs. A federal grand jury had probed an undisclosed $150,000 payment then-Gov. Mike Foster (R) made to Duke in exchange for a list of his supporters. The investigation was widely covered. The New York Times reported at the time that the grand jury was trying to determine whether Foster paid Duke to keep him from using his political clout to mount a gubernatorial challenge.

No indictment was ever handed down in the investigation into Foster's payment to Duke.

Duke caused headaches for Virginia's guv with 'European American Heritage and History Month'

Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore (R) revoked a proclamation instituting a "European American Heritage and History Month" after he learned that Duke was behind the National Organization for European-American Rights, the organization that later changed its name to EURO and lobbied for the declaration.

"I have very strongly denounced David Duke and his racist attitudes in the past," Gilmore said in a statement at the time, as quoted by the Associated Press. "David Duke's group masquerades as an advocacy group for diversity but preaches white supremacy and a dogma of exclusion and hatred."

Duke's EURO organization riled up South Carolinians with Confederate flags

In the days leading up to the EURO convention in Metairie, Louisiana where Scalise spoke, the group's South Carolina chapter was raising a ruckus by greeting travelers at the state's visitor centers with Confederate flags.

The group would go on to hold counter-demonstrations at several NAACP rallies that month, prompting the state's then-Attorney General Charlie Condon to eventually file suit to end the back-and-forth on both sides.

About The Author

Roc7r7qi81ejpv7wpkif

Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.