“White people will be a minority in America soon. Every minority has a spokesgroup, except European Americans. We’re not allowed.” – Michael Lawrence, former campaign manager for David Duke, Ku Klux Klansman running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana
A white minority in the U.S.? Okay … maybe it’s about time. What difference, after all, does it make? We are all members of the same race – the human race. African-Americans have been a minority since the inception of the U.S. as have Hispanics, Middle-Easterners, Asians, and other groups. So, maybe it’s time for a demographic switch-up, so to speak. Lawrence continues, “For a long time now, David [Duke] has been the sole spokesman for white people. And he has paid an incredible price for standing up, in being labeled a racist.” Seriously? What else might you call somebody who is a former ‘grand wizard’ of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), in addition to being an anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, and Holocaust denier? I think ‘racist’ describes him quite well!
White Supremacist groups are working to get out the vote for Donald Trump in numbers not seen in this country for the last 50 years. Residents in Alabama, Georgia, Kansas and Louisiana have all reported finding fliers from the KKK outside their homes in recent days. “Please join and help us take our country back,” reads a flier recently distributed in Madison, Alabama. “Black Lives Matter Black Panthers are telling followers to kill white people and police officers in the name of justice for the killing of Negro’s [sic] by policemen in the line of duty. These Negro’s [sic] were not innocent. They were thugs breaking the law, and standing up against police. If your [sic] confused and don’t know what sex you are today, use a tree out in the back yard.” In the town of Many, Louisiana, Klan pamphlets encouraged people to “get out to the poles [sic] and vote,” because, “Your vote could decide if we have a country anymore or not.”
Trump’s thinly veiled rhetoric of racial division and tough talk on immigration ― building a wall on the southern border and banning entire groups of people from immigrating to the U.S. ― has energized white nationalists and the so-called alt-right. It is as I have said on numerous occasions in the past – Trump turned over many rocks underneath which the vermin were living, and now they are slithering among us, leaving a trail of slime and hate. “They feel that their message is more palatable now that, in their view, a major political candidate is virtually saying the same things,” said Mark Potok, senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
Fortunately, David Duke has not experienced the blind flow of support from lemmings that his hero, Donald Trump has, and he Is polling somewhere between 5% – 14%, depending on which poll and which day. What issues, you might ask, is he running on? Large-scale immigration, the ‘war on Christmas’, the nefarious plotting of the “Jewish elite” and the “cultural destruction” of white America, to name a few.
On Wednesday, Duke participated in a debate in New Orleans, held at Dillard University, a historically black college. Duke was one of six candidates vying for the Senate seat, and in the words of one journalist, “Everyone knew the real reason Duke was onstage. He is hate porn, and his mere presence ensures a spectacle. He’s bad for America and good for ratings. This, too, is American politics in 2016.” Prior to the debate, Duke had claimed that he felt the students at Dillard were a threat to him, so students and media were banned from the auditorium where the debate was held. The result? The debate was held in a mostly empty auditorium, with student protests surging outside. One of the other candidates, Caroline Fayard, referred to Duke as “a snake that has slithered out of the swamp.”
David Duke is delusional and we are in no danger of seeing him win a seat in the U.S. Senate. He would hardly be worth the time I spent writing this post, except for one thing: he is but a symptom of a greater illness. The illness, of course, is bigotry. Merriam-Webster defines a bigot as “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.” I wanted to ask, “how have we, a nation that began by welcoming people from all parts of the globe, of all religions and beliefs, come to this low point?” But then I realized what a misguided thought that is. Our nation began by murdering the original inhabitants and stealing their land. Our nation began with slavery. Our nation began by thinking women were second-class citizens. For a time, the pendulum of justice swung, and we tried to become more humane, but today, the pendulum seems to be swinging back in the other direction. Many of us are not proud of what we have become, but our voices are being drowned out by those who are the epitome of the word ‘bigot’.