Activism in Response to the Politics of David Duke

In this section of our exhibit, we have highlight the papers of Richard Mcarthy, former editor, and publisher at the Twomey Center for Peace through Justice at Loyola University New Orleans. As co-founder and former executive director of the ECOnomics Institute, he was instrumental in the creation and stewardship of the Crescent City Farmers and, both of which embrace the principles of social justice and sustainable economic development. 

His papers included in the New Orleans Social Justice and Activism Collection primarily consist of materials relative to McCarthy's coalitional organizing, activism, and research in opposition to Louisiana State Representative David Duke.

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Flier, Duke Free Zone Activism Collection, Box 3, Folder 1 

David Duke is considered to be the most recognizable and well-known figure of the American radical right. A neo-Nazi, ex Klan leader, and international lecturer for Holocaust denial, he still managed to be elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives and once ran a close race for Governor of Louisiana.

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Pamphlet, "No to David Duke. No to Nazism." Activism Collection, Box 3, Folder 14 

In 1970 while a student at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Duke founded the neo-Nazi National Socialist affiliated White Youth Alliance. He protested a speech by civil-rights activist attorney William Kunstler at Tulane University wearing a Nazi brown shirt, swastika armband, and jackboots carrying a placard that read, "Kunstler is a Communist-Jew and "Gas the Chicago 7" (well-known leftist activists defended by Kunstler). Duke later described these events as a "folly of youth."

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Flier, "Keep Duke Out Of Office." Activism Collection, Box 3, Folder 14 

David Duke's only political victory was in January 1989, when he was elected to a seat in the Louisiana State Legislature in Metairie, LA during a special election. David Duke ran multiple political campaigns before and after this singular political success; running for the Presidency in 1988, Louisiana First Congressional District in 1998, Governor in 1991, Louisiana United States Senate in 1975 and 1996.

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Emergency Legislative Ballot Memo & Fundraising Letter, 1990 Activism Collection, Box 3, Folder 4

David Duke is the most well-known for his ideology of white supremacy and anti-Semitism. A former Imperial Wizard of the Louisiana-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, he distanced himself from his KKK commitments while pioneering tactics that camouflage racist ideas inside hot-button issues like affirmative action, welfare reform, and immigration.

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Many anti-Duke coalitions were created during Duke's run for Representative and Governor in Louisiana. These coalitions organized mass mailings, protests, and produced posters and pamphlets in opposition to Duke's politics and beliefs. 

Louisiana Coalition Political Action Committee

Louisiana Mobilization to Stop David Duke 

Louisiana Socialist Alliance 

Truth About Duke (TAD) 

The New Orleans Anti-Nazi League Business Card, NAAWP

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Duke has established multiple organizations as platforms to proliferate his racist ideology. One such organization was the National Association for the Advancement of White People (NAA WP), which was housed in the former headquarters of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) also founded by Duke.

Times-Picayune Advertisement, September 23, 1990, Activism Collection, Box 2, Folder 2 

Full-page newspaper advertisement that ran in the Times-Picayune newspaper asking LA residents to vote against David Duke's run for Governor.

Activism in Response to the Politics of David Duke