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Saturday, November 8, 2008

who is david Duke

David Duke was born July 1, 1950 (1950-07-01) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, his age is 58.
David parents were David H. and Maxine Duke. He was the son of an engineer for Shell Oil. Duke as a child frequently moved with his family around the world. They lived a short time in the Netherlands before settling in Louisiana. In the late 1960s, Duke met the leader of the white separatist National Alliance, William Pierce, who would remain a life-long influence. Duke joined the Ku Klux Klan in 1967.

Duke studied at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge and in 1970 formed a White student group called the White Youth Alliance; it was affiliated with the National Socialist White People's Party. The same year, to protest William Kunstler's appearance at Tulane University in New Orleans, Duke appeared at a demonstration in Nazi uniform. Picketing and holding parties on the anniversary of Adolf Hitler's birth, he became famous on campus for wearing a Nazi uniform. Duke has been criticized as an Anti-Semite for his works on the subject of Jewish plots for world domination, and as a white supremacist, while Duke claims he is a bigot. Duke admits to being a racist and says he is a racial realist asserting "all people have a basic human right to preserve their own heritage." He speaks in favor of racial segregation and white separatism.

While working in the White Youth Alliance, Duke met Chloê Hardin, who became active in the group. They remained companions throughout college and married in 1974. Hardin is the mother of Duke's two daughters, Erika and Kristin. They divorced in 1984, and Hardin moved to West Palm Beach to be near her parents. There she became involved with Duke's Klan friend, Don Black, whom she later married.[18]

He graduated from LSU in 1974 In 1974, then David Duke founded the Louisiana-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. He first received broad public attention during this time, as he successfully marketed himself in the mid-1970s as a new brand of Klansman — well-groomed, engaged, and professional. Duke also reformed the organization, promoting nonviolence and legality, and, for the first time in the Klan's history, women were accepted as equal members and Catholics were encouraged to apply for membership.and formed the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. Duke’s efforts not only boosted membership, they also, to a significant degree, made traditional Klan ritual obsolete. He urged an overhaul of the organization at the grass-roots level, encouraging his colleagues to “get out of the cow pasture and into hotel meeting rooms.” In media appearances and political venues, he skillfully exploited issues like illegal immigration, affirmative action and court-ordered busing, and sanitized Klan vocabulary, titling himself “national director” and referring to cross burnings as “illuminations.” He also professed nonviolence and encouraged members to become politically active; following his own advice, he made an unsuccessful bid for the Louisiana State Senate in 1975, receiving one-third of the votes cast. His already evident skill at sublimating his bigotry led journalists to describe his style as “rhinestone racism” and “button-down terror.”

Meanwhile, the Klan enjoyed a resurgence under his leadership. In 1976, he organized the largest Klan rally the nation had witnessed since the 1960s in Walker, Louisiana, with an estimated attendance of 2,700. In addition, he built up local organizations in other states, including California, Florida and Texas. Although he publicly shunned violence, he was convicted in 1979 of inciting a riot in connection with a Klan rally in suburban New Orleans.

In 1980, Duke left the Klan and formed the (NAAWP) National Association for the Advancement of White People. In a letter to his followers, he wrote that the NAAWP “avoids the Hollywood stereotypes and misconceptions about the Klan” and maintained that the messages of the two groups were “essentially the same.” Indeed, the NAAWP was housed in the former headquarters of the Knights of the KKK, and Duke used the facilities to produce the NAAWP newsletter. From that office, he also produced the Louisiana edition of The White Patriot, a periodical of the Knights of the KKK, while Don Black, his successor as the Klan’s leader (and later founder of the pioneering racist Web site, served a three-year federal prison term for conspiring to overthrow the government of the Caribbean island of Dominica. Although he no longer has an official role in the NAAWP, Duke maintains close ties with many in the group, and its agenda closely parallels his. Furthermore, he has often been a guest speaker at NAAWP events, such as a 1996 rally in Baton Rouge.

On May 20, 2004, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) became outraged when it discovered that David Duke had chosen New Orleans to host his International NAAWP Conference during the NAACP's Big Easy Rally to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Duke published his autobiography My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding in 1998. The book details Duke's social philosophies, especially his reasoning behind racial separation. In the book, Duke says:
We (white nationalists) desire to live in our own neighborhoods, go to our own schools, work in our own cities and towns, and ultimately live as one extended family in our own nation. We shall end the racial genocide of integration. We shall work for the eventual establishment of a separate homeland for African Americans, so each race will be free to pursue its own destiny without racial conflicts and ill will. In 2004, the book was published in the United States. Originally published in English and Russian, the book has subsequently been translated internationally into Swedish, Ukrainian, Persian, Hungarian and most recently, Spanish. [62]

In 2007 an updated edition was published [65] which Duke purports to be a "fine quality hardback edition with full color dust jacket and it has a new index and a number of timely additions"
, Duke was sentenced to 15 months in prison, and he served the time in Big Spring, Texas. He was also fined US$10,000, ordered to cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service, and to pay money still owed for his 1998 taxes. Following his release in May 2004, he stated that his decision to take the plea bargain was motivated by the bias that he perceived in the United States federal court system and not his guilt. He said he felt the charges were contrived to derail his political career and discredit him to his followers, and that he took the safe route by pleading guilty and receiving a mitigated sentence, rather than pleading not guilty and potentially receiving the full sentence.

Duke pled guilty to a six-year scheme to dupe thousands of his followers by asking for donations. Through postal mail, Duke later appealed to his supporters that he was about to lose his house and his life savings. Prosecutors claimed that Duke raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in this campaign. Prosecutors also claimed he sold his home at a hefty profit, had multiple investment accounts, and spent much of his money gambling at casinos

By the late 1980s, Duke had become “America’s most renowned ‘white rights’ advocate,” according to The Spotlight, the nation’s leading far-right publication

In 1988, he ran for the Presidency, first as a Democrat, and then as a third-party candidate on the ticket of the Populist Party, founded four years earlier by Willis Carto to provide far-right radicals with a platform for political office.

Duke eventually appeared on the ballot in 11 states and received 47,047 votes – one-twentieth of one percent of those cast. Undaunted by the low totals, in January 1989 he joined a field of seven Republicans contesting a seat in the Louisiana State Legislature in Metairie. Despite the opposition to Duke expressed by national Republican leaders, including then-President Bush, voters elected him by a narrow margin. Until the middle of that year, when the practice was publicly exposed, Duke sold extremist literature (including Mein Kampf and The Turner Diaries) from his Metairie legislative office.

The following year, Duke aimed significantly higher, running against Democratic incumbent J. Bennett Johnston for a United States Senate seat. In a state wracked by the depressed oil and gas industries, Duke’s politics of resentment achieved some resonance. Decrying “welfare systems that encourage illegitimate births” and “set-asides to promote the incompetent,” Duke’s chances appeared sufficiently favorable to prompt eight Republican United States senators to endorse Johnston and to urge the repudiation of Duke, who was running as a Republican. Johnston won with 53.9 percent of the vote to Duke’s 43.5 percent, but Duke gained a surprising 60 percent of the white vote.

On March 13, 1991, Duke launched a campaign for the governorship of Louisiana. Because of his more-than-respectable finish in the previous year’s Senate race, his bid attracted enormous publicity, and his long record of bigotry came under heightened scrutiny. In response, Duke claimed to have discarded his racist beliefs and to have undergone a religious rebirth. His claim was belied, however, by a number of recent statements. During his senatorial campaign, for instance, he had said, “Jews are trying to destroy all other cultures…as a survival mechanism.” Moreover, during the last week of the race his state campaign coordinator, Bob Hawkes, resigned, saying that the candidate’s recent professions of faith were a political ploy. Hawkes subsequently noted that an adjoining room in Duke’s campaign office remained the headquarters of the NAAWP. Duke lost the election but again won nearly 700,000 votes. The following day, Duke, by now something of a professional campaigner, formed a presidential exploratory committee and eventually mounted an uninspired and short-lived campaign; in this fourth campaign in four years, both his supporters and the media had probably begun to suffer from “Duke fatigue.”

Consequently, his surprisingly candid January 17, 1992, interview with The Dallas Morning News may have been more of a public relations stunt than a scoop — among other things, he told the paper that, with regard to his Klan career, “the things that I accomplished under that motif were pretty substantial,” and that “fundamentally, yes, I haven’t changed.”

By mid-1992, with his gubernatorial loss and collapsed presidential campaign starting to erode his support base, Duke began to retreat from the political arena. He concentrated instead on raising money, with a brief stint as a co-owner of an Irish pub in Metairie and a failed attempt at securing a job as an insurance agent. He also tried to raise money by starting up a new publication, the David Duke Report, and, in 1993 and 1994, he hosted a radio talk show – “David Duke Conservative hotline” – on WASO AM 730 in Covington, near New Orleans.

Clearly happiest in the spotlight, in September 1996, Duke again competed in Louisiana’s United States Senate “open” primary, placing fourth among 15 candidates, with 140,910 votes, and carrying several rural parishes.

Coming Out (Again)
Even though Duke’s ability to win office seemed to have waned, he still found himself able to create political turmoil. For the second time in his career, he became embroiled in a scandal concerning the sale of a mailing list – this time to Louisiana Governor Mike Foster. Foster was found by the state Board of Ethics to have failed to report a $103,000 payment to Duke during the 1995 governor’s race, and again in 1997 when he paid $52,000 for the right to continue to use the list. Foster said that he tried to keep the purchase secret, because “it ain’t real cool to put out there that you’re buying something from David Duke.”

Now a self-styled “civil rights activist,” in January 2000, Duke announced the formation of a new organization, the National Organization for European American Rights. Aping contemporary civil rights groups, NOFEAR addressed “European American” concerns. “Just as African Americans have the NAACP and Mexican Americans have La Raza,” Duke said, “European-Americans now have the National Organization for European American Rights, to actively defend their rights and heritage in the United States.”

NOFEAR was intended to be an antidote to the alleged “massive discrimination” faced by whites from the nation’s growing population of minorities. According to Duke, “European Americans face a situation where we’re going to be outnumbered and outvoted in our own country.” Low birthrates, interracial marriages and immigration rates were cited by Duke as key factors reducing the white share of the population. The NOFEAR home pages on the Web site maintain that “the civil rights of European Americans are being violated by affirmative action, forced integration and anti-European immigration policies.…We face cultural discrimination in the media and education.…An example is the media hate crime hysteria that highlights and publicizes any white crime against minorities.”

At the launching of NOFEAR, Duke told reporters at the National Press Club that the alleged ongoing destruction of white people was a “genocide.” In a January 26, 2000, letter to the Shreveport Times rebutting a critical editorial, Duke described European Americans as “internally displaced people” entitled to the same consideration as refugees. In June 2001, threatened by a trademark lawsuit, Duke renamed his group the European-American Rights Organization.

Duke has also focused on alleged hate crimes against whites. Although hate crimes against whites actually do form a substantial percentage of the country’s overall total, Duke’s twist was to label all black-on-white crime as falling into the “hate” category. Though initially Duke and his associates stated that they were opposed to hate crime laws and to the very concept of hate crimes, which they considered discriminatory to whites, the advantages of claiming victimhood led them to shift their position. Thus, in May 2000, Duke attempted to call attention “to an epidemic of hate crimes committed against white Americans…and to expose the lack of coverage that exists on this issue.”

“I don’t call myself a white supremacist,” said Duke. “I’m a civil rights activist concerned about European-American rights.”

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