David Duke, the Ku Klux Klan’s former grand wizard, said in an interview that he was considering running for Congress.
He thinks that current racial tensions in the U.S. will give him the necessary boost to defend the rights of “European Americans.”
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In an interview with the Daily Beast, Duke said: “I’ve very seriously set up an exploratory committee to run for the United States Congress against Steve Scalise [in the State of Louisiana]”
He also said that he expects to make a decision in the next few days, ahead of the July 22 ballot deadline.
The murder of five white Dallas cops during the shooting standoff July 7, provided him with the prime motive to run, according to the interview.
“We are on the offensive today. There’s no more defenses,” he said.
“I don’t take any satisfaction in the fact that I was right, but I have been right,” he said. “Unless European Americans stand up, they are going to lose everything they care about in this country.”
If successful on July 22, Duke says he will be the only one in Congress “openly defending the rights and heritage of European Americans.”
Duke founded his KKK chapter in 1974, winning an election into the state legislature in 1989 with a platform centered on drug-testing welfare recipients. He tried to run for Senate in 1990, then governor of Louisiana in 1991 – a candidacy that was strongly opposed by his own party, including then President George H.W. Bush. Duke ended up losing to a former convict – Democrat Edwin Edwards.
If Duke wins this time around, Scalise’s office said he promised to repeal the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act – the bill that eliminated immigration quotas on race.
He has been comparing himself to Donald Trump in recent times, saying: “I think Trump is riding a wave of anti-establishment feeling that I’ve been nurturing for 25 years.”
“There are millions of people across the country who would like to have me in the Congress,” he said, adding about his position on “European Americans” there.
Duke is also the man Trump vehemently denied supporting, despite evidence to the contrary. The white supremacist made headlines during the election campaign with his support of Trump, but the latter appeared to carefully refuse to distance himself from Duke’s statements, nor did he reject Duke’s endorsement.
Instead, Trump backpedaled, saying “I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don’t know. I don’t know — did he endorse me, or what’s going on? Because I know nothing about David Duke; I know nothing about white supremacists,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper.
In the interview he also praised the power of the social media, saying he was aware of the possible backlash in the event that he ran for office.
“We have social media and the internet today puts me at an even footing with you. The truth is going to get out one way or the other. I demand some fair treatment. The media can demonize me all they want. They can lie about me. They can say whatever they want about me. Things are changing in this country.”
Since the early ’90s. Duke has been busy in his work as white supremacy advocate, referring to himself as a “racial realist,” according to the Beast. He founded the European-American Unity and Rights Organization in 2000.
In the upcoming July 22 ballot he will face off against Rep. Steve Scalise, who was previously allegedly heard referring to himself as a “David Duke without the baggage” while speaking at a meeting for a white supremacist group Duke himself had founded (two attendants, however, said Scalise never appeared at the meeting).
Scalise himself later denied any knowledge of Duke’s group or its politics, saying “I detest any kind of hate group. For anyone to suggest that I was involved with a group like that is insulting and ludicrous.” Scalise has also campaigned for a ban on Confederate flags at Veterans Administration cemeteries.