A Former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard’s chance of becoming governor of Louisiana is a frightening thought for America, an NIU student said.
“David Duke as a governor is a very scary thought,” said Michelle Johnson, secretary of the Black Student Union.
Duke won 32 percent of the vote in the Louisiana primary for governor, giving him a chance in November to become that state’s chief executive.
In the primary, Duke finished second, 34 percent to 32 percent, to Edwin Edwards, the former governor who was acquitted of criminal charges that were filed while he was in office.
Duke received a strong white vote, while Edwards received most of the minority votes. Duke’s showing, receiving almost one-third of the vote, has caused concern across the country.
If Duke wins the governorship, Johnson believes it will set back the movement for racial equality.
However, Johnson doesn’t think he will win. “It’s up to the voters. I can’t see why people would vote for him. I don’t think he has changed his political beliefs (from his Ku Klux Klan days),” Johnson said.
Duke, in addition to his Klansman past, was an American Nazi who regularly celebrated Hitler’s birthday. Duke insists he is no longer with the Klan and his views have become more “moderate,” but a citizen’s group has evidence of Duke selling anti-Semitic and Nazi literature in 1989.
“It’s too soon to tell if this is a trend,” Johnson said. “Right now it’s just an isolated incident. If it happens in other states, then we need to start worrying.”
The Republican party Duke ran under is distancing itself from him. White House Chief of Staff John Sununu said the race in Louisiana “could be best served if they added a third line to the ballot—the line saying ‘no.'”
“I think voters will have enough sense to judge Duke as a bad candidate,” Johnson said.
Duke is currently a state representative in Louisiana.