Dear David Duke,
In light of your recent travel adventures in Europe and your subsequent Open Letter to the World to set the record straight on your “basic principles and beliefs,” we thought it might be an opportune moment to remind you what those principles actually are. In all your efforts to whitewash (a phrase you’ll enjoy, we know) the record, we fear you may have forgotten, like certain political candidates, what it is you really stand for.
As much as you trumpet your alleged opposition to “any form of racial supremacism” and belief that “every people has the right to preserve their freedom and their identity,” we all know you’re saying that only because you were just arrested in Cologne, Germany. What’s going on, Dave? Are you embarrassed all of a sudden? Or just worried about not being able to return to the land whose Fuhrer you spent so much of your life admiring? We’re guessing you needed put some distance between your salad days with the Ku Klux Klan and your present, mature self. You were deported by the Germans back to Austria, but the Austrians these days aren’t that sympathetic to neo-Nazis, either, and they just might kick you out, too.
But quite honestly, David, we’re surprised you’re going through so much effort to hide the pedigree you once held in such high esteem.
Remember when you were a student at Louisiana State University? You know, when you were wearing that Nazi uniform with the cute swastika armband? Or how about when you fell under the influence of white supremacist William Pierce, who was such a dear friend before he decided he didn’t think much of you claiming his writings as your own and became a mortal enemy? Those were the days, huh?
Or how about when, many years later, you reached that exalted position of imperial wizard? How you figured that it’d be better for your Klansmen to put on suits and ties, given that some silly Americans thought the robes and hood had, well, kind of a bad reputation? Classy!
That’s all ancient history now, we understand — as you say, “my controversial long ago past.” What’s really at stake here––if we can be honest with one another––are those pesky questions you have about the Holocaust that seem to haunt you wherever you go.
When the German cops came to get you earlier this month, everyone––even you––knew it was probably related to your 2009 arrest in the Czech Republic on charges of “denying or approving of the Nazi genocide.” We like the way you turned that argument on its head with your letter this Sunday: “Actually, far from being a Holocaust denier, I am a Holocaust exposer,” you said. Nice! But what you said back in 2006, when you were globetrotting in the name of “racial realism,” kind of contradicts that. You know, when you landed in Tehran to speak at Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s giant Holocaust denial conference.
And what was it you said then? Oh, yes: “The Holocaust is the device used as the pillar of Zionist imperialism, Zionist aggression, Zionist terror and Zionist murder.” Those were days––you had the reputation you deserved, and you wore it proudly.
Or, how about way back in 1998, when you wrote that fascinating memoir, My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding, just after getting a taste for travel in Europe that sent you back again and again––to the Czech Republic at the request of neo-Nazi groups such as the National Resistance, to Russia, which you once called the “key to white survival,” to Austria, and, of course, to Germany.
The world just doesn’t get it, does it? Especially those “leftist ideologues” and “Zionist agents” who are always whining about you. Maybe you put it best in your letter: “I represent the very opposite of racism. … I believe that every people on the planet have the right to preserve their heritage, their culture, their unique character, their art, literature, music, values, faith and other characteristics that define them.”
Frankly, David, we think your Open Letter needs a bit of work. It’s a just a little too deceptive, and a little too proud. But don’t worry; there are plenty of good examples out there that can guide your thinking if you want to try again. In fact, there’s one letter another famous activist wrote from a Birmingham, Ala., jail back in the 1960s that’s worth a read (pdf).
He was against racism, too.