In Virginia, A Governor Honors Whites, Briefly

Mainstreaming Extremism

In his pseudo-intellectual books and his Louisiana political campaigns, former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke has used one group after another to try to portray his racism as nothing less than a principled stand in favor of oppressed white people.

Recently, Duke's latest outfit managed to fool at least one more person. This time, it was James Gilmore III, governor of Virginia.

On May 9, Gilmore designated May as "European American Heritage and History Month," honoring a request by Ron Doggett, a long-time racist and Virginia chapter head of Duke's group.

Doggett has been involved with the paramilitary White Patriot Party, the neo-Nazi National Alliance and the American Friends of the British National Party, a fund-raising arm of the British neofascist group.

Gilmore immediately rescinded the declaration after inquires by the Associated Press revealed the racist connection. Gilmore defended the idea of the heritage month but said he had been unaware of the message of "white supremacy and dogma of exclusion and hatred" of Duke's group.

At the time of Gilmore's proclamation, Duke's group was called the National Organization For European American Rights, or NOFEAR. It changed its name in June to the European-American Rights Organization after a lawsuit was filed by No Fear, Inc., a clothing company.

Duke himself weathered these controversies in Italy. Since November, he has been in Russia and other European countries promoting his newest racist book as a criminal investigation of his finances continues in Louisiana.