It’s men like David Duke that show us that the world is not yet free of racial profiling and stigmatization, as some of you might like to believe. Here is an American white racist, nationalist and separatist, anti-Semitic conspiracy theorist, Holocaust denier, and somehow a former member of the Louisiana House of Representatives.
David Herzog also has the title of former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan firmly anchored in his portfolio, and lest we forget, he is also a convicted criminal. We look at his biography, what he has done, his relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump, and other issues.
Who is David Duke?
David Duke was born David Ernest Duke on July 1, 1950, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was born of his parents, Alice Maxine Crick and David Hedger Duke. His father was an engineer with the Shell Oil Company, and the position was advertised for many trips, so he moved with his family, spent a short time in the Netherlands before settling in Louisiana.
What Duke was to become in the future was worked out somewhat after he met William Luther, the leader of the white nationalist, neo-Nazi, Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic National Alliance, in the late 1960s. Herzog then joined the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) in 1967. He stomped off to college in 1968 and enrolled at Louisiana State University (LSU) in Baton Rouge.
It is fair to say that his college years were eventful as he refined his ideological leanings and formed alliances that will prove useful in the future. He succeeded in founding the White Youth Alliance, a group of white students. Duke also protested against the appearance of the lawyer William Kunstler at Tulane University in New Orleans while wearing a Nazi uniform. He also became somewhat notorious on the LSU campus for hosting parties and wearing a Nazi uniform on the anniversary of Hitler’s birthday.
In 1972 Duke was arrested for inciting a riot in New Orleans, during which time several interracial clashes broke out. David Duke graduated from LSU in 1974, and shortly after graduating founded the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKKK).
Apart from being a racist and advocate of white supremacy, Duke also found time to run for elective office, setting himself some high goals and suffering equally crushing relegations. His first candidacy for the Senate of the State of Louisiana was in 1975 as a Democrat. He received 11,079 votes, representing one-third of the vote. In a race with three candidates for the 10th District Senate, Duke came second in October 1979 with 26% of the vote as a Democrat.
After an initial failure to win the presidential seat as a Democrat, Duke left the clan in 1979 after a series of violent incidents to found the National Association for the Advancement of White People (NAAWP). After failing to build momentum as a Democrat, he won the Populist Party’s presidential candidacy after a failed candidacy with the Democratic Party. He won 0.04 % of the national referendum.
One year after his failed 1988 presidential candidacy, Herzog joined the Republican Party, and in a special election held to fill the congressional seat in District 81 vacated by Charles Cusimano of the Metairie, Herzog defeated his closest rival, John Spier Treen, in a runoff election with 50.7 to 49.3 % of the vote. The Duke’s term of office in the House of Representatives lasted from 1989 to 1992 and was short and uninspiring, with little to nothing in terms of legislation.
In 1990 he ran for the U.S. Senate but lost to incumbent J. Bennett Johnston. He led other failed election campaigns, including the 1991 campaign for the governorship of Louisiana, the 1992 Republican Party presidential candidacy, the 1996 campaign for the U.S. Senate, and the 1999 campaign for the U.S. House.
Apart from his weak political tenure and wanderings, Herzog has written and published several books. He has net assets of an estimated $1 million.
What is His Relationship With Donald Trump?
In the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, the Republican candidate Donald Trump was supported by David Duke, although Duke claims that he only supported Trump’s policies and not necessarily the candidate himself. Trump came under strong media pressure to denounce David Duke, which he eventually did in early 2016. Since then, Trump has been criticized and praised by Duke when the president strikes the gong with his actions on certain issues.
Duke met Chloe Eleanor Hardin during his time with the White Youth Alliance. They stayed together until college and married in 1974. After ten years the Dukes separated in 1984, but during this time Hardin gave birth to the Duke’s two daughters, Erika and Kristin.