Louisiana state flag on brick wall

Although the Republican Party was officially divorced from David Duke, they were still sleeping together in Louisiana, even in 1999.

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), the new House Majority Whip admitted yesterday that he once gave a speech at a white supremacist convention organized by neo-Nazi and Republican Party member David Duke.

The scandal came to light after a Lousiana political blogger named Lamar White Jr. shed light on the fact that state representative Scalise spoke at a 2002 convention of the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO), an organization founded by Duke.

Scalise told the media that he had no idea that he was speaking at a white supremacist conference. “The hate-fueled ignorance and intolerance that group projects is in stark contradiction to what Mr. Scalise believes and practices as a father, a husband, and a devoted Catholic,” his spokeswoman said.

However, as more reporters dig, more truths are coming to light. Duke has said that Scalise is a fine man and a good person. Mediaite has done some digging and found that Scalise told voters that he embraced many of the same “conservative” views as Duke, but didn’t see him as viable as a candidate.:

“The novelty of David Duke has worn off,” said Scalise. “The voters in this district are smart enough to realize that they need to get behind someone who not only believes in the issues they care about, but also can get elected. Duke has proven that he can’t get elected, and that’s the first and most important thing.”

When Duke ran for office in 1999 in a special election for Louisiana’s First Congressional District, he was not shy about his platform, as evidenced by a copy of his campaign statement archived on the Wayback Machine:

America must have at least one Congressman willing to stand up openly for the rights and heritage of European Americans!

I am running for the U.S. Congressional seat which is being vacated by Bob Livingston, who resigned from consideration for the Speaker of the House after alleged revelations by Larry Flint of possible sexual impropriety with a lobbyist. On the floor of the House of Representatives during the impeachment hearings, Livingston announced on national television that he would resign his seat and challenged Clinton to follow his example and leave the Presidency.

In 1990, in a statewide race against the 18-year incumbent U.S. Senator J. Bennett Johnston, I carried this congressional district. Now I am asking the people of my district to vote for me for the U.S. Congress.

Fair enough. Returning to European heritage in 1999 Louisiana wasn’t that big a deal? He was an unelectable  choice — but not unconscionable? (It may sound a bit laughable – but we are talking about a former KKK member turned elected official. ) Even though Duke didn’t make it past small-time state senator in Louisiana, the awful truth is that yes, in Louisiana Republican circles, he still held much political clout. Even as he ran for office, he was involved in a leadership role in the mainstream Louisiana Republican Party, as he explained on his former campaign website. (Bold is mine):

I have served in the Louisiana House of Representatives from one part of the district and now serve as chairman of the Republican Party in another part.

White Americans face pervasive and pernicious programs of racial discrimination in hiring, promotions, college and union admittance, and in contracting and public contracts.

The government also discriminates against White people in legal immigration policies as well as failing to stem the tide of massive, non-white illegal immigration.

Immigration combined with taxpayer-subsidized welfare birthrates will result in European-Americans becoming a minority in the nation our own forefathers created.

That’s right, although you won’t find it on Wikipedia, David Duke’s resume included Chairmanship of the Republican Parish Executive Committee of the largest Republican parish in Louisiana for four years, including the year he ran against 3 Republicans for the seat that eventually went to David Vitter. Duke served on St. Tammany RPEC, as At-Large Representative, from 1996-2000.

You can view the whole archived campaign website here. White rights were the foundation of Duke’s entire platform. His qualms about immigration and welfare were tied into “white rights” as well. Yet Duke was still actively involved in local party affairs, and his opponents tended to put him down based on his electability, not his blatant white nationalism.

When Duke lost his bid for a seat in Congress, he re-affirmed his commitment to white causes. “I am absolutely committed to spending the rest of my life as a spokesman for the rights of European-Americans,” he said in an article posted to his website.

Maybe Duke explained the truth about the Republican Party’s relationship with white nationalism best in 1989, when he won his first seat in public office and slammed Republicans for tip-toeing around the racial bias fueling their policies. He gave the Washington Post this timeless gem of a quote:

”Maybe the difference between myself and Lee Atwater and some other Republicans running in this country is that David Duke has said openly and loudly what a lot of the other Republicans have not been willing to talk about on the campaign trail.”

  • Spiderwoman

    I find it completely amazing how short people’s memories can be when it comes to politics. It isn’t like Scalise admitted to being lopenly racist 40 years ago. This was in 2002.

    • ORAXX

      The American public has the collective attention span of a fruit fly.

      • Maximo Ugmo

        The American public has the mentality of an amoebae planted in front of a cable news channel…

  • Ratcraft

    How the media reports on race,
    Black power said the black man
    Asian pride said the Asian.
    Viva La Raza said the Hispanic
    White power said the racist.