Though in the midst of a campaign for the Senate seat of retiring Senator David Vitter (R-Louisiana), former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke is holding fast to his spot as a far-right radio pundit.
Late last week, Duke and his co-host, Don Advo, discussed the Donald Trump campaign’s hiring of Stephen Bannon, the former executive chairman of Breitbart, a right-wing publication, as campaign CEO. Advo remarked that “We appear to have taken over the Republican Party,” where “we” refers to the white supremacist movements active on the American right. The comment elicited a laugh from Duke, who went on to say this:
“Well, rank and file, but a lot of those boll weevils are still in those cotton balls… The Republican Party may be a European-American populated party, but like a ball of cotton, you can have boll weevils in there that are going to rot it out from the inside.”
Earlier in his campaign, Trump came under fire for failing to immediately rebuke an endorsement from Duke. The latter’s comments surfaced the same weekend Trump made what many observers called a clumsy play for black voters, wherein he asked (of a largely white audience at a Michigan rally) “You’re living in poverty. Your schools are no good. You have no jobs. 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?”
Duke joined the Ku Klux Klan in 1967; five years later he assumed the title of Grand Wizard — the highest-ranking position — of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a faction he founded upon his graduation from LSU. From 1989 until 1992, he served as a member of Louisiana’s state legislature. Duke is nationally known as a white supremacist, Holocaust denier, and conspiracy theorist.