The initial reactions to the news that David Duke would be participating in a US Senate debate at Dillard University, a historically black college in Louisiana, were shock and disbelief. After gaining 5.1% of votes in the polls for the Senate race, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan qualified for a televised debate on the university’s campus on Wednesday.
It was determined beforehand that the candidates would debate in a mostly empty auditorium, with even media personnel watching from another room. However, that didn’t stop protestors from gathering outside and being confronted by local authorities.
Students were visibly upset by the news and chose to speak out publicly about the damage that allowing Duke to speak on campus would result in, according to CNN.
“His presence on our campus is not welcome, and overtly subjects the entire student body to safety risks and social ridicule,” said representatives from Socially Engaged Dillard University Students (SEDUS), a social group on campus.
Protestors could be heard chanting, “No Duke, no KKK, no fascist U.S.A.”
Duke took the opportunity to speak out against “Black Lives Matter radicals” and accuse the movement for black lives for inspiring attacks on police officers.
“The Black Lives Matter movement calls for the murder of police officers and calls for the death of police,” he said. He also went on to criticize the “CNN Jews” who he feels are working against freedom of speech.
Duke is currently one of more than two dozen candidates running for the Senate seat, according to NPR. Many critics cite his candidacy as a direct result of Donald Trump’s political campaign, including his hesitation to disavow Duke and the KKK’s endorsement.
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