« Slow Burn

S4 Ep. 3: The Nazi and the Republicans


In 1989, David Duke got a foothold in American politics. To build on that victory, he’d have to

fend off a Republican official determined to bring him down.

In the third episode of our series: the people who tried to stop David Duke’s rise, and the ones

who accommodated him.

Season 4 of Slow Burn is produced by Josh Levin and Christopher Johnson. Mixing by Paul

Mounsey. Slow Burn’s production assistant is Madeline Ducharme and Sophie Summergrad is

the podcast’s assistant producer.

Slate Plus members get bonus episodes of Slow Burn every season, plus zero ads. Sign up now to listen and support the show.

Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
you ve been enjoying the season of slow burn, please consider joining slate plus Slates membership programme. We couldn't make this share without the support of slate plus member and in this economic climate sleet really need your help. It's only thirty five dollars for the first time That's less than three dollars a month That money will really go a long way for us. Once you sign up you'll get access to weekly bonus episodes we'll get exclusive works. Ended interviews and also the insides group on how we make the show you also get to get all adds on all play. Podcast, including adds like these
you can find out more at sleet, dot com and slashed slow burn. That's laid dot com, slash, slow burn; ok, here's episode three! This podcast contains language that some listeners might find offensive. Beth Ricky found Politic thrilling, but also a little bit terrifying. As a member of Louisiana Republican State Central Committee, she helped to manage the state party from behind closed doors, Ricky liked, watching the action from a slight remove making drawl asides about the frontline players, but sometime she couldn't resist speaking a little louder here. She has a ninety ninety one in an interview for a radio documentary. I mean I'm I get really angry if I'd think someone's getting stepped on, but I hate to be. I hate criticism,
I mean like this real sensitive purse and such like. This is not what I should be doing. Ricky grew up in a big house in Lafayette, Louisiana and she had the bearing in the booth hairdo of a southern debutante. She idolized her father, Horace Ricky, who died when she was young Horace fought in World WAR two and helped liberate the german death camp he also been a key figure in the Louisiana Republican Party. Back when segregation, as Democrats ruled, the South Beth grew up, believing that the GEO peace stood for rectitude and morality before David do got elected. The Louisiana state has a rubber, it. She still believed that in nineteen. Eighty nine Ricky was a
the two year old graduate student in political science, a two lane in New Orleans. She was also working for dukes opponent in that house. Race, John TRAIN, during that campaign, Ricky spent a lot of time reading up on Duke and the two Lane Library, the material that she uncle. Shocked, her eye compounding up the stairs with all is the sun. These books? lists and writings and- and I said in my God but not say he's not only the head of the client is a Nazi. The train campaign presented Ricky's findings to voters, a photograph of Duke and Nazi Regalia Dukes claim, as a college student, that Adolf Hitler Mine com was the greatest piece of literature of the twentieth century. His longstanding embrace of you
phoenix. So we thought that if you get the message out about David, Duke people would be shocked and they wouldn't vote for him. I don't think the strategy worked when Duke won the seat. Ricky felt shaken and discouraged, but she wasn't ready to give up her fight two weeks after election day in March, one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine she followed Duke to Chicago. He was going to speak at the national convention of the Populist party, the Ferengi, far right group that it back to his run for the presidency a year earlier, Ricky wanted to hear what David Duke said when he was among friends hanging out with a bunch of midwestern. Fascists was a sure fire way for Duke to sully his cleaned up image, but these were the people who would rejuvenated Duke political career and would helped bankroll his successful run for the state legislature Duke decided that he
In turn, his back on them Ricky had registered for the populist party convention as a journalist and do speech was closed to the media. To get into the room. Ricky went under cover as a member of the party, the guards door. I found that later they were with American Nazi Party in Chicago. If I'd known that, I don't know if I'd be so brave now that they I pretended when I'm was a friend of mine is said, hey you doing. Has your family has with Weis glad he was married, Ricky got past the guard. And found herself among skinheads and NEO Nazis in front of this crowd. David Duke, fell comfortable talking strategy. So he said I may be a Republican by always be a populist and something like that, and then they all cheered. Like those in a dirty little secret, ha ha ha Laguna didn't in Louisiana pull the wool over their eyes and he was missing Republican Party and not just made me mad after that closed meeting.
Was photographed shaking hands with a man named ART Jones John was the vice chairman of the American Nazi Party that sure would run a newspapers all over the country this- wasn't the image that Duke wanted to project when he got back to Louisiana. He why? that the media had treated him unfairly. Duke said, probably truth, that he never met our Jones before any. CALL Jones, and Nazi Kook Duke also claimed nodded all truthfully that the populist party was simply an anti tax organization and Duke said, he repudiated any birds of extremist groups to capitalize on his electoral victory. Beth Ricky knew that last year was a lie: she'd been there when Duke had told a roomful of extremists that he was one of them should also her
Duke it meant that he was a Republican in name only Ricky had a clear mission: stop the Republican Party from becoming the Party of David She had no idea how hard that would be this slow burn, I'm Josh Liddy episode, three the Nazi and the Republicans
Billy Non guessers loyalty to the Republican cause was boundless and he couldn't help expressing it. Here he is with radio reporter Gary Casino in ninety ninety one, three years after Non guesser became chairman of the Louisiana Republican Party. Coming with that, big thing is in your parking lot: that's an elephant mad about some years ago. That is life size. Have you noticed you tell it around yeah yeah, I thought I have someone told to where we want it about it in a week moment one tat, none I grew up working class. In New Orleans he became a self made millionaire the proprietor of seafood, canning company and a catering firm for oil rig workers. The writer Quinn Hillyer says none. Guesser was the life of their public and party, so he had this person
I of this rough neck and he was a burly guy and strong, but if he was after a wedding or something you might see him in a wide suit with a bright, pink shirt and a bright orange tie, very excitable, very pithy, very earthy. An all in this one, big package of energy. He was like, like nobody, I've ever known,
when none guesser was elected. Chairman of the State Party, he told his fellow Republicans. We are the good guys David, Duke join the party less than a year later, during dukes race against John TRAIN. None guesser said that a victory for the clansmen would be a disaster for the party, the state and the nation. When that disaster came to pass, none guess her had a decision to make he could either disavow in elected republican office, holder, or he could embraced the most notorious bigot in american politics. The chairman of the National Republican Party, Leah Water, made his position on David, Duke very clear, and this man's have twenty year history. Participating include, plugs Klux Nazi activities. There is no place for this. Nepal or not as long as I'm sure during the State House raise Atwater
Ronald Reagan and the newly elected George Hw Bush. All denounce Duke after do got elected. The Republican National Committee voted to censure him and to deny Duke any form of aid and assistance. Atwater called this an ex communication. I don't care what he's been elected This is something I feel very strongly about an omelet my moral compass take over as my political, countless I'm going to coming from the add water, this was an unexpected move. A little like Satan saying he was installing Central AIR Conditioning Atwater was notorious for his vicious racial Paul tax. In a nineteen eighty one interview released after his death Atwater explained that republican politicians hid racist policies behind race, neutral code, words. He started one or less. I never never knew by saying Niger. Niger
I hurt your back bar, so you say stuff like a forced busing Why is no less than you get so right? Now, you're talking about cutting taxes, Who says you talk about a totally out of things in a byproduct? Let's get her worse, why Atwater had been George Bush's campaign manager in eighteen? Eighty eight, when he ran for president against Democratic, Michael Dukakis, that election turned on a campaign. Add about a felony Willie Horton, who was black despite a life sentence, Orton received ten weekend passes from prison. Orton fled Not a young couple stabbing the man and repeatedly raping his girlfriend weekend. Prison pashas do
Amazon, prime, the Bush campaign didn't make the ad, but at water loved it. He said he wanted to make Horton Dukakis his running mate before one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine Beth Ricci had never criticized the Republican Party's racial politics, but she told the independent radio, journalist, Plata Robinson, that the rise of Duke made her re evaluate her views. The Republican Party has had a platform for a number of years of being opposed from an action and minority set asides an has appeared. To the white southern voter in a veiled way in Willie Horton Willie Horton is a classic example now, but there greatest nightmare. Was that some out now races would come along and say this is the home
Pollack and parties are for racist for Billy Non Guesser David Duke, was a different kind of nightmare, one that was threatening to rip apart the Louisiana Republican Party. Elected officials in Louisiana had to choose sides very quickly. Just before Duke was scheduled to take his oath as this day representative, an independent legislator, name down back. I raised an objection back ay said the Duke had violated the states residency requirements. Did he hadn't been living in Jefferson, parishes, district? Eighty one for long enough that men, his victory, was village If the people of district eighty one want someone like that to be their representative, that's their right. That's America! They can be. For as long as it is legal and if its not legal- and it wasn't,
then no matter how they voted. He should not have been seated none of dukes opponents and that district anyone re said challenged has raised. And see was raising the issue now because he hated everything Duke stood for was using parliamentary procedure to take a moral stand and the Republicans in the State House hated him for it. What did you hear from your legislative colleagues? Kind of behind the scenes Did it was stupid that there was no way that I was gonna win with? Why put them through making a vote if they have to vote there on the record? Bouquets colleagues were right, he didn't come
close to winning sixty nine Stay representatives voted to give Duke his seat. Thirty three voted against Duke only three of them were Republicans. Duke was now officially estate representative and a member of the republican legislative caucus. It was easy to denounce dukes victory from Washington. It was much harder when his message was resonating in your own backyard. None guest. Didn't want Duke to gather strength, but the republican chairman, also knew that attacks on Duke were creating a backlash in Louisiana, because the press in every case comes on and says, is Nancy Disco, Klux clan and people expect when they start paying attention begged him to talk about where they going. Let your black tonight, maybe where they gonna gas adieu, and he does knew that and when they don't hear that they
most receptive when he comes out with a legitimate masses. I say how this guy burning houses is. You want and about Duke and then, when you don't turn out the be master you giving more credit not being the monster. Then you would give somebody who's never been amongst non guesser. Excommunicated, Duke from the Louisiana Republican Party, he'd risk losing every voter liked. What Duke was saying that could be a lot of leaders. All of that was a non guessers head when Beth Ricky came to speak with him in March nineteen. Eighty nine, when Ricky the chairman about David, Duke Speech, to the populist party. He advised her to keep quiet
Yes, Sir said that making a big stink about Duke might give him the attention he craved. Beth Ricky didn't want to defy Billy Mun, guess her, but she continued gathering intelligence on David, Duke she had help from a two lane Phd student name. Lance Hill Health had been monitoring Duke for a long time in the early nineteen eighties. He started looking into Duke so called civil rights organization. The nationalist Creation for the advancement of white people I subscribe to his paper under a phoney name, and I went out and Madame he had to settle literature, german on one side of the wall was the in W P the new improved racism and on the other, while was all the nazi stuff he kept trying to push the in BP stuff on me. I might say
what about this book over here about? Did million really die. Don't worry, does read this for now. You know it's kind of a bait and switch. You now get me down the milk toast racism than he had dropped the real stuff later in April, one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine, two months after Duke took office as a state Representative Hill place, the call to the end of a awp. The person who answered the phone said David Duke district, eighty one, ah how alas, on, and so I call bath method that is still selling all of these Nazi books, out of his basement. There are matters right, this legislative office to confirm their suspicions, killing Ricky started, placing orders for books popular among white supremacists here
Ricky told the story, the player Robinson Black Hole Mass for the Turner Diaries, and they said I was sure we have it. So I went in and bought it. They didn't know me at that point then I'll repair to three weeks I sent in other people. I had someone call and aspirin do you have Hitler was my friend and I had the book list and I said just a minute: we're out of that, but we do have mine carve on their forget. I thought that was so funny, so we bought all these books and then they gave us because we're such good buyers bonus. These eugenics on eugenics on breeding amass to raise in some kind of a long Europe is called around here. Extra Ricky now had clear proof that the New David Duke was really the old David. Do he reached out to Billy on guess her again, but none. Scissors position, hadn't changed. He said that she was stirring up a hornets nest.
In the going public would just give Duke free publicity. Ricky was at an impasse she didn't want to add fuel to dukes movement. But she knew what she believed in. Hard evidence to confirm those beliefs. What really needed was guidance and a path forward. She got it from an unexpected source, a hologram survivor, who never thought of herself as an activist, let's take a break, a small town, a brutal murder the series witness dogs from stature prison. A journey into the heart of America's unfinished business. Their new podcast is called unfinished deep, south and it starts with one question who Lynch is a door banks. Six these six years after the murder of a wealthy african american farmer in a small Arkansas town,
castigated of true crimes, attempts to restore the legacy of a world war, one veteran who found a waiter, Aspirin, the Jim Crow sound. This story explorers system of white supremacy surrounded banks, trade, then forgotten core records fading at my files demoniac, elderly witnesses. It all aims to solve its banks has murdered before the case goes called forever. Listen and subscribe to unfinished deep south starting twenty ninth and Sticker Apple podcast Spotify or wherever you listen on June, six, nineteen, eighty nine and leave you got on a chartered boss to the Louisiana state. Capitol batteries Rouge. There was a whole lot of from New Orleans. Some sir I verse and wages. Went there to visit said they exhibit the exhibit had been brought to the cap.
And thought centre. It was called the courage to remember in it showed the history of the holocaust and photographs. There were pictures of burning synagogues and starving children for an levy. This exhibition was deeply personal leave. He was born in which Poland, in nineteen thirty five, He was born in woods, Poland, in eighteen. Thirty, five, the german army invaded her homeland for years later, happy times that I remember is right before the war, a war. He was my parents are getting ice. I'm balloons on a Sunday afternoon.
And that's stopped at brought by less than one percent of jewish children in Poland survive the Holocaust. By the end of world war, two the Nazis had killed at least three million polish Jews levy, her younger sister and her parents faced horrifying deprivations, but miraculously they all made it out alive. They may actually be the only nuclear family to survive the liquidation of the Warsaw ghetto. They lived in part because levy and her sister managed to stay hidden for twelve hours. Every week day for as long as five months there was like her dowry chest so he lifted the top. Then you could store things in it somewhere. Father made a false bottom and on the top of the list, The top, ah, you saw was old, rags
now with newspapers and in the morning before they went to work. My so now we go in there and it was totally dark in there and you spend the day I don't know how it did its circumstances and different time in the world. We knew we had to do what we were told. Leave. It was a very small child during those years in Poland. People think that just pick so said the young? How could I remember when I saw it with my own eyes what happened to people when they died in the street, for example, of the head cook. Nothing on them. It would be gone I remember, seeing these dead bodies naked.
And somebody come by and maybe cover that body with a newspaper. How could you forget that I don't care how old you are. Levy and her family escaped the Warsaw Ghetto in nineteen, forty two or one thousand nine hundred and forty three and passed as Christians until the war was over but and still had to stay out of, as our curly hair and olive complexion gave away her semitic heritage, when made it to America, nineteen, forty nine. She did her best to leave the past in the past You have to realise that when we came here as survivors It was like ok forget what you experience in Poland and you put up this shade and his staff A whole new life in eighteen, eighty, nine and leave you was
if the three year old, New Orleans grandmother and she owned and operated and antique store with her husband. She started to open up very tentatively about what she lived through during the Holocaust, but when she got on that chartered bus to ban Rouge, she wasn't expecting to get involved in any kind of conflict. She was going to look at the photographs and the capital rotunda and to listen to a speech from the woozy Anna's governor Buddy, but then leave. He saw someone she didn't expect to see, but I noticed David coming in and Imagine what was doing. Their duty ambassador, had brought its exhibit to ban Rouge because of David Duke the image.
On display at the state capital refuted, dukes, core beliefs. They showed very starkly what exactly holocaust deniers were denying Duke had kept quiet about the Holocaust when he ran for the State House, but after the election, a new Orleans tv reporter confronted him about his views, the hopes of the twentieth century, talking about the Holocaust, being a hoax. The same at the the atrocities were exaggerated in Europe? Do you believe that they were? I think it's passports, Some of the atrocities were exaggerated and leave. You had been following dukes rise to power with increasing horror. She wasn't sure why he'd come to the capital. Maybe he'd wanted to prove he couldn't be intimidated by a bunch of June. Whatever the reason she wanted to keep an eye on him he was going from posted poster looking at these horrible pictures and
so so his demeanor with his hands behind his back like a kind of flesh backwards. German office issues to walk around, like agenda. At the same mannerism as hit headless henchmen and that's what stayed in my mind and this. What came to my mind particular moment. I thought I had to speak up with my body, and I just had to do it helped him on his shoulder and nothing happened He then ignored. I did that three times and finally he turned around and I'm just saying
to ask him? What are you doing here? Why are you looking at these posters? I thought you said it didn't happen, and that's when he turned around a sort of. Found mood. He said I didn't say didn't happen. I said it was exaggerated. Well, Lost my cooler load there because for him, to tell me is exaggerated I realized the man didn't know what he was talking about and when that happens, I started walking off and I try, My hands but his lights on much longer than mine and He just left the press took notice of Duke skirmish with the Holocaust survivor
journalists Jason Bury was in batteries that day he got out of that part of the capitalist fantasy. And I managed to trail around and find him, and I went to him- and I said what do you think All this, and He said one being accused of orwellian thought crimes which I thought was quite striking statement. When he was cornered by reporters Duke said I there were terrible atrocities against the jewish people, but he is you that it was fair to question certain aspects of the Holocaust and he said that he rejected the politicization of the whole thing. If Duke had gone to the exhibition to show he couldn't be intimidated, his behaviour approved the exact opposite. He didn't want to talk about the Holocaust and he didn't want to talk to a hologram
Survivor and leave you as a family friend I have known for a long time. At this moment in back. Rooms was important to her, but I did understand how important never wanted being the papers I never wanted to. Make a nuisance of myself but something of Barbaik myself a nuisance David took I didn't mind hours make very in the back. Person that doesn't speak up and has really changed my life change stickers, My children look at me differently because I did speak levies encounter with David, Duke wasn't just consequential for her personally. It help shape the entire anti Duke movement. Beth
you heard right away about what an levy had done. She thought the levy had showed tremendous courage and exposing David Duke in public she wanted to back. Libya in the same kind of strength and conviction confronting do directly also seem like smart strategy, it clearly through Duke off his game and it was sure to draw attention from the press and the next day Ricky brought the Nazi books you purchased the state capital. She met the media outside the Louisiana Houses Committee rooms. Later she didn't interview standing in front of the Holocaust exhibition absolutely outrage. This man has the gall to put forth literature that says the Holocaust was a hoax The New Orleans media thought Beth Ricky, was onto something Duke says: the books that work sample at his office and don't necessarily reflect his views. This is not the issue
That's not what I'm doing the legislation is. Not the issue that at that time, standing up for Do we not have united shirts? Again? this quite near the spot over the weekend. This put right here find Doubleday, bookstore duke, would ultimately thou to stop selling Nazi books part of his. Never ending project to present himself as a changed man, but Ricky's expos. I had worked she'd embarrassed.
And laid bare who he was you think David Duke, would have seen. Beth Ricci is an implacable enemy. You think you might have worked to discredit her or maybe just ignore her. Instead, he did something surprising. He tried to win her over two weeks after Beth Ricci publicize David Dukes, Nazi bookselling operation. She invited a couple of friends over to talk about where the Anti Duke movement should go. Next, around ten p dot m the phone rang, it was Duke Beth, Ricky and David Duke spoke for three hours. That night he told her that Iceland had a superior culture,
You talked about sperm banks and his love of nature. In the background, he played the song silent running by making the mechanics on repeat that was the first in a long series of phone calls in the summer of nineteen eighty nine Ricky. It was bizarre. The duke wanted to talk to her, but she saw it as an opportunity, a chance to get him to open up and reveal his true intentions. Ricky didn't quite understand who she was dealing with David, Duke started working on her right away, they would do things that were very disarming. You know he would say: hey there someone TV. I think you'd find interesting. An arm. I would say to him on occasion: please don't tell me anything that you don't want repeated. Oh, I know you wouldn't do anything to hurt me. We're Rina, we're gonna, be friends, And it was very clever of him. Ricky
the Duke, had no sense of humour and that he only wanted to talk about himself. He saw He is a potential conquest Like surely and maybe romantically here, she has with player Robinson. He was reading his book finders keepers to me over the phone, I'm like thinking. I've gotta do this for the sake of history and is reading this, how to keep a man and how to keep a man interested onion hasten a one way to do. It is to attack and publicly at this day capital like David, I dont go our nazis or something like that who can Ricky's relationship would remain platonic. Dad summer Duke tried to convince her that he was a family man, one Friday night, he showed up at Ricky's place with his two adolescent daughters, his children, from a marriage that it ends Five years earlier, I saw on the insisted and want to get a bar. We are these two kids with us
you're like daddy, we don't want to go to a bar in their dislike. It was Strange conversation going. You two Erika tell Miss bath about how, I used to dress up in a clan. Rove is a catch said, Daddy added that ambition says me, but you can ignore the children you now, to give money to go, play video games and it was. It was a real bizarre evening. Death Ricky had been trying to evicted from the Republican Party she'd busted himself. Nazi literature. The only reason they were talking was because she had taken it upon herself time, ask him, but ass. She explained the played a Robin said. All these conversations were having an effect. She hadn't expect
It's like being held captive by somebody you get kind of goofy and start identifying with your captor, so to speak, and I would call people at nine. So they look deprogram me you know, and all this stuff in my head, Ricky, was still investigating, Duke digging into the identities of his campaign donors and his bogus claims about serving in the middle during the Vietnam WAR, but she was also going on drives with him listening. Is he sang along to the impossible dream from man of La Mancha? Do told Ricky that he wanted her to call another press conference in this time till the world, she been wrong about him that wasn't going to happen, but Ricky still needed a break to spell to remind herself what she was up against. That reminder came in August, one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine. When do did chatting her up about the Holocaust. We had lunch at chinese restaurant and marry you.
Lunch having lunch and we're talking about bodies at death camps, and he was telling me how and sort of Conspiratorial tone, leaning over and saying you know about it, really didn't happen in Europe we want. I want my early nurse David he's the passes and are you out of your mind. And all round me life is going on here- is normal people lingering chinese food and we're time that him owing to visit one of the death camps in Europe? Mouth House and, I believe, score keeping the walls his path talks like their slanderers, brassy voice. There there been any gas there would have been, and a residue on the walls compression blue. I went in scraped there wasn't a residue and he's telling me this, and I wish
convey to you this growing sense of horror to rescind there talking to this. Guy was just I just found it so offensive, and that was the last time we had lunch Ricky went public with the chinese restaurant story. A couple of years later, Duke would claim that was completely untrue. Here Denial is hard to believe, though, given what he told the you had student Evelyn Wretch just a few years earlier, Others- what do you do about the testimony, but it really is testing ass. They survive themselves instruments, arguments very fast, she didn't take place Duke was always bragging to Ricky that he had an iq of a hundred and seventy one
look for a guy who thought of himself as highly intelligent. He did a lot of really dumb things. He went places you shouldn't, go and said things you shouldn't say to people, he shouldn't say them to death Ricky at a theory about that. There's a self destructive streak. And then I see he has a sense of religious mission about his his calling He almost has you now Jesus, complex, I'd call or something like he's untouchable. As of the fall of nineteen, eighty nine Duke had good reason to think he was untouchable at that point the Louisiana Republican Party had done nothing to hold him back.
For David, Duke, the Louisiana State House wasn't a place to pass legislation. It was a performance space as a freshman state representative, Duke proposed a bill to require drug task for a fair recipients. He also wanted to impose harsher punishments on people who sold drugs in public housing. These bills weren't designed to become laws, and they didn't they were written to get attention and to send a message about who Duke wanted to see punished sum of dukes republican colleagues helped show him the legislative, robes others found dukes beliefs, abhorrent. I dont want to be associated with that racist s. O B, one republican legislator told the New Orleans times began, but that official wooden, because
did by name here's Larry POW. He wrote a book about David, Duke in an levy. There was hardly anyone who is willing to step in and speak out against him. They sense that his support, which is growing, eight state, why, with stronger for him than it was for for them. May I had to do was go up there and I went up there several times and and wash do give you would be at the back of the back rear seat in the state legislature and his desk would be piled with envelopes and he be there. Pricing them over while people are debating and checks, and money was be falling out of it. As a member of the republican States, Central Committee, that Ricky was still pushing her party to do something anything to condemn Duke I was trying to compromise with the party leaders and
Don't you just say it all like him? I mean you know how you wouldn't have him home for dinner. I mean you Ricky, one major ally on the states, Central Committee and evangelical christian name, NEO current I tall as a matter of principle we needed to do stand against Duke he really wasn't a republican and hard. He was a Nazi Ricky incur and work together to draft a motion to censure, Duke just like the National Republican Party had done more earlier. The resolution wouldn't do much practically. It wouldn't take due account of the state Party, but Ricky, and current saw it as a clear statement of principles, a line in the sand for Louisiana Republicans, Billy non gasser didn't want his party to have to cross that line when the chairman found out what Ricky was up to, he flew into a rage. Here's how Ricky described it to play to Robinson.
I had no right no right to do this. I was and standing trying to sink publicity for myself I was also writing a book and getting publicity for the book which was not true going on and I said: look you know every seemed to death threats as weak from deep people, I had a particular specific threat. If I got up and said anything about it, I was gonna get shot and when I said that. State chairman, I said yeah. I think that if that doesn't say for you how serious this is and how serious I feel about this- that I'm going out. In spite of that in his response. The well uniting wanna get shot,
guess who did allow bath Ricky and the courage to present their censure resolution. It said the duke was still associating with NEO Nazis and clansmen and that the Reagan administration had identified Dukes National Association for the advancement of white people as a racist group. Current was the one who stood up and read the motion, and I must have been thirty television cameras ur from all over the world. There were several from Germany, I know, and David Duke was standing in the back of the room, just his eyes burning. He was it was mad. The resolution came to nothing another member of the Central Committee, an ally of Billy Non Gasser moved to have it tabled, None guesser had made a backroom deal one than ensured
The Louisiana Republican Party wouldn't have to take a public stand on David, Duke None Gasser who died in two thousand sex argued that the committee had no choice. He said that current and Ricky hadn't followed the rules. We have a procedure that anything that casual failure, to give five days notice to have it go. Any resolution is no procedure for central. What people are. Is their war and are in this party people who hate David, Duke and in the past of Haiti, but legitimately think that way. You start centre and somebody, then you have to do it correctly. Ricky thought none gasser was being totally craven, did no matter what the official rules were. He clearly didn't have the spine to protect the Republican Party from data.
Dude when her resolution guy killed, Ricky sent the chairman and no dear Billy. She said you double cross to me. I will never ever that. You forget this Peter Robinson interviewed Ricky. A year later, as I looked back now I see that they see their sums But these four, Duke all Ugly party leaders- and this has come out now- the party leaders have finally admitted to me that the reason they didn't come out against it. Cause they dont want to alienate the Duke voters because they may need them: Ricky herself, and to speak out against, Duke Alot more loudly, she became one of the leading. Places in the Louisiana coalition against racism and nazi is on the states most prominent Anti, Duke Organization.
While Ricky criticized the Republican Party and increasingly harsh terms, I dont believe she ever publicly renounced it, but really- said a ninety. Ninety one that her fight against, Duke and against the party she grown up with took a significant tall. Its fractured many relationships. I'm I'm having to find a whole new circle of friends has been very difficult because I I don't want to lose people. I've worked with for twenty years. And she was alone voice? You know in the woods here's lands hell again. And she was villain eyes. And she was not u emotionally You know the most secure person, though she was cape, some very courageous things
She was a vulnerable person and I believe she be. She really paid. A price Ricky began to decline physically after she contracted an illness on a mission trip in the mid 1990s from then on. Her life was marked by instability. She moved from place to place struggled with money and was often in poor health. In two thousand and nine Ricky was fifty three years old and living in a motel in Santa Fe New Mexico. She told the newspaper there that she had been through alot Duke situation and that she needed to get away from the insanity. Her friend Quinn Hillyer asked the woman in New Mexico. The look in on Ricky. Knocked on the hotel room door. Nobody answered she, Nobody answered,
so she called the authorities and may open the door and she was famous for loving, no homemade instant ice. That's Ricky died of pneumonia and heart disease. In his obituary for Ricky Hill, you wrote that she was one of the bravest women you could ever made. That's Ricky died of pneumonia and heart disease. In his obituary for Ricky Hill, you wrote that she was one of the bravest women you could ever meet when it made a huge difference to estate gone haywire. He said Beth more than answered the call. Been maintained, ninety one rate,
A journalist, Gary Casino asked Beth Ricky, a simple question that she had a very hard time. Answering you hate. They do I I hate what he stands for. I really hate the fact that he has a heart. I q and he knows better, he should know better. During the years she's been battling Duke Beth Ricky Continually alarmed that other people were not alarmed by him. She knew, how charming he could be and how ambitious Dude saw the Louisiana Legislature as a stepping stone in December nineteen. Eighty nine after less than a year and the state House He was ready for his next move,
the media and establishment of scared to death that we are going to have a senator at least one voice and eyes. Are you even at this point with Duke? Is a Senate candidate? A lot of Republicans in Louisiana didn't think he was a problem when Ricky spoke with play, Doh Robinson in nineteen. Ninety that camp and had yet to play out? But what are we going to Washington as a republican senator you know it just puzzles me why these people can't look ahead and see the damage republican, legislator tell me Tommy Como about what is he get would damage? Could he possibly do, and the U S, and I guess look down? Why are you, nuts,
Reach the half way point of this season of slow burn next week we have something a little different planned, a brief interlude. It's a story from eighteen, eighty, nine. When the Duke, had just been elected. The Louisiana State House, a black twelve year old girl in New Orleans, was writing about due for a social studies project. So she picked up the phone and gave the White supremacist CALL report the whole thing will also be letting you in on a few choice, excerpt from our sleep plus bonus episodes including some of my interview with Toper Grace, who played the duke and spike least Oscar Winning- fell black clansmen the following week, we'll be back with episode, four of our seas and that slow burn season for episode for two weeks,
slow burn, the production of sleep plus Slates membership programme, Slade, plus members get weekly bonus. Episodes of slobber where will die deeper into the history, were exploring this season on this week's by This episode will hear more from an leaving the holocaust survivor who confronted David, do in nineteen. Eighty nine had over this, Dot com, lush slow burn to sign up and listen. Now we couldn't make slow burn without the support of sleep, so please consider signing up if you like the series and you're able to contribute its only. Five dollars for the first year and you get a red the weak trial good, especially that car. Flash, slow burn to find out more. Burn is produced by me and Christopher Johnson with that. Torreon direction by low in lieu and Gabriel Wrong. Madeline do Sharm. Is our production system
summer Gratis Low burns assistant producer are mix engineers, Paul Mamsie, David Gross, composed our theme song. The artwork for slow burn is by LISA Larsson Walker. The title of this episode, Patsy and the Republicans comes from an essay by Batrachian published in the anthology the amount of David, Duke the politics of raise Married Howells book about Duke in an leaving, is titled troubled memory, special thanks to Jordan, Hirsch, just assignment and slaves chow to Katy referred, Laura Bennet thousand Benedict John Holmes, thanks for listening
Transcript generated on 2020-07-21.