In the fall of 1991, David Duke looked like a real threat to become the governor of Louisiana.
On the sixth and final episode of Slow Burn's fourth season: What arguments did David Duke's opponents make? Who did they hope to persuade? And what did it mean, in those four weeks in 1991, to stand up and be counted?
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 and ad-free podcast feeds. Sign up now.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
This pod cast contains language that some listeners might find offensive. It was comforting to imagine that the David Duke phenomenon was an illusion or a fad that people would get wise. The duke would hit a ceiling plenty of people thought that
but in the fall of nineteen. Ninety one dukes movement just kept building,
we see a politician David Duke, has a new listing on his Reza May. He is not only
former Grand a wizard in the complex clan
is also now run. All candidate for governor
repudiated by both state and national Republican Party, yet finished a strong second, with thirty two percent of the vote. We have our support
a lot. The major publications and news
first hand, hours accounts for this day and our people there were four weeks between the primary and the governors race in the November, sixteenth runoff for Duke those twenty eight days were his best chance to become a real force and a man
in politics Duke was running as a Republican against democratic, when Edwards who'd serve three terms as governor in the nineteen seventies and eighties.
Edwards had long been accused of running Louisiana as personal fiefdom using his
listen to enrich himself and his friends republican
who'd been on the rise in the state for more than a decade, despised, Edwards in the style of politics. He represented David, Duke looked at the power Edward said wielded and wanted some of it for him
south in the state governors like a king. He basically does what he wants. Sign up.
Kennedy to migration
if I'm elected and that's what I want to do for everyone fighting to keep David Duke from gaining that kind of power. The run off with the time to make a final stand to convince the people of law.
The Anna that this was an emergency. In my you, you had to vote for add when Edward
Even if you didn't want to cause without that boat, then David Duke, would win.
Kirby New Burger lived in the New Orleans suburb of memory and he worked in wealth management when new burgers candidate thereof,
were minded Republican, buddy, roamer finished third and the gubernatorial primary. He was left with two unappealing choices, but for new burger it was an easy
and it was the morning after the election when
called my printer and I said I would like for you to print up for me a thousand bumper stickers. They say vote for the crook, its import.
He said I'll do it?
I said: do you need to know the color scheme he said now? I got as a great. The color scheme was wait text on a blue background, the same as David Dukes campaign, Science Newberg, your says, a costume about eight hundred and twenty dollars to print those back handedly pro Edward Stickers,
plastered, the first one on the bumper of his old mobile cutlass convertible, I would be driving around and people would harm their horn and save that's a great bumper sticker. Where did you get it and AIDS?
Do you want one
pull over and open my trunk in take one out and hand one to them. There were other
Anti Duke slogans, no dukes Nuke, Duke David Dork, for Fuhrer vote for the lizard, not the wizard, but it was new burgers message. The took off vote for them.
Look it's important captured the dark comedy of an election in which the least horrifying candidate
with a guy widely seen as the quintessentially shady Louisiana politician, but the bumper sticker also made it clear that this race wasn't a joke that the stakes for the state had never been higher. New burger was trying to reach people in his own demographic white conservatives who weren't sympathetic to dukes bigotry, but who had to find themselves in opposition to Edwards together the republican candidates again sixty four percent of the votes in the primary. If those votes stayed with a GEO p, then David Duke would be the next governor New Burger was asking his fellow Republicans to recognise that some things were even more important than vanquishing Edwin Edwards. The outcome of the governors, race,
wooden just be decided by Kirby, Newberg or types can Smith? Was the student body president at the historically black southern University and Ban Rouge? Just like that, we had to get engaged.
I'm gonna blow those not own. I watch the kind of things
even then, it was kind of this
me? I believe, with Duke made it to the runoff Smith, joined his fellow students and marching to the state capitol.
He also helped organise a voter registration drive with entertainment provided by the southern university, marching band.
We're talking about the over a thousand people. You know in land, then
I'm sorry about that.
Would leave when they saw their lives being so long to register and so on.
You haven't a bay mare the band
A really really big deal?
and it made a difference in the world, so it became a gathering of power.
Activity of you? Will the state
that southern university weren't alone close the sick,
Five thousand Louisiana would register and the two days after the primary in jail
and perish David, Duke some turf, more than
Thousand people were still in when the office was scheduled to close at eight p m.
With three weeks to go. Until election day, the rays looked extremely tight. One poll showed Edwards with forty six percent of the vote and Duke at forty two percent, with twelve percent of voters still undecided, Lansdale hadn't expected Duke to make the run off, and he found Duke strength at the polls. Profoundly worrying hill was the executive director of the Louisiana coalition against racism and Nazi as on the states, most prominent anti. Duke organization he'd read most everything the Duke had written indeed heard Duke disparage, blacks and Jews in the harshest possible terms. He was constantly thinking about persuasion about how to convince as many people as possible to see David Duke, like he saw David Duke during the month long stretch between the primary and the run off he's got to talking with a man at a bar, a white working class guy who said he liked Duke and would Duke
good for he'll try to sway him. He said the Duke admired at off Hitler and that, as Governor Duke, would follow Hitler's playbook winning power at the ballot box. Then demolishing democratic institutions and the guy said he was incredulous. He said why he he can't do that.
I stood. What do you mean you can't do it
This is America you eat, you can just get rid of democracy.
A really son came to me that
aside from the racism of dukes movement and how to attract people.
They also believes that democracy was voice, saying and that's very difficult.
Objection to overcome in arguing one hour-
its did David Dukes opponents make? Who did they hope
What did it mean in those four weeks in eighteen? Ninety one to stand up and be counted
one of the most divisive elections, any state as seen in a long time. Louisiana, will tell us a good deal about the state of race relations and middle class frustration everywhere. Somehow the word is God now that there is a possibility that this could happen anywhere in America. This is slow burn. I'm Josh Livy episode. Since a concerned citys
What's the number one sign of a bad home security system is so complicated
You never use it. That's exactly what simply say has spent a day
he'd fighting against. They believe that simple is safer and that's why assemblies?
is the home security system for right now, simply
it was designed to be easy to use while protecting
Your whole home at twenty four seven
order on mine with the click of a button opened, the box placed the sensors plug it in your home is protected around the clock
You don't need to have a technician or, as person come visit, you at home can needed
the pay, any outrageous monthly bees or sign a two year contract simply safe was
the vast overall home security of twenty twenty. But you
news enrolled report and their twenty four seven
Professional monitoring and emergency dispatch started just fifty cents a day,
had the assembly safeguard com, flash slow burn and get free shipping and the sixty day money back, guarantee that simply safe dot.
Slash slow burn to me,
Sure they now that our show sent you.
If you have enjoyed the season of slow burn, please can
your joining sleigh, plus Slates membership programme
they show wouldn't be possible without the support of slate plus and in this economic climate slave need. Your help,
It's only thirty five dollars for the first year. That's
the three dollars a month in ITALY,
We go a long way for us we wanted,
Can you bringing you the news, analysis and Podcast EU depend on here. It's late
once you sign up you'll get to catch up on all the bonus
We did this season and other seasons of slavery and you'll get exclusive episodes and segments from the political God fast trunk cast amicably and other slate shows. You can find out more at sleet that calm slashed, slow burn that sleep dot, com, slash, slow burn.
There were two big stories in Louisiana on the weekend of October nineteenth. Ninety ninety one, the first was David, do can add when Edwards clenching spots in the group in a tory I'll run off
The second was new. Orleans is undefeated pro football team.
One by one opponents fell.
The saint raise their way to the top of the end of the West, as they did
Oh that's, rang! Arby's victory without
all the glory that was heard loud and often gesture on the day after the primary, the saints had a home game in the Superdome against the Tampa Bay buccaneers. Keith Woods was the city editor of the New Orleans ties begin the newspapers highest, ranking black journalist. He was a saint season. Ticket holder. Allow
with some of his colleagues at the paper it that game, he was also surrounded by Louisiana, and he knew only in the context of their shared vandam. The people each year
alongside the Superdome for years,
There was a ruckus in you heard
a roar and then a few minutes later it wrapped again, except now, it's a little bit further.
Around the super down from where it was the last time
Maybe by the third time I heard the roar
I realise that what was happening was David Duke was coming out.
Into the main stadium from the other than the breeze way. I bet that in circles it
turning and waving the crowd in going back in, and the roar
was this mixture of
cheers in jeers every time
and I just remember the experience the anxiety that rose in me,
ass. He made his way further closer and closer to our area, because,
I knew that I was gonna, learn something about it.
People around me and
afraid of what that was going to be, but he
and he came
into our space and.
Find me and in front of me, there were people watch here. They were part of our community and your sense of that community is shattered permanently by that experience for David, Duke that victory lab at the Superdome was an attempted coalition building to win the governorship Duke needed to woo the white conservatives who cast valets for body roamer to get them to vote for the clansmen, not for the crook, Duke declared that he was taking up rumours pat cause fiscal reform, though the times picky unreported. The duke gave no details. Edwin Edwards was that that saints came to he ran into Duke outside one of the super dams. Luxury boxes and told him you ran
Better second than I thought you would but Edwards didn't seem worried. He told reporters that he felt very confident and very comfortable. It's going to be an easy election. He said, if nothing else,
words would have an easy time raising money now that he was
the only person standing between David Duke and the governors mansion after the primary the journalist, Stephanie Regal, went to an
words fundraiser at a mansion and uptown New Orleans. The crowd was full of old line, Republicans in it, the feel of just a few of these people.
Hated Edwin, Edwards Edwin Edwards to this group represented everything.
That was wrong with Louisiana Politics and
they were just so unhappy to be there, but that's what it had come,
down to money poured in.
Those uptown mansions and from all over the country. The question was how to spend all that money. Raymond straw, there thought he had the answer: straw, other who'd been buddy rumours political consultant was also in the Superdome. He watched the saints twenty three December.
Victory and governor rumours, private box? And I looked over to my left. There was a pipe diviner and there was billed Morgan, my closest
from college. A guy had worked for me for years
and who had done the media for aid whenever and outline to whom the economic message.
How you, if you went down the very bottom of the blue collar spectrum and threatened people's jobs, I would be dukes base
You could make some inroads stronger believe
that everyone in Louisiana had already made up their minds about Dukes Clan ties and nazi views. He thought the only message that had a chance to break through was one that appealed to voters financial self interest, other Louisiana
had come to the same conclusion I went through my rolodex started, calling everybody I knew we had to do something about this. That's real estate developer, press cavack off in the primary Khabarovsk supported,
he Roamer after Roamer lost he donated.
Thousand dollars to add, when Edwards Cavaco believed that if Duke one Louise
Deanna- might get head with a national economic boycott
I can remember getting forklift
being elevated about a hundred
explaining them whenever you're,
Your position is politically in Damon. Do
The next job
She'll be lucky and will be lacking in. There won't be a now do said. These were just scare tactic
And the Louisiana would hold up just fine under his leadership but Edwards, and the group supporting him latched onto this economic message in the run up to allow
Andy. Voters in Louisiana saw after add, portraying Adieu governorship as a financial dis. Tokyo,
Thousand conventioneers cancel their convention
fifteen thousand chicken liking dinners or no,
do you know how many jobs are going to leave Louisiana and come to Texas. If Duke is elected, that last dad was masterminded by Republican, operative, Lloyd, Braun three years earlier
had made the commercial connecting democratic presidential candidate, Michael Dukakis, to a violent fella named Willie Horton, who was black, that add, became a symbol of republican racial fearmongering. Now its creator had turned his sites on David, Duke, but flight brands add didn't tell the people of Louisiana to vote against Duke because Duke was a racist, it told them. The vote,
hence Duke because other people thought Duke was a racist and those people would shun Louisiana if he became governor
It wasn't a moral argument. It was a pragmatic one.
Brown- would later say that out of all the attack adds he'd ever made this one, the hot Damn one was his personal favorite, a lotta Republicans were prepared across party lines to support Edwin Edwards. Others were going to vote for David
because they liked him, because he was the only Republican on the ballot. The chair of the Louisiana Republican Party, Billy, non gasser, had been dithering about Duke for years, declining to censure him, but also refusing to support him. Now, none guesser had to make a decision.
Wouldn't say what it was, I haven't told a press and I won't tell him my choice because it would be no there's no way of stopping it from being associated with the republican Party. Maybe there's something to be said for
guy in Louisiana couple years ago, a guy tried to get his name changed to none of the above and then get on the ballot sake, as he figured he'd win,
but none of the above was not on the ballot and ninety ninety one and behind the scenes at least some state party officials were choosing site.
AIDS Michel shower heard from them. After David Duke made, the runoff shower
You heard from our last episode had not supported Duke and the primary she'd been paid staffer for Governor Buddy Roamer making calls on his behalf.
Office in New Orleans when Roamer lost
she knew, and the Louisiana Republican Party asked if she'd be interested in joining up with the Duke campaign.
And they invited her to a Duke rally. I saw you know one of the people from this
a party that I recognise
and he said- oh, hey hi. How are you doing here? I'm gonna take
you too, where everybody is nice. What do you mean where everybody is? They said I thought you know this was it
There's none are now so behind kind of occurred.
You know it's an auditorium with affordable the walls and in one-
the thought walls. There was a door and I want
there's a door and
There were more
our state people, elected officials? I think I have my doubts.
Probably actually, you know, opened and was like what
Shower was weary of Duke and what he stood for. But if other Republicans were helping him, then she felt ok about helping to shower worked alongside dukes campaign manager, Howie Feral making fund raising calls to roamer supporters, not long after
she started. Feral asked if she liked to get to know do himself and they, I said sure you know he would
Pretty famous- and I thought when are you
We're gonna get an opportunity to do something like this again
to take an opportunity than to shut when down shower met Duke upstairs that his campaign headquarters in the part of the building he uses his private residence.
I think, for the first fifteen minutes. In my mind I was like, oh my god. I can't believe I'm sitting here talking to David, Duke, oh my god. I can't believe sitting here talking to David. Do I do
they blurted out at one point where you are part of the k, K K and he just kind of looked at me. First
second then probably didn't answer me.
Question directly. It was
interesting. I'm glad I did it because I can
I met him shower, says the Duke didn't sway her to his side and that meeting. She also says that he came off as well spoken well, read and police.
But there were other people hanging around the campaign office who made her feel a lot less comfortable people who felt emboldened by Duke and what he represents.
There is one gentleman because we're starting to put,
plan together for utilizing the superdome- and I said oh yeah- for what what Pirelli gonna haven't superdome, because our
to figure out how to get all the black people loquacity,
and use the word black people into
Superdome and then we're gonna blow it up, and I just
Looked at him like? Are you crazy and he was now
crazy with serious and talking about it like this is something that he could accomplish, and I
remember, sort of turning round and going wow shower walked away from that conversation, but she didn't quit the Duke campaign.
But I think a lot of people would say I never would have worked for that guy.
No matter. What would you say in response to that?
Maybe it's not something! I talk about a lot looking back and thinking on it now I should have taken a curve more cheerful.
About who he was and what he had done and, of course, at the door,
make me feel good. You know I'm not proud of it, but I'm not ashamed.
I choose differently, potentially
I don't know.
The times picky and was a daily companion for the people of New Orleans. Two thirds of adults in the city read the newspaper. Every week day the picture you could play kingmaker when it chose to in September
One thousand seven. The paper had endorsed Buddy Roamer and a page one in a page calling Edwin Edwards his tenure. A disaster for the state in stumping for roamer, stable political leadership, donations to rumours campaign, surged campaign rocketed up the poles he beat.
Words. A month later, when David Duke won his race for the state, has the representatives and Nature Navy nine, the picking on published a different kind of ETA Torreon that column which ran deep inside the paper, called Dukes victory and embarrassment. But it also said the Duke should be given the chance to grow, to change, to see the air
or of his ways that editorial was everything the activists lands was fighting against and I printed
Adam tended honour Bulletin board. For you know, twenty years at work,
in saying this is how fascism whence.
During that nineteen. Eighty nine race Hill fed the picky in all sorts of research on dukes past, but the newspapers leadership wasn't interested in printing it.
And their position was they didn't want to cover him as the subject of investigative journalism, because
that would give him an audience and what happened was
got the advantage of politically growing in a in a vacuum of criticism from the medium after Duke won, the picayune fill that vacuum. Assigning Tyler bridges to cover do full time. Bridges broke a huge number of stories on the Duke beat on his self dealing. His failure to pay property taxes in his annual.
Parties Brad off Hitler. Bridges spent a lot of time interviewing Duke they give it me as the enemy,
I was on a mission of finding out who we really was investigating him and he knew it.
So there was no real pleasantries. He was not
buddy, who would tell funny story, is yet
the bland personality? Actually,
The overriding feature of him was his NEO nazi ideology, bridges cut
it was thorough and relentless, but the picture
was still wary of giving Duke excessive attention. The papers top editor Jamais Miss who took over during dukes, run for the? U S: Senate, wanted the picky and to be perceived as a trustworthy, chronic.
He was hoping to inoculated against criticism that it was attacking Duke gratuitously or for ideological reasons. Anti Duke activists thought.
Meant, the newspaper wasn't being nearly aggressive enough that it was bare.
Important stories are declining to publish them at all. Keith woods became the picky and city editor at the very end of that Senate campaign. He says to the newspapers leader: shouldn't have been so fixated on fairness playing the Duke story down
better than men missing the larger story, a huge consequences of our decisions on how little to cover Duke
Was there. We also doing cover the opinion that a company duke
The morality or absence of it that existed across the state that what he had exposed,
as the year the main stream nature of a lot of his thinking among white vote
in a state of Louisiana when Duke made the run off. The times begins. Top editors called the special meeting
they decided. It was time to take a new approach to treat Duke less as a politician, then, as a threat.
You know discussing the impact of.
the ecosystem and the larger environment yeah that's true, but what you are concerned about right now is whether it's gonna blow your house away. The picky
what assign around forty reporters editors, artists and photographers to cover Duke and his movement. But the paper didn't just change its news gathering philosophy
It also chose to make its position on Duke explicit.
The title of the series was a choice of our lives. The choice of our lives was the collection of editorials in those columns. The newspaper focused on dukes inveterate lying, his hatred of blacks and Jews and the potentially dire-
the Quences for Louisiana if he became the governor. This was a major move.
By taking such a profound moral position against bigotry against racism,
and saying we are going to stand on our heads. Now we
We are now going to pretend that were covering an ordinary thing,
for years earlier, the picky and had used its front page to copper, Edwin Edwards to get booted out of office. Now the newspaper endorsed Edwards on page one, the choices and easy the editorial said, but its clear bigotry even masked with code words either the ties that make us a civil community. It divides and diminishes us
people? We must reject it at all costs, David, Duke lashed out at the newspaper during the last week of the campaign
amazing to me how the media have not been fair. This campaign ties behind his attack me day in and day out. This kind of rhetoric wasn't knew for Duke he'd railed against the time sticky and even when it barely covered him because attacks on the press played well with his supporter,
but this time the picky and didn't worry about the consequences of going after Duke
paper was more worried about the consequences of not telling its readers. The truth will be back in a minute. David. Do could started talking about his christianity during the primary, in an attempt to win over conservative voters,
during the run off he leaned even further into religiosity library matters. The cross means something deprecated there, I'm a christian person and I believe that the power
since the time your faith, and just by growing up and getting more mature in life that you can certainly become more moderate sum of dukes opponents questioned his sincerity wage
Louise Vienna Coalition against racism and nazi is.
There is no doubt in my mind that David
it is using. Christianity is perverse Billy.
And Christianity is as a mere gimmick to win votes that suspicion.
Got even stronger after the first debate of the run off. If you could, could you tell us
charge. You are tat the name of the past or there and what was the last time you were there
go to vans article Bible Search and the closest pastime to my life is Rehman runs that it gives me an awful lot of spiritual advice and and counselling, and I really appreciate him and you're watching the evangelical Bible Church didn't exist. There was no such place later on a radio show.
Said that he didn't go to a specific church, but instead attended a non denominational Bible study after that Duke volunteered to undergo.
A theological examination by a group of evangelist Christians. One of the man who did that examination was Neil Current, a leader at a conservative Angelica Church and the New Orleans suburbs. Current had been the anti Duke activist Bath, Rickeys closest ally in her battle. The censure David Duke he'd, seen stopping Duke, is his moral duty as a Christian, but when he heard Duke express his devotion to Jesus Christ, he called the candidate on the phone and said I'm surprised, pleasantly David. If you're really become a Christian, you know we ve been public enemies by don't want to be. If you truly put your feet,
Christ said I'd like to talk to you a couple of weeks later, current men do for that theological examination. Finally, one point I said David you're here
Talking about your faith and now its change do. When did you become a Christian
I became a Christian when I was thirteen years old
almost thirty years ago? So what happened to you? You ve, got
clansmen. Since I have been a nazi sense, then very publicly, in both cases,
said. Well, I guess I'd backslide, current didn't buy, it
to me and to the other pastors we gotta dolphin. Somebody had been
the right phrases to use what people think that he really was an event jungle Christian
after that meeting. Current ran and Anti Duke ADD on christian radio, the quoted Jesus, his words from Matthew, seven, beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing,
but inwardly, a ravenous wolves. You will
them by their roots.
And got some backup a week before the election. When a do gay,
name Bob Hawks, quit the campaign and called Duke of fake Christian here's. What hawk set about Duke in eighteen. Ninety, two,
and I never saw any good works. Good christian works coming from
even do, except when
who stayed centre now that
television, our platform at a rally
are been interviewed by the press other than those times Jesus Christ.
Christianity was never mentioned, Duke denied Bob HAWK the delegations. He also claimed, without signing any evidence that hawks had been planted in his organization to discredit him.
As we come to the end of the season of slow burn, I want
I urge you to check out slates daily NEWS podcast what next, every week day, what next?
x on. One story in the news in goes deep behind the headlines
It's the kind of news analysis you're not going to get from just scrolling on your phone
Slow burn the podcast about her recent history played out in real time. What next takes you,
Today's most important stories from the pandemic to the protests from the Supreme Court to the presidential election.
Stated at the end of our show for an excerpt from a recent episode of one next, it's an honor
you at the country's top infectious disease, expert, Doktor Anthony fetching
Mary Harris asked what he thinks of the nation's corona virus response
Why has this recent campaign to discredit him? If you, like
What you hear subscribe to, what next, wherever you,
I'd like to tell you about the part: can stay tuned with pre, now more
than ever. We need thoughtful, steady voices to help us make sense of what is happening in our world. Stay tuned covers issues of justice locked in the future of our democracy.
Host is Pre Ferrara, who is the? U S attorney for the southern district of your two thousand nine two thousand: seventy creed offers straightforward explanations of complicated issues, cancers, audience question and speaks with people shaping history. Previous gas include PETE Buddha Judge
healthcare expert, Andy Slab it in former attorney general sallying, stay tuned, bonus conversations from the show in the exclusive insider, podcast or all available at cafe dot com that see a effie dot com.
Live from Baton, Rouge, Louisiana, public broadcasting presents debate, ninety one, the governor's race moderator for tonight's debate. Second, televised debate between Edwin Edwards and David Duke took place on November, sixth, one thousand nine hundred and ninety one. That was ten days before the election, Dukan Edwards sat on stage and a tv studio with a moderator between them.
Political journalists had been brought in. Ask them questions. One of them was Norman Robinson Robbins,
was one of New Orleans is best known and most respected news anchors. He was also a black man. He considered for a moment not taking the debate assignment
but Robinson decided that he owed it to himself. To me, David, Duke, had on items in the final analysis.
The challenge to be a challenge to to face him to confront him in compartmentalize. My my anger Robinson had been suppressing his rage for as long as he could remember. He was four years old in eighteen. Fifty five, when imitate, was launched in his home state of Mississippi. He was five when he saw the photos of tells disfigured body,
and when his parents told him that's what some white folks will do to you, he was living in mobile Alabama eight years later, when clansmen bombed the church in Birmingham murdering for black girls who are just about his age.
It was an emotional time nor housel. We were stunned, we're almost
the mobilise physically and mentally,
something that I tried to bury bogged down.
I was still there never go away for Robin said. David dukes rise in Louisiana fell like a scam, getting pulled off an old wound and he was done hiding.
His injuries are next question comes from Mr Robinson, and it is directed to Mr Duke Mr Duke,
I tell you, I am very concerned citizen. I am journalists, but
first and foremost I am concerned citizens and, as a minority
who has heard you say some very excoriated in diabolical things about noughties blacks, about Jews, about Hispanics, I'm scared, sir. You made yourself owner
yeah exactly because I wanted to talk to him as a human being
I wanted him to see me as a human being nice, some journalists, but
Robinson was a journalist and on that stage he showed that he could be both things at once, a human being who felt threatened by Duke and Rapporteur, who could expose? Who Duke really was.
Robinson had prepared for the debate using research from the Louisiana coalition against racism and nazi fascism. He chose to focus on dukes own words, statements he made to the graduate student Evelyn Wretch and eighteen eighty six, and it has televised Ebay with Jesse Jackson and nineteen. Seventy seven Robinson didn't get his question approved in advance and it wasn't until he was sitting in that studio watching Duke deflect
and evade. Did he decided exactly how he wanted a phrase it I've heard. You say that Jews deserve to be in the ash ban of history.
I've heard you say that horses can
we need more to the building of a
I've been blacks. Did
that kind of pastor.
Given that kind of diabolical evil vile mentality.
Mr all convinced me, a question.
This may, Sir,
and other minorities like me, why
should entrust their lives.
And the lives of their children to you when the camera,
get away from Norman Robinson. He was staring straight a David Duke when Duke appeared on screen. He cast his eyes downward before he began to speak.
Mr Robinson, I don't think there's a human being on this earth are in this state
there has been some time and tolerant and their life
and I think, that's true- of white people having a stir, a black people.
This is true of everybody at one time or another. I regret
some of the things that I've said in my life? I have been to intolerant times no question about that,
that's not how I live today and I hope that's not the way you
today. Maybe you ve never said something in your life. That debate could be taken. As read,
they biased, are concerned. Everybody said thanks, pressed by Robinson Duke said: he repudiated the clan,
in any other racist or intolerant organization? This is how their exchange ended.
And there's a lot of racism that exist in our committee is not just the white community. There is violence,
streets everyday day, directed against,
people as well as the other way around. This is not black out even them, as well as a guest black people. Look Mister Robinson, I don't think you're really being fair with me
I don't think you're really being honest answer: you're, not you're doing the debate here. Aren't you not even asking questions here here, just what you may down and ask your prerogative. You said
that you wanted to make an effort to try to have a human connection with them. What did you think of that effort? And then what did you think of his response
We did have a human to human connection and that's what made it so significant by weight.
To the bottom of what it is that needed to be discussed. The television station that broadcast a debate got a hundred and fifty calls after it was over. Most of them were from viewers complaining about Norman Robinson. The times pick you and published letters chiding, the tv anchor for his extremely unprofessional behaviour and his lack of objectivity.
Then there's the mail that Robinson himself got one letter said we thought you were intelligent. We thought you were.
Were of the same mind ass. Now we see your true colours, you justice
a nigger will suit for months,
Robinson didn't go anywhere, but work and home and he started carrying a pistol, but he never regretted doing what he did.
It was the funding for me innocence.
I got to confront a lot of
demons that I've been suppressing for a long time, and I think.
I think it was liberating for a lot of people in the debate. Robinson hadn't talked about the second order: effects of Adieu governorship how Louisiana reputation and economy might suffer because of how Duke was perceived ass. He called out do
get real directly and unashamedly. I've been prouder of somebody. Then I was of Norman thirty Keith words. The city editor of the times begin watched the debate
at home with his family, so much of the public discussion
this was asked in euphemism and from a distance and Norman made this about him and David Duke in that space at that moment, but Norman
in the guise of utter.
And yet it had edges so sharp that it easily cut due to the core, and, I think, moments
That rarely have the effect of having somebody who yesterday thought it was fine to vote for a clansmen
to wake up and say all now that I've seen this with Norman. I know its not, but it certainly connected to all those people who, like me,
didn't have any doubt about how they were voting but felt a little bit better about the place I lived in the people. I lived with that courage like that would come to the fore.
Reading far away has a race for governor generated so much attention. Everyone has an opinion. Other contest in Louisiana between former gum,
Edwin, Edwards and Republican Canada, David Duke in the last days,
the ninety ninety one campaign, David Duke, was his own worst advertisement on November, tenth Duke and add, when Edwards made a joint appearance on NBC, meet the press, they were questioned by TIM Russet, sir,
What manufacturers are the three biggest employers in the state of Louisiana? No, I haven't
of employers in our state, but who are the three biggest menu
fractures where the biggest employers in the state of easier
I couldn't give it a name right after you don't rather with biggest employers, must they already. I don't have a success so far. I oughta sorry you're talking about economic development, the correct answers which Edwin Edwards provided to reporter afterwards Avenue General Motors and eighty anti. It wasn't just dukes present day, ignorance that hurt him. He was also damaged by statements from his past Beth Ricky had previously uncovered transcripts of Evelyn Riches interview.
The Duke but the tapes. Would you heard an excerpt from at the beginning of our series hadn't yet emerged. Now they did
Louisiana democratic Party turn the audio into a thirty second commercial
Interview you are about to hear was recorded on February, seventeenth, nineteen, eighty six, the boy,
are those of David Duke and Joe feels a California NEO, nazi liability law who say I'm a nazi I'd, never deny Norway allowed, because I'm afraid
started: seven men: don't you think it can happen right now with my package together, most people aren't there
then at them over until things get tough gets a verdict. Is this government made a decade, here's Lance Hell
And to this day I remember that one of my board members, Monroe Louisiana, told me that she had gone to get fish from our fish guy. Who was that
the border, and she asked him well what about schooners based learning about four do,
She said why not he said he said: he's gonna take over America like Hitler took over Germany, he said
that's how? Where is that
Sometimes the truth gets out.
It said nine thirty, five, I'm skewed in the morning and whether you are at work in your car or at home. Please stay when a citizen
day before the election David, Duke Edward
in the run off one of them to
will be elected. Our new governor I'd like to people.
They were twenty four hours. This we too have already been elected with the media, would say then.
I bet you did it gave out a black people. Man I mean we don't
Wanna, be out in the street. Now I mean you know it in money,
what do we tell me- and I can tell you that the first time in thirty five years I was born and raised in this day, and I will not vote. I in good conscience, cannot vote for either
a lot of people they feel their way? In a lot I mean there is no doubt about our get about redwoods overdue, no matter what as much as I detested Edwards, that's the conservative columnist, Quinn Hillyer. I
put my hand on the labour. They were labour machines and then I literally act after made sure I had the right labour. I try.
It my eyes,
so I wouldn't have to see myself calling it a lot of people didn't have to close their eyes or hold their noses when they voted on November.
Tenth. Many like Angelina Jackson voted for the first time ever
is sixty five years old. I can put it out, but this time I had to come down here to stab. Do that's one vote. Does that David after a flurry of public?
embarrassments for Dick the Paul's going into election day showed Edwin Edwards is lead widening, but given deeds, history of outperforming the numbers, the outcome felt far from certain Quinn, Hillyer watched, the return said: Beth Ricky's apartment, the stalwart of the Anti Duke Movement had five duke during his run for the state legislature, then again when he ran for the: U S: Senate yeah. We ve been doing this for three years now,
and obviously we expected a close race and then it was. I
meaning it is over now, and it wasn't even close the race for
Are there in Louisiana after weeks of controversy, political passionate, national attention, Edwin Edwards of former Governor Crush David, do Edwards one sixty one percent of the votes, the dukes, thirty nine and
you would have thought they would have been
relation and high fives, and instead they were alive,
quiet, smiles and exhales of breath.
Sort of. I will relieved way there
sort of a sense of accomplishment but Exhaustion Edward said his victory was vindication
his home state. I want all of all who perform a mindset rejected with dark, inserting the possibility of a David good governance.
In the era of the nation, where away dukes Eddied lost only because of economic blackmail. The people had voted for him because they were afraid they lose.
Their jobs if he won
What's the message goes out loud and clear across Louisiana? He took fifty five percent of the white vote. More people cast ballots for him in the governor's race, then, when he ran for Senate the year before. But this time she got swamped by the hour
vision by people who were not going to let him when, where I became a movement for I can Smith was the student body President Southern University in bed,
rich, but he woke up the sleeping guy. In that particular election, we found a voice with
a voice that ultimately had a say,
in what happened with the cuban authorities. Legs Smith in his fellow students wanted to take down David Duke, but they were also fond of his opponent.
Our conversations were Salem around what's best for
long term viability of us as a group.
Clearly, we felt like
Edwin AIR words provided that opportunity, and, quite frankly, he had somewhat over track record of
African Americans, more so than other governors.
The overall turn out in the governors race, with seventy eight percent, close to an all time record for Louisiana and for the first time in the history of the state, a higher percentage of black voters had gone to the poles than way
HANS can Smith's voter registration. Dr had made a difference so hidden
be new, burgers vote for the crux stickers and the message about
and damage to the state, Tyler Bridges reporting in the times, figurines editorials,
neo current add on christian radio
Norman Robinson's debate question an levies taps on David, Duke Shoulder at the Holocaust, exhibit back in nineteen. Eighty, nine Beth, Ricky's years of persistence, none of them individually or decisive. All of them collectively beat David Duke
once again, a guy who was a Dennis Lafayette, sent a letter to all his patience, sang
I support Edwin Edwards and the
The criticism was not coming from top down.
It wasn't a leads telling you what to think it was your neighbor, your coworker Europe
religionist he was coming.
Horizontal way and that's the most effective criticism. What did you think of the vote for the crook? It's important
Bumpersticker, we actually still have something. What did you think about both for the crooked gluten? That's Edwin Edwards, his wife trim, Adwords Euro call from our last episode that she was
thing along my questions, because the ninety two year old ex governor, can't hear very well on the phone. Well, that was something that might have borders put out most people then, and now a suspicion
the politicians are now, and I was very controversial it that's. What caused the Edwin Edwards was a crook. He went to present in two thousand to four rigging casino licences during his last Herman.
Office, the one he served after beating David Duke. Would he be interest
in talking to David Duke today. What would he say to him? If you talk to him, would you be?
sitting talking to David Duke and what would you say to him if you did speak to him,
Well, I'm no personal regrets about him. I don't like what he stand for what he said, but that's his business. I talk to him. If he called me,
are you know, I'm no longer run invented thing in his
I can't write anything
Luciano in this country, can my being less than three weeks after he lost the Louisiana Governors Race David Duke announced he was challenging. George W Bush for the republican president.
Nomination, Duke wouldn't when any delegates in eighteen. Ninety two but
the Republican inferred
Surprisingly well, and our western heritage is going to be
handed down to future generations and not dumped.
On some landfill called multiculturalism
You can and ran on the same platform is Duke many people, including prominent conservatives, had called out Buchanan for trafficking in Anti Semitism and Holocaust denial, but he hadn't,
the clansmen and had never been photograph ring and not the uniform, Buchanan gotTA speaking flawed at the ninety. Ninety two republican convention, Dukes Party on Super Tuesday, drew just twenty
porters a year after the run off in Louisiana, Tyler Bridges checked up on two for the times began
he'd, been spotted the New Orleans Convention Centre selling Duke for President T shirts and discount long distance plants, he looked sort of pitiful. One convention Gore said no one was paying attention to him Duke ran for the Senate again and lost again. He ran for the? U S house of representatives and lost their race to he went to prison for tax fraud. He spoke at a conference for her
across deniers in IRAN. He supported Donald Trump for president in two thousand sixteen the same year, you lost another centre race and he said at the Charlottesville unite the right rally in two thousand seventeen. We are determined to take our country back,
In Louisiana Duke, doesn't make the news all that much anymore,
but he hasn't gone away. When he came in the town, he would come to see me. I can explain Norman Robinson. He would
The front desk and ass, the receptionist, if I was in
was actually got me and Mr Duke is here: would you like to see him? Is it ok began their supply yeah, but a man about town,
Robinson remembers one visit about six years ago now.
Before he retired, as a news anchor, they didn't.
About that moment in eighteen, ninety one when Robinson, helped crush dukes political ambitions. They actually never talked about it and the almost thirty years since, when Duke dropped in on Robinson, he came bearing a gift, a book about how Jews country
the media title, has run away. I listen to him. I'm a humanist values
I just can not be rude and cruel,
To another human being, I can't do it so
dangerous what he had to say. I listen to him and when he left.
This discarding this book
Most of us here
I just that he likes intention,
Slow burn is the production of slate plus Slates membership programme. Every week sleep loss members get bonus, episode
dive deeper into the history. We ve been exploring the season this week
you're an extended interview with Norman Robinson, the Journal
to challenge Duke during a gubernatorial debate in eighteen. Ninety one we could
make slow burn without sleepless and we just want to say thank you.
Began to all our members for their support, if you like this year,
and are able to contribute, please guns
are becoming a member. It's only,
thirty five dollars for the first year and you get a free, too weak trial, go to sleep,
calm, flash slow burn to find out more slowly,
and is produced by me and Christopher Johnson
material direction by low in lieu and Gabriel Wrong.
Madeleine, do Sharm. Is our production system Sophie Summer
at a slower and the system producer are makes engine
There is Paul mounting David Grass composed our theme song the hour
Four slow burn is by LISA Larsson Walker. This is
Last episode of our seas,
we ve got a lot of people. We want to thank thanks to Jessica side. Man ass, he Chambers, Holly Alan jeweled Anderson, Alison Benedict, Laura Bennett,
bill carry Jeremy Cheese, Serena January Amanda, godmother, Jordan, Hirsch, Jared HOMES, marriage, Jacob, Derek John Megan, calls from Marine Mullah South Maximum Alisha, Montgomery, Sung, Clark, Willa, casket, Katy referred Plater, Robinson Asha, Ilusha, Rachel, strong, Maggie Taylor June Thomas and chow too, for making slow burn possible, and thank you very much for listening
I still cannot believe that you could come and visit year after that. I'm now imagining like you now
sir, but about the same age like maybe ten or fifteen years now, difficulty shop at your door and still want to talk about the Jews and you'll. Let a man and forgive you as neuber- can.
Let a man
lily. I let him in
and asked him where he's been and what he's been doing.
Earlier in the show, I mention Slates daily NEWS podcast what next,
now we're gonna share an excerpt from a recent. What next episode? If you like what you hear subscribe to, what next
wherever you listen, a pod,
Doktor Anthony found she by now. You probably know who he is, and you probably know how you feel about him. More than half of Americans say they think faulty venetians top infectious disease export is handling the
run a virus. Well, but you know who isn't so sure about that.
I don't know the non aligned- would he's a little bit of enormous. That's ok little, please I'm an alarm a little bit of enormous. Just let me just President Trump and a few of his closest advisers.
Begun murmuring about our profound she over the last few days,
highlighting all the ways the doktor has stumbled since this corona virus began spreading. This is the President on Fox NEWS. Over the weekend, doctors out you
The beginning and again I have a good relationship with them. I spoke to my delight yesterday, doktor value the beginning said this: will
Don't worry about it! This will pass. It was well fact this interview,
came at the end of a week in which the White House gave reporters anti voucher talking points. It came after a top advisor to the President Challenge Doktor Vouch II on the odd bed pages of USA today, but over the last few days, dart refugee has not been afraid to speak up in his own defence. So we call them to talk about the politics of this moment and the science to Dutch or fancied. Did you just put on hand
What I saw her, I did love it isn't. Like always on point, I'm always on point. I try to be anyway found. She gave us thirty minutes Monday afternoon, just before he had two speed off to a corona virus taskforce meeting.
The New York Times ran all story saying you know. The chatter in Washington is what's happening with Doktor foul GI. Do you get
that question directly. Do you want to answer it? Well, you know
a lot of what you ve heard about? You know an editorial that was written in. Oh, very, you know, I think, to the displeasure of most
people in the White House that that by Peter Navarro yeah I mean that's just
a lot of noise. It's a whole bunch of nonsense that we need to just put aside and concentrate on a very important task that we have.
To work together, so when I hear and see those things you know as much as it might get into the New York Times and the Washington Post, you got to trust me. I try to pay a little attention to it, as I possibly can. Just before I got on the line there was this announcement that President Trump is going to bring back the daily coronavirus,
First, one is Tuesday, we're gonna, be there. I would imagine I am I
There has been nothing
visual, that I've heard about
that I've heard the same sort of room that you ve heard that we're gonna be getting back to the daily bread.
Things, but I haven't heard anything definitively, but that doesn't matter that likely will happen anyway
but I would imagine that I'll be there. If it does occur,
I marry Harris. You can listen to more what next, wherever you get your pod costs.
Transcript generated on 2020-08-02.