David Duke is a former KKK leader, a Holocaust denier, a convicted felon, white supremacist, Trump supporter, Nazi sympathizer, and a Louisiana politician who qualified for a televised Senate debate. That debate was held on Wednesday night and, well, it went as you might have expected. While Duke was busy criticizing Jews, Black Lives Matter, and Hillary Clinton during the debate, student protesters were reportedly met with pepper spray and tasers outside.
The debate, which included six candidates for U.S. Senate, took place at Dillard University, a historically black college in New Orleans, Louisiana. The auditorium at the school holds around 400 people, according to ThinkProgress, but it was basically empty, because the broadcaster, RayCom, decided to keep the debate closed to the public, including journalists and students. But just because protesters couldn't get into the auditorium doesn't mean they stayed home, as many people came out in solidarity against white supremacist David Duke.
According to ABC News, the protests were organized by Socially Engaged Dillard University Students, a student activist group, who told the university in a letter that they didn't want David Duke at their school. "His presence on our campus is not welcome," they said. But it wasn't just Dillard students. Sam Barton and around 30 other students from Tulane University protested, too. "It was important for us to stand in solidarity," Barton said. "It's important that young people engage politically especially around issues of social justice and race."
USA Today reported that the protesters chanted, "No Duke! No KKK! No fascist USA!" and, because they weren't allowed in the auditorium, "Let us in! Let us in!" Protester Malcolm Suber said, "We're standing outside while [Duke] is inside under the protection of your [university] president...Your administration let the white devil on your campus."
When protesters gathered around the auditorium doors, police reportedly used tasers and pepper spray, though no arrests were reported. One protester told WDSU: "They sprayed this girl directly in the face with it. I was covered on my shirt, my arms, my face—they are pepper-spraying. They are body slamming people."
Inside the auditorium, Duke did what he usually does. According to Mediaite, he called the moderator "a typical media hack." While he's "not opposed to all Jews," Duke said, "There is a problem in America with a very strong, powerful, tribal group that dominates our media and dominates our international banking." He added, "I'm against Jews and anyone else that puts their own interest of some other place over our own country."
Duke described Black Lives Matter as "radicals who are destroying America." He said the media "is teaching and inspiring black people to hate white people and inciting them to violence."
Echoing Trump, Duke said the system is rigged. While targeting Hillary Clinton, Duke said, "The lady should be getting the electric chair, being charged with treason."
Regarding Donald Trump, Duke said during the debate, "I will be Donald Trump’s most loyal advocate."
Fortunately, Duke, who is one of almost two dozen candidates in the Senate race, will almost certainly lose the election.