Leader of The KKK’s Visit To HBCU Campus Causes Chaos

Some six students have been arrested following the protest organized against David Duke's visit to Dillard University.

The commotion erupted the entire Dillard University. On Wednesday night the students of the Historically Black University  protested the visit of the former leader of the KKK, David Duke. Prior to Duke’s arrival, the students had already expressed their displeasure about his intended appearance at their school. The campus of the Louisiana University was used to host a political debate which involved about six candidates including Duke to U.S. Senate. Find out more about the event in the carefully selected articles given below:

THE GRIO

Six people were arrested after students at Dillard University protested Wednesday’s debate, which included former leader of the KKK, David Duke and was held at the HBCU campus.

Tensions were high at the protest as students decried the fact that a white nationalist was being given a platform at a historically black university. Students had been protesting for days before Duke’s arrival, at first pushing for Duke not to be allowed to come to the university and then pushing for students to be allowed to view the debate.

Our main focus was getting him not to come. Or, if he did come, let our demands be met,” said Dillard senior Brunisha Jones. “But we soon realized that we had a whole other issue: that our administration would not listen to us.”

As protesters attempted to enter the debate, police used pepper spray on the crowd, as school officials have since confirmed.

As a last resort, DUPD made the decision to use pepper spr ay to stop the advancement of the crowd,” Director of Communications David Grubb said in a statement. “After a second attempt to enter the building, officers again utilized pepper spray as a deterrent.” Read more.

COMPLEX

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 the former leader of the KKK.

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.” Read more.

THE ADVOCATE

My eyes are burning,” Malvin Abbott said shortly after he was sprayed in the face.

Still, he and other students tried to enter the closed debate because “we as university students pay for that building,” he said.

Raycom operates WVUE-TV, the local television station that rented space at Dillard and hosted the debate.

Leading the poll were John Kennedy, the Republican state treasurer, and Foster Campbell, a Democratic member of the state Public Service Commission. Others polling ahead of Duke and participating Wednesday were Caroline Fayard, a Democratic lawyer from New Orleans; U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany, R-Lafayette; and U.S. Rep. John Fleming, R-Minden.

Dillard officials have said they did not know before they agreed to provide a hall for the debate who would be invited to participate, and the university does not endorse any Senate candidate.

Duke, now 66, was elected grand dragon and later grand wizard of Louisiana’s Knights of the Ku Klux Klan during the 1970s. He has said he left the group because he was fed up with some Klan branches’ continued violent outbursts against minorities, though his departure also came after he reportedly offered to sell his membership rolls to another Klan leader for thousands of dollars.

He won a single term in the Louisiana House from Metairie in 1989, his lone political victory in decades of trying.


He was sentenced to 15 months of federal prison in 2003 for cheating his supporters out of cash and not paying taxes.

Dillard President Walter Kimbrough last week discouraged any sort of protest against Duke, saying the man doesn’t need the extra attention. He has accused Raycom of manipulating the poll results to ensure that Duke would qualify and boost TV ratings.

But Kimbrough’s call to ignore the former leader of the KKK, Duke was disregarded by many Wednesday, as a crowd of students gathered outside of Georges Auditorium to protest Duke’s arrival days after they asked Kimbrough to let them view the debate in the building where it was held. Read more.

The violent behavior of the officers has always been the main factor in all police brutality cases against Black people. Aren’t there any better nonviolent measures the police can use to control the crowd? Of course, there are and this kind of brouhaha is only seen when police officers have to deal with Black people. But this time the officers were not just dispersing an angry crowd, they attacked a group of well-educated youth having active political position who didn’t at all deserve to be treated in such a way. Though many officers side with the Klan themselves and during the incident they just occasionally revealed their true nature.

 

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