The Great White Hope
Everyone was friendly inside the Lithuanian Hall on E. 185th St. Sunday night, as a crowd of nearly 200 gathered to hear former Louisiana State Rep. David Duke.Upstairs, just outside the meeting area, a bake sale of homemade goodies spread across the bar featured pound cake, brownies and oversized sugar cookies decorated with the three-prong symbol called the Life Rune, which signifies rebirth or renewal, used by the National Alliance, the group sponsoring the evening meeting. Behind the counter, two attractive young women sold the pastries, pop and coffee as people wandered around greeting each other, some buying tapes and books from the literature table. One dollar would buy you the March-April issue of "National Vanguard," subtitled "Toward a New Consciousness; A New Order; A New People." For $10 you could buy your own copy of the "Turner Diaries," the 1978 work of fiction by National Alliance leader William Pierce, the book that is said to have inspired Timothy McVeigh.Downstairs, at the entrance of the hall, David Duke personally greeted each person who entered the building, surrounded by supporters who were watching a group of sign-carrying, shouting protesters across the street. Police in riot gear stood ready for trouble and closed off the street with their cruisers. Television cameras rolled on the sixty demonstrators, shouting and jeering.Later, just before the meeting was called together, someone reported to a few people gathered around tables in the back that the protesters had gotten out of hand and several had been arrested. Everyone laughed. You couldn't imagine this polite crowd, dotted with distinguished graying men in suits and older couples with Eastern European accents, to engage in such riotous activity. A handful of tall young men with close-cropped hair, wearing neatly pressed shirts with ties, seemed ready, but not anxious, to handle a disruption. When Duke took the podium at about 8 pm, he started off by thanking the "scum" across the street for attracting all the media coverage, since the meeting had not been widely publicized except for a few flyers and announcements on Duke's own web page on the Internet. Because of this, the gathering was mostly populated by local National Alliance members, a chapter reportedly based in Parma, and Duke followers from the broader region, with license plates from several states in the parking lot. They were all there to hear his message about racial survival for white European-descended Americans. Tiger Woods is this group's worst nightmare, a mixing of blood beyond category. Duke believes in genetic superiority and a direct lineage from the Greeks and Romans, who gave Europe and thus America our civilization, culture and art. The fear that drives groups like the National Alliance is that with low white birth rates in America and mass immigration from Third World countries, white Americans will be a minority in another fifty years.Duke's impassioned speech sounded as if the white man was already a dying breed. He listed statistics about black-on-white crime, such as "for every 200 white women raped by a black man, there is only one black woman raped by a white man." Also claiming that 50 percent of all black men are criminals, according to statistics.Focusing on affirmative action, Duke said the policy was only to allow "unqualified blacks" to get positions. He talked about the results of affirmative action policies within the New Orleans Police Department, which he blamed for the arrest of fifty officers involved in crime, 48 of whom were black. What happens, he wonders, when all the government jobs are given through affirmative action, and we can't count on the people in charge to keep order or protect our rights? And because of affirmative action, he feels criminals like Rodney King and O.J. Simpson get the benefit of the doubt time and again. The police who beat King were tried a second time for violating his civil rights; who is defending the civil rights of white America? What happens when all the juries in America are composed of blacks freeing black criminals like O.J. Simpson? Duke also charmed his audience with jokes such as "What is O.J. Simpson's favorite holiday? Thanksgiving, when he gets to carve the white meat." Or what's the definition of chaos? "Father's Day" in urban America. The purity of the white race is at stake, according to David Duke. He encouraged everyone at the meeting to be an example, to be the best white man or woman they could be. He asked everyone to become familiar with computers and the Internet, which he called the "great democratizer of information," where organizations like the National Alliance can get their message out without being censored by the liberal media. And since "blacks can't make it in the computer age," the implication was that computers would be a way to communicate on a higher plane. Duke explained e-mail as way to instantly communicate with similar-thinking people around the globe."This is not like a letter you write and put a stamp on to mail, and then because of our black postal service it never gets there anyway," he said to much laughter.He also sympathized with Clevelanders' living in a town where the daily newspaper was owned by the Newhouse family, which also owns the "Times-Picayune"in News Orleans. The Newhouse family, Duke said, are supporters of the Zionist state of Israel, a country based on religion, but these same people use their newspapers to speak against religious rights in America, he claims. They support a country where you have the right to carry a submachine gun if you want to and speak against the right to bear arms, he said, firing up the crowd.At times, many people jumped to their feet with applause. In the end, he defined the word Aryan as a racial awakening, an understanding of lineage and its importance. He said that by coming to his talk, perhaps first-time visitors now see the battle before them. He challenged the crowd with a story of the Alamo, "when men were men" defending their country. He held up historical heroes like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie as men willing to "cross the line," knowing they were going to die, but willing to stand anyway to protect that small piece of Texas soil from the Mexican army.Of course, he added, "I'm not asking you to cross that line." Instead, he encouraged the crowd to organize, to talk about racial consciousness, to encourage their neighbors to think about the future, to get involved with groups like the National Alliance. Get involved in politics, run as Republicans, as he has done successfully in Louisiana, now holding an office on his parish executive committee.Though Duke claims he has no affiliation with any particular group, this is the second time in several weeks he's appeared at a National Alliance function. On May 10, he appeared in Tampa, but only after six halls refused to host the event for fear of security concerns, according to the "Tampa Tribune."Here in Cleveland, the Lithuanian Hall officials claim they did not know the rental was for a speech by former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke. There were men and women nodding in support when Duke mentioned the John Demjanjuk case. And the National Alliance has scheduled another meeting in the Hall by a British historian and Holocaust revisionist.Duke's web site says he is scheduling meetings in Jacksonville, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta and Fargo, where Duke is particularly advocating the purity of the Nordic heritage in the region. During the question-and-answer period, he was asked whether he would run for another office, and he indicated he might again consider a presidential campaign since, "I am the best-known person defending the white race in America."One well-dressed, middle-aged woman rushed to the front of the room, just as Duke finished his talk, thanking him, brimming with joy, as if she were at a church revival. "We're so glad you are here. That you are speaking for us. That you have the courage to talk about what we feel," she said. Everyone was smiling and shaking hands, buying more books, National Alliance stickers and cassette tapes. They politely exited the hall, past the riot police, to spread the word about the growing movement to revive the white race.