David Duke’s My Awakening: A Minor League Mein Kampf

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Abraham H. Foxman
National Director
Anti-Defamation League

January 1999
David Duke's My Awakening: A Minor League Mein Kampf David Duke, former Klansman and consummate racist and anti-Semite, who is attempting to enter mainstream politics, is currently promoting his new book. In My Awakening, he relates how he came to his views on Blacks, Jews, and American society. ADL National Director Abraham H. Foxman calls Duke’s self-published polemic, "a minor league Mein Kampf."

Mr. Foxman’s review of the book follows. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted with appropriate attribution. Interviews with Mr. Foxman can be arranged with ADL’s Media Relations Department, 212-885-7749.

Looking and listening to David Duke one might think he is just another politician promoting a book. He is attractive, articulate and media savvy. But on closer examination, the real David Duke, a white supremacist, anti-Semitic former Ku Klux Klan leader emerges.

If anyone has doubts, just peruse a copy of My Awakening, his self-published, 700-page autobiographical and disjointed polemic with over 1,000 footnotes,in
"...Duke reaffirms his notoriously racist, anti-Semitic, sexist and homophobic roots."
which Duke reaffirms his notoriously racist, anti-Semitic, sexist and homophobic roots. Intended to read as the magnum opus of Duke’s career as an extremist political organizer, My Awakening reads more like a minor league Mein Kampf.

Duke attempts to construct a facade of legitimacy around his "ideas," yet his positions are no different from those of other, less savvy racists and anti-Semites who still wear robes and speak the crude language of hate and racial violence. Portraying himself as a truth-seeker in the tradition of Voltaire and Socrates, Duke wants us to believe that he and all heterosexual men of European descent are victims of a vast historical conspiracy to cover up the "truth" about peoples of African descent, Jews, homosexuals, immigrants and women.

As a boy in Louisiana, Duke says he was a tabula rasa, an innocent youth who believed what was told to him by his parents, his teachers and the media. Hunting in the swamps of Louisiana, he "learned" that animals have different genetic codes, which dictate their behavior and disposition and how it stands to reason that, just as breeds of animals differ, human races must also.

Through a slow process of uncovering "painful truths," he comes to learn that Black people really are inferior, homosexuality is unnatural and that it is wrong for women to aspire to the same types of careers aspired to by men. Worst of all are the Jews who, he claims, control the majority of international governments, are responsible for most of the major destructive political movements the world has known, and have systematically focused the world’s attention on their suffering through gross exaggeration of the Holocaust and control of the institutions which disseminate information.

Duke says he has a "moral obligation" to speak the truth about race and the Jews, a truth he has come to through prolific reading and research. As a teenager he came into contact with his local White Citizens Council, where he learned "the truth" about Blacks and Jews. He read Race and Reason: A Yankee View, by Carlton Putnam (1961), the text he credits with beginning his "enlightenment." The David Duke who founded the White Youth Alliance, affiliated with the Neo-Nazi Socialist White people’s Party at LSU, who founded the Louisiana-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKKK) and appointed himself Grand Wizard Duke invites the reader to embark on a journey of "racial awakening" to reach the "racial understanding" that he has achieved.

In a section entitled "Race and Reality" Duke sets out to prove his claim that Blacks genetically inferior to whites. He sites an assortment of discredited racist scientific theories from the 1950’s-70’s, from which he provides an array of charts and graphs, about IQ distribution, brain size of different races, inherent racial traits, and climates of different prehistoric cultures.

Duke argues that none of the framers of the U.S. Constitution ever thought that the races were in any way equal. Taking out of context the words of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln, he interprets them in a manner contrary to widely accepted historical scholarship and in support of his racist ideology. For David Duke, all of the contemporary debate about the Framers intent is yet another part of the multicultural conspiracy against White America.

"There isn’t much evil in the world for which the Jews do not bear responsibility, he claims."

When it comes to Jews, Duke has a lot to say, devoting 247 pages to "The Jewish Question." There isn’t much evil in the world for which the Jews do not bear responsibility, he claims. They are to blame for the Russian revolution, the murder of the Czar and millions of innocent victims during Soviet rule, and the entire Communist "blot on humanity." He blames Jews for convincing the world that the Holocaust happened. Like many anti-Semites, most notably Louis Farrakhan, he lays the responsibility for the ancient and colonial slave trade on the Jews. One of the more outrageous "historical facts" he presents is that Zionists "sought out common ground" with Hitler and in their attempt to create a racist Jewish state.

"He plays to many of the classical anti-Semitic themes, providing a laundry list of Jewish stereotypes."

He plays to many of the classical anti-Semitic themes, providing a laundry list of Jewish stereotypes. He repeatedly emphasizes the superiority of Christianity over Judaism quoting out of context from The Old and New Testaments. He cites the Talmud as a text meant to assert Jewish superiority in the ancient, medieval and modern worlds. Jewish holidays, according to Duke, celebrate hate and killing.

Relying on classic strategies invoked by the Holocaust deniers, Duke attempts to deconstruct the Holocaust "tale" piece by piece, in an attempt to discredit the "Jewish" version of the story.

In David Duke’s world Jews "thoroughly dominate the news and entertainment media in almost every civilized nation; they control the international markets and stock exchanges; and no government can resist doing their bidding on any issue of importance." He warns that "the Jewish people…propose to extend their totalitarian denial of free speech from Europe and Canada to the nation that was once the most free in the world: the United States." To Duke, "Jewish power is ubiquitous." He charges that Jews "seek control" over Gentiles "as naturally as the blue jay appropriates another bird’s nest…it is in their programming to do so." According to Duke, Jews and Gentiles are "in a state of ethnic war" and he predicts that "the ultimate clash between these two diametrically opposed genotypes and cultures fast approaches with the new millennium."

This final section is meant as a sort of polemical exhortation. After presenting 500 pages of "facts," facts that he learned along the way to his racial "awakening," Duke explains to the reader how he then became an activist. Duke hopes to inspire heterosexual white supremacists who feel ineffective in this age of "Jewish, multicultural control" over the lives of white European men.

"David Duke has spent his entire career attempting to obfuscate, hide, repackage, intellectualize, and dress up ideas, which, at their core, represent the crudest and most destructive form of hatred of other races."

Duke’s final chapter, "What We Must do Now," is a clarion call to Aryans to join the battle, urging the same strategies he used in his attempt to camouflage the Klan as a "respectable," non-violent political organization. "Every Aryan must come to realize," he says, "that truly hateful rhetoric or terrorism only fulfills the false, Jewish-created, media image of what we are and what we stand for." He calls for solidarity between white supremacists, and stresses the importance of education, non-violence, organization, and familiarity with the Internet. While "a physical revolution may be required someday to free our people and secure our survival," Duke says the "first task" is to win "the hearts and minds of the people."

David Duke has spent his entire career attempting to obfuscate, hide, repackage, intellectualize, and dress up ideas, which, at their core, represent the crudest and most destructive form of hatred of other races. It makes little difference whether he is donning the robes of the KKK or appearing in a suit and tie on television talk shows. His own words show that he is what he is, an unabashed racist and anti-Semitic hatemonger.

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2001 Anti-Defamation League