A former US Ku Klux Klan chief arrested here on a speaking tour was freed during the night but will be forced to leave the country later Saturday, Czech police said.
David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Louisiana-founded Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, arrived in Prague on Friday at the invitation of a local far-right group, Narodni Odpor (National Resistance).
The 59-year-old US citizen had been due to give three lectures in Prague and Brno in the east of the country and present the Czech translation of his 1998 book "My Awakening."
He was arrested Friday afternoon in the Black Eagle restaurant in Prague's old town and questioned for several hours on suspicion of promoting movements seeking the suppression of human rights, police said.
But, then they let him go. Too bad they didn't keep him.
They always call him a "former Klan leader". They never mention his background as a Nazi. He was a Nazi before he started a Klan group (he was never a member of the Klan, he just started a Klan group as a fundraising device).
I went to college with Duke. I didn't know him, but he was a regular at the Thursday afternoon Free Speech Alley at LSU in the late 60's, early 70's. Wearing a little Nazi armband, a brown shirt, giving little Nazi speeches. It wasn't Klan type stuff at all (and Baton Rouge is close enough to Mississippi to where I could tell the difference), it was just American Nazi nonsense.
I can't remember the guy's name, but I did know one of his Nazi followers -- he was the husband of a woman who was majoring in quantitative business analysis, my major. The QBA majors was a small clique, so I knew him (I think in 1971 there was 7 undergraduate QBA majors at LSU). In 1971 I was a senior, fixing to graduate in January 1972, and the guy I can't remember the name of offered me a job working for David Duke doing market research. He was in the process of starting up a Klan/Nazi fund raising business and wanted to do some demographic analysis of census data to do target mailings. He offered me $12k a year.
In 1971 that was pretty good pay for a new college graduate.
I turned down the job. The Klan didn't seem like a really good career path to me.
Labels: David Duke