In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a white supremacist became an American political phenomenon. David Duke’s rise to power and prominence—his election to the Louisiana legislature, and then his campaigns for the U.S. Senate and the governorship—was an existential crisis for the state and the nation. The fourth season of Slate’s Slow Burn will explore how a Nazi sympathizer and former Klansman fashioned himself into a mainstream figure, and why some voters came to embrace his message. It will also examine how activists, journalists, and ordinary citizens confronted Duke’s candidacy, and what...
In 1989, a Black 12-year-old girl in New Orleans found the David Duke phenomenon, and Duke himself, hard to comprehend. So she called Duke on the phone to ask him some questions.
In this Slow Burn interlude: how a budding journalist outdid the professionals. Plus, why we won’t be interviewing...
In 1989, David Duke got a foothold in American politics. To build on that victory, he’d have to
fend off a Republican official determined to bring him down.
In the third episode of our series: the people who tried to stop David Duke’s rise, and the ones
who accommodated him.
Season 4 of Slow...
David Duke dreamed of becoming the charismatic leader who’d bring racism to the masses. He
tried to make that dream a reality by seizing on America’s most powerful symbol of white
On the second episode of Slow Burn’s fourth season: what David Duke’s years as a leader in...