The year is 2016. Former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke has qualified for a Senate run. To be explicitly clear, the Grand Wizard title is given to the national leader of the KKK—the white supremacist organization that opposed civil rights for African Americans throughout history through murder, lynching and bombing and continues to exist today.
According to an ABC News report, David Duke will debate on Nov. 2 with race frontrunners, Republican John Kennedy and Democrat Foster Campbell, at New Orleans’ Dillard University, a historically black college.
Dillard University student Joseph Caldwell, an urban studies and human policy major, said the announcement shocked many students over the weekend. The university is contractually obligated to proceed with the event. In a statement released Saturday, the administration at Dillard said it would work to keep the event secure and professional. It also said they do not endorse the candidacy of any individuals appearing in the debate.
Duke expressed his excitement about the invitation to the debate over a tweet.
Foster Campbell, the Democratic Senate candidate, told ABC News it was “unfortunate” that Duke was allowed to participate.
“His destructive rhetoric is a distraction from this campaign, which is about our future, not our past,” Campbell said.
The debate will be televised on WVUE-TV, the station that originally extended the invitation to Duke to participate in Thursday’s event.