The Democratic Party is facing an awkward problem Thursday because white supremacist David Duke has endorsed a leading candidate in the Democratic Party’s primary race for a New York House seat.
Duke says he’s endorsing Charles Barron, the leading candidate for the new 8th district primary on June 26, because of their shared enmity toward “zionists.”
Barron is an African-American city politician who has been slammed as an anti-white racist and as a Jew-hater. However, he’s already got the endorsement of the retiring Democratic congressman, Rep. Edolphus Towns.
If Barron wins the June 26 primary, he’s a shoo-in for election in November because the district is overwhelmingly Democratic.
His election would be unnerving for many Democrats, including Jewish Democrats. Recent polls say that traditionally high support among orthodox Jews for the Democratic Party is declining toward 50 percent.
Duke’s endorsement of a Democrat also muddies routine claims by progressives that many conservatives and libertarians are motivated by racism. GOP supporters say their beliefs are motivated by American idealism and old-style liberal ideas of tolerance and freedom.
In recent days the Democratic establishment, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, has reacted to Barron’s advance by supporting his rival, Hakeem Jeffries, a state assemblyman.
Duke is a famous racist who ran as a Democrat and as a Republican in multiple Louisiana races during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
He now portrays himself as a supporter of “diversity,” and as a non-violent proponent of laws that encourage whites and African-Americans to live separately.
“In an election of limited choices, I think Charles Barron is the better choice [because] there is no greater danger facing the United States of America and facing the world than the unbridled power of zionist globalism,” Duke declared in a June 21 video.
The video appears on his website, whose banner declares, “For Human Freedom and Diversity.”
Duke, who was once a leader of the Ku Klux Klan, and who established the National Association for the Advancement of White People, decried Barron’s support for affirmative action, and his controversial statements that endorse violence against whites.
“I certainly disagree with Barron’s extreme racist, even violently, anti-white rhetoric,” he said, while blaming “Jewish extremists” for racial divisions.
African-Americans and whites “want the same thing — they want the right to associate together in their schools and communities,” he said.
Duke did not explain how the law should treat blacks and whites who wish to live in an area dominated by the other group, or how the segregationist policies would be enforced.
But the real enemies, he said, are “zionists,” meaning Jews.
They “want constant conflict between the two groups so they can use a divide and conquer strategy to rule over us all.”
Jews, and “the international robber-zio-banks… [and] the zionist clubfed,” he said, are “the ultimate real enemies of both our peoples.”
This article has been updated to reflect that Hakeem Jeffries is a state assemblyman, not a New York City councilman.