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article imageFormer Klansman David Duke booted out of Czech Republic

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By B.P. Terpstra     Apr 27, 2009 in Politics
Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke was forced out of the Czech Republic on Saturday, according to international news agencies.
The conspiratorial controversial Klansman was in Prague on an invitation from a white, anti-Semitic supremacist group to promote his book, “My Awakening.”
His lawyer, Klara Slamova, said police ordered Duke to leave the country.
In an official statement posted on his website Duke claims that he is not in the Czech Republic to lecture about the Holocaust, but on his book tour. He said: "I never speak about the Holocaust in Europe other than to say that it is a human rights outrage that people are imprisoned for simply having a differing opinion about an historical event.” Holocaust denial is a crime in some nations.
At any rate, Duke has a history of controversy, in the U.S., and abroad.
One critic, history author David Barton, writes in Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White that the Ku Klux Klan’s history cannot be separated from politics. “And in more modern times, Klansman David Duke began his career in Louisiana as a Democrat and later switched to the Republican Party; but in recent years as the Republicans in Louisiana have run candidates of color, Duke has returned to helping Democrats and opposing Republicans.”
Times have changed, say critics. But has Louisiana’s Duke? This year, for instance, Louisiana Republican Anh “Joseph” Cao, became America's first Vietnamese-American Congressman.
Barton, however, points out that “in Louisiana” in the 1800s, “the first 95 black representatives and the first 32 black senators were Republicans,” meaning too that Duke’s racial views are also at odds with many of Louisiana’s descendants. Notably, P.B.S. Pinchback of Louisiana, the Republican, became America’s first African-American governor, in 1872.
Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic, Duke, the former Democratic Louisiana State Representative, is claiming he is the victim after a stint in detention. His official website maintains: “I am doing tremendous numbers of interviews because of this false imprisonment, so we are reaching literally millions of people here in the Czech Rep. and around the world that I would not have reached otherwise.”
He added: “I was lucky to have excellent legal representation, but although I am free we must be prepared for any legal challenge against my freedom and the right of Europeans to hear the legitimate ideas that I offer. I certainly am not guilty of any violation of Czech law either in its letter or spirit.”
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