From 1991-1992, national attention was focused on the U.S. Senate race in Louisiana. It had essentially come down to two candidates: Edwin Edwards, a Democrat, and David Duke a Republican who espoused controversial ideas that the public did not believe would ever become mainstream. One group, however, foresaw the appeal of David Duke and took action.
The Amistad Research Center would like to announce that the organizational records of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism are open and available to researchers.
Initially formed in 1989, the Louisiana Coalition Against Nazism and Racism (LCARN) was a bipartisan political action committee in opposition to David Duke’s political ascendance in Louisiana, by Dr. Lance Hill who served as the organization’s executive director. Other prominent members include Rev. James Stovall, Lawrence Powell, and Beth Rickey. It was incorporated on March 5th, 1990. The organization sought to popularize and expose David Duke’s affiliations with hate groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and Duke’s history of racist and anti-Semitic statements and inclinations to the public through avenues such as brochures, pamphlets, and television and newspaper spots. During Duke’s 1990 senate campaign, LCARN raised nearly $500,000 to achieve this goal.
The organizational records in this collection reflect the work done by members of LCARN—particularly from 1990-1991. They include correspondence (including the hate mail they received), campaign and fundraising strategies, Anti-David Duke advertisements, mailers, and brochures created by LCARN, and collected materials from other anti-racism and white supremacist organizations. LCARN also collected materials generated by David Duke’s various campaigns such as mailers and a David Duke for Senate hat. The records also includes newspaper clippings, which LCARN used for research for their campaigns; these clippings now provide a broader context for their activities as well. The group remained active until 1992, but it was reorganized in 2016 with the same goals when David Duke ran in the United States senatorial election again.
Overall, the records give a deep insight into a particularly controversial and volatile period in Louisiana’s political history.
The finding aid with a detailed description of the materials in LCARN’s records can be found here.
Images are from the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism Records. Images from Amistad’s website, newsletters, and blogs cannot be reproduced without permission.