Friday, March 2, 2012

Screening of the Film "Backlash: Race and the American Dream" at the Louisiana Humanities Center

This looks like an interesting film.  March 13th at 6pm.  I pasted the announcement below.

For Immediate Release                                            
LHC Director Brian Boyles at 504.620.2632 or

Political enthusiasts, film buffs, historians this is an event just for you.
Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities on March 13th at 6 pm Turners' Hall • 938 Lafayette St. will screen Backlash: Race and the American Dream, a film about the controversial candidacy of David Duke's race for the United States Senate.

Shot on location during Duke's campaign for the U S Senate this film takes viewers behind the scenes inside Duke's controversial campaign. Rare footage comprises much of the one hour documentary. Clips from arcane sources and the rarely seen film from Klan rallies create a chilling backdrop for Duke's popularity. Clips of Leander Perez touring Dan Rather through the dankness of Fort Jackson in Plaquemines Parish where Perez threatens to jail the Freedom Fighters, images of Duke's infant daughter, Chloe, in baby Klan robes bouncing in a swing, and frothy rants of racist leaders against Martin Luther King create disturbing sequences that foreshadow the coded messages and enthusiasm of Duke and his followers.

Walter Goodman, TV critic for the New York Times, writes in his review of "Backlash" prior to its national screening on PBS, "Clips from speeches and interviews show that Mr. Duke's has tidied up his prose since the days when he wore the sheet and peddled Nazi pamphlets. But you don't have to be a historian to detect the nativist strains meant to incite white working class Americans who have been hurt by the recession.

His admirers seem to be longing for a return to what their man calls, "traditional western Christian values." Slogans of white pride are heard. As the historians note, the phenomenon is far from new, but these days those who probably would have been part of the white supremacy mobs 40 years ago tend to say as one does tonight, "I hope I don't sound like a racist." And that must be accounted as a sort of progress after all."

Running as a Republican State Representative David Duke's bid for the United States Senate creates the backdrop for the examination of the how and why such a controversial candidate, a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and a Nazi sympathizer such as David Duke could garner 44% of the popular vote in Louisiana in his bid for the United States Senate. The film takes viewers on an extensive tour of the origins of racial politics in modern American history.

Running time 58:30.

We invite you and your guests to join us for a wine reception at 6 followed by the screening at 6:30 and then a panel discussion with Wilma Heaton and Jacques Morial. Lead by Brian Boyles the panel will discuss the use of coded racial messages in current Louisiana political races. The film was produced and directed by Bess Carrick.
Noted author, Chris Wiltz, co-directed and co-wrote Backlash with Carrick.

For more information please contact LHC Director Brian Boyles at 504.620.2632 or

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