On Wednesday, September 30, Elbert Lee Guillory, the Head of Minority Outreach for the Louisiana Republican Party posted a “short conversation” that he had with a KKKlansman. In the short interview, the KKK member expressed “sadness and anger” at the fact that President Donald Trump designated the group as a terrorist organization.
“I’ll bet no one under 50 can remember the last lynching or cross burning or night riding by the klan. The terrorist grips (sic) in America are the Black Lives Matter and the Antifa. They are the ones burning, looting and killing in America’s cities,” the unidentified Klansman stated.
In the post, Guillory used a photo of well-known musician, actor, activist, and speaker Daryl Davis. Davis often speaks with and befriends members of the KKK in an attempt to educate Klansman on race and racial issues in America. Guillory claims he had similar intentions when posting the conversation with the Klansman – to educate minority voters.
“Friends, part of my job is to educate. To give you knowledge and some understanding. This was not to entertain you, not to tickle your funnybone, not to denounce nor support but simply to educate you.”
However, while Davis makes it clear that he vehemently disagrees with the KKK and their ideology, Guillory has echoed similar sentiments to the ones outlined by the Klansman. On his own website and social media channels he often refers to the Black Lives Matter movement as “rioters and arsonists,” and has been vocal about those who view systemic racism as a barrier to their success.
“I have a message for today’s victims of yesterday’s slavery,” Guillory states in one video. “Your great grandparents were not victims. They were slaves…Some rose up to positions of responsibility, supervising the Big House staff, or supervising the Big House kitchen. Or even old Uncle, who managed the logistics of the whole plantation. As in every society, the strong rose, the smart rose, the hard workers rose, the talented rose to positions of comfort and responsibility. None of them were victims, and they were slaves.”
In a second video discussing an incident where someone painted “the N-word” on the gate of basketball star Lebron James, Guillory further took aim at today’s Black youth. “I am sick up to here of hearing all of this whining, crying, and so-called victimization by a lot of young people today… [Lebron James] should have thanked this country – praised this country – which permits someone of limited intellect and limited academic achievement with some physical skills to become a multimillionaire,” Guillory said. (In fact, James maintained a 3.5 grade-point average during his senior year in high school and has been publicly praised by many of his former teachers for his academic successes.)
Guillory is known in Louisiana for his political antics. In 2007, Guillory switched from being an active member of the Louisiana Republican party to a running for (and winning) a Democratic house seat. In 2013, Guillory switched back to Republican – a move widely lauded by right-wing media personalities such as Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh.