HBCU Protesters Arrested, Pepper Sprayed for Calling Out School Administration for Hosting David Duke

Black students were pepper sprayed and arrested outside a Louisiana senate debate featuring former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke, Wednesday night, Nov. 2.

Historically Black college Dillard University, located in New Orleans, hosted Duke despite campus-wide outcry from students. During Wednesday’s protests, there were an estimated 75 students outside the auditorium attempting to get in. However, security guards forced student protesters back with batons and pepper spray.

According to local news outlet WWL-TV, Dillard student Breial Kennedy tells reporters that she was detained for protesting a confirmed white supremacist. She adds that school’s administration ignored the concerns of the students.

“Why am I being detained?,” she asks. “Not the terrorist that’s on our campus! Our president who has yet to respond to the student body. So that was my only concern. Why am I being detained when I am not in the wrong?”

The hour-long debate was closed off to other media and was sponsored by Raycom Media. WWL reports that the auditorium was also closed to the public.

According to Think Progress, police reportedly attempted to tase a student protester. While Duke’s presence at the university was the main bone of contention, many protesters felt school president Walter Kimbrough was a “sellout” and “Uncle Tom” for giving the OK.

Student leader Brunisha Jones told media that Kimbrough never responded to their letter of demands about safety sent out Monday or spoke to the students directly.

“He’s sent emails and he’s tweeted, but he hasn’t talked to us personally. A list of demands were sent and they were never responded to,” she said. “So even if we were to get a no or just some kind of respect … We never got that respect and that was our main problem and why we decided to still protest.”

Since the rise of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Duke has admitted to using the real estate mogul’s campaign and white nationalist appeal to spark a new political career.

Here is more of the chaos captured by Buzzfeed:

Back to top