Captain America actor Chris Evans is once again channelling Steve Rogers today. But this time he’s doing it on Twitter instead of the silver screen. And he’s taking on real life white supremacist David Duke in a war of words over the confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Duke, a former one-term Louisiana State Representative, unsuccessfully ran for the Democratic presidential primaries in 1988, and the Republican primaries in 1992. He also ran for, and failed to win, the Louisiana governorship, and seats in the United Congress and Senate.
A white nationalist, anti-Semite and Holocaust denier, Duke founded the Louisiana-based Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in 1974, and served as its Grand Wizard for a time. He told the Daily Telegraph that he resigned in 1980 because he "disliked its associations with violence and could not stop the members of other Klan chapters from doing 'stupid or violent things'."
To this day, Duke continues to be a central figure in white supremacist circles. His Twitter feed is a non-stop barrage of xenophobic rhetoric that would make the Red Skull blush. Actor Evans took umbrage with Duke's praise of just-confirmed Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Duke fired back with his trademark vitriol. He called Evans a "typical dumb actor" and followed up by asking whether "Captain America" supported his anti-semitic views. Clearly, the former Klansman missed the history lesson about Jewish creators Joe Simon and Jack Kirby birthing Captain America to protest the United States' failure to enter World War II.
Typical dumb actor - if everything I say is wrong, then when I say I oppose these Zionists wars, you must be for them, Captain America!? https://t.co/fsxQHgzdWD— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) February 9, 2017
As Joe Simon's daughter, Melissa Groben, told THR's Heat Vision last week "Captain America was created while the Jews were being killed off in Europe. And my father, being Jewish, and Jack [Kirby] being Jewish, were enraged that America was not over there with our military strength. They created Captain America to go after Hitler because our country wouldn’t go after Hitler."
Then there was that iconic cover of Captain America #1, which showed the hero punching out the Füher himself.
Evans, who is the nephew of Democratic Massachussetts congressman Mike Capuanoa, told Esquire Middle East that he might one day consider a run for office: "I’ve always thought it would be nice one day to think about some sort of political pursuit," he explained to interviewer Kate Hazell, "I’m so proud of my uncle and of anyone who dedicates themselves to helping the progression of society in exacting change for the betterment of mankind. Ultimately, there’s very few things that I consider to be noble and challenging. I know that Washington is a tough place. I have my opinions and maybe later on in life I might try and actually get up on a soap box."
The actor's response to Duke's racist screed was eloquent, and called out the former legislator's past objectionable utterances.
well if these nuggets of bigotry are some of your OTHER thoughts, then I stand by my original tweet https://t.co/YSrOCDuyBw— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) February 9, 2017
A true gentleman, Evans concluded on a hopeful and positive note.
We can't let hatred be the loudest voice. https://t.co/bqRPRXo453— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) February 9, 2017