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D.W. Duke: Overcoming Confrontation & Conflict

DW Duke is a California attorney and an author of six published books with three more books currently in production. His work has focused on human rights and empathy as a tool to overcome confrontation and conflict in the world.

DW currently is creating a series of biographical novels and screenplays about social justice issues. One of his books, Racism Awareness, scheduled to be released in March of 2023, addresses root causes of racism and presents effective ways to identify and eradicate it.

Another, ”Not Without a Fight,” is a biographical novel based on the true story of a Jewish boy who becomes a Resistance Fighter in World War II in Poland. The book’s message is we shouldn’t be erasing history, we should be learning from it. That’s timely.

It’s a pleasure for me and Mark Bello, co-host of the Justice Counts podcast, to welcome you, DW, to our podcast.

Mark– Welcome to the podcast. “Not Without A Fight” is your first book based upon a true story set during the Holocaust era. As most of our listeners know, I’m a Jewish Boy and I’ve also written a Holocaust novella, based on a true story. But, talk to us about your book, why you wrote it, and what message you would like readers to walk away with.

Bob – Your next book, The Duke Legacy, also is based on a true story, takes place during the civil war era, and tells the story of a young man growing up in the south, and is deeply troubled by slavery. It isn’t lost on me that the kid’s last name is Duke—Is this book about your own family and why did you write it?

Bob – Our country is struggling with the problems of discrimination and racism. Is that why you wrote “Racism Awareness?” Talk to us about that.

Mark: There is a rise in anti-Semitic activities and attitudes in America today. Jew hatred is on the rise. Do you see many parallels between what’s going on in America today and the rise of Nazism in Germany in the 1930s?

Bob – You have said that empathy is a tool in overcoming stereotypes and discrimination. I would agree with that, but it sounds rather simplistic. Can you elaborate for us? What can the average citizen do to improve our interreligious or interracial discourse?

Mark – I want to go back to “Not Without a Fight” for a moment. The boy who is the focus of the book survives the war. Did he continue his activism? What was his life like after the war?

Bob – Aside from our racial and religious differences, we have a serious political divide in America today. What can be we do to resolve, or at least ease, political polarization in the U.S.?

Mark – Bob tells me that there may be a movie in the works based on “Not Without a Fight.” That’s exciting. What is the status of this project and when might we be able to see the movie in theatres or on television?

Bob -- You have another biographical novel currently in production called “Because I’m Black.” What is that book about?

Mark: Your books are based on rather terrible periods in history. In the first two books, your two protagonists, Thomas Biebers and Washington Duke, hate what’s going on in their respective countries during their lifetimes. What would they think of modern day Germany and America? Would they be pleased or disappointed with our progress?

Bob – Your work on discrimination and religious hatred is note-worthy and your books take a fascinating look at troubling times. Where can people find these important books?

Mark: In the introduction, Bob mentioned that “Not Without a Fight” core message is that we shouldn’t be erasing history, we should be learning from it. What do you think of the current discussion in America about sugar-coating history books and book-banning?

Mark: Wow. DW? You are a man after my own heart. We are better than this. We do not need to be an “us” vs. “them” society. As Rodney King said all those years ago: “Can’t we all get along?” Continued success with your career and lots of luck with “Because I’m Black.”

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