It is surprising that someone thought it appropriate to invite Dellums as a distinguished authority to speak on matters of social and political importance. Describing him as a "progressive Democrat" is a stretch. He is an avowed socialist, a supporter and admirer of Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez, and a man who believes that Aristide (a brutal leader and oppressor of poor people for whom he claims compassion) should be returned to power. He is a "respected activist" only in the minds of a handful of people. To most his beliefs are antithetical to the true meaning of American freedom and democracy.
That he was chosen as the inaugural speaker is quite telling — are we to expect that all of the Heath Distinguished Speakers will be Marxist, Socialists or Communists? Dellums' appearance sets such a tone.
The panel in charge of selecting speakers would be well advised to choose their next speaker from the likes of Shelby Steele, Walter Williams or Clarence Thomas to offer some balance, truth and clarity. Dellums was a poor choice — unless, of course, the Alfred O. Heath speaker is supposed to represent and advance the causes of Socialism, Marxism and Communism. If so, then I stand corrected — and bewildered.
Joseph R. Ballmer
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