Politically Controversial Figures Donna Brazile, Charles Murray to Speak in Dallas Next Month

Two public figures who have sparked controversy in actions and words will speak be in Dallas on the same day next month to speak at different venues.Liberal political strategist Donna Brazile and conservative political scientist Charles Murray both will each speak here Oct. 20.Murray will speak at noon at the Institute for Policy Innovation's Hatton W. Sumners Distinguished Lecture Series at Hotel Intercontinental Dallas, 15201 Dallas Pkwy. in Addison. Sumners was a Democratic congressman from Garland from 1913 to 1947. The son of a captain in the Confederate Army, Sumners opposed a 1920s bill to prevent lynching and often expressed racist views toward African-Americans.For Brazile, the public will gather for a 6 p.m. reception and a 7 p.m. dinner and program at the Dallas Black Chamber of Commerce's annual awards dinner at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown Dallas, 1717 N. Akard St. Businesses and people who have helped improve Dallas' black community will be honored.Murray, also an author and columnist, will give a speech called "Stifling Free Speech on Campus (and What It Means for the Rest of Us)." In March, protesters disrupted a talk by Murray at Middlebury College in Vermont. The speech was moved from campus, and he later delivered it via closed-circuit broadcast. More than 60 students were disciplined after the protest, in which some people were injured.Murray gained notoriety in 1994 with publication of the incendiary book The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, which he co-wrote with the late Harvard University professor Richard Herrnstein. The book prompted vigorous debate and protests from African-Americans, liberals and social advocates who claimed that its premise was racist.The book declares in essence that a person advances socially and economically based on his or her intelligence and that poor people and certain ethnic groups are poor inherently because of low intelligence. It also asserts that welfare payments cripple instead of help recipients. Murray argued then and now that much of his thesis was misunderstood and misinterpreted and that his analyses are essentially correct.  Continue reading...

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