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Statement from OCPA President Jonathan Small on Harry Belafonte’s Visit to OU This Week

February 8, 2017 - 12:00am CST

“Harry Belafonte recently described the presidency of Donald Trump as ‘the Fourth Reich.’ At a time when Oklahoma’s higher education system is asking for increased government subsidies, and when privately raised funds could be used for noble purposes such as reducing tuition costs, why would the state’s flagship university choose to stick a thumb in the eye of the 65 percent of Oklahomans who voted for Mr. Trump? Is OU’s guest suggesting that 65 percent of Oklahomans are essentially Nazis?

“Mr. Belafonte is a radical leftist who has praised Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez, and Cold War spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. He has suggested that black Republicans such as Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice are race traitors or house slaves. As a black Oklahoman who has worked in Oklahoma City public schools, who helped create an organization that will give millions of scholarship dollars to needy Oklahoma students, and who runs an organization that fights every day for the most vulnerable among us, I find it offensive that President David Boren and the University of Oklahoma are going to such great lengths to promote someone who refers to people like me as house slaves.

“Though Mr. Belafonte has every right to speak on campus, taxpayers have every right to wonder why so many tax-funded administrators and faculty give preferential treatment to the cultural Left and why prominent black conservatives don’t receive equal billing.”