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Taxpayers off the hook for Rev. Jeremiah Wright speech

4 years 5 months 1 week ago Tuesday, February 03 2015 Feb 3, 2015 February 03, 2015 2:23 AM February 03, 2015 in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Mark Armstrong

BATON ROUGE- Taxpayer money will not be used to pay for Rev. Jeremiah Wright's speaking fee at Southern University later this month. Wright is best known for controversial statements he made from the pulpit of his Chicago church, a congregation whose members once included President Barack Obama.

Wright will be the main speaker for a Black History month event at the public university. Officials at Southern say the money to pay for Wright's visit is coming from a private donor, but the amount was not disclosed.

The event is being organized by William Arp, the Dean for the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. Arp says he chose Wright for his affiliation to the President and his expertise in religion. "Our students must be exposed to different ideas, different ways of thinking," said Arp.

Monday, WBRZ News 2 reached out to members of Baton Rouge's political and religous community about Wright's scheduled speech. Many said they're opposed to a public university hosting such a polarizing figure, but they were unwilling to speak out publicly because of fear of being labeled racist.

The event featuring Wright will be held at 11am on Thursday, February 19th in the Student Union at Southern University.


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