To the trustees of Sierra College and President (William H.) Duncan re: Thursday, March 21 panel/discussion on the death penalty on campus.
The March 22 Auburn Journal published an article on the event titled “Panel tells students about state’s death penalty flaws.”
The article states “Hundreds of Sierra College students packed the Dietrich Theatre in Rocklin to capacity Thursday to listen to a discussion from legal exerts on California’s death penalty ... The presentation depicted a broken system featuring a racially disproportionate death row... Though the speaker series is billed as offering a ‘diversity of viewpoints,’ none of the panelists spoke in support of the death penalty ... .”
From my perspective, given the fact that the panel lacked balance in viewpoints, I interpret this event to be one of a brainwashing session. As an educator myself, I look upon our educational institutions as a place to culture independent thinking. To hold sessions on campus with one point of view doesn’t instill this goal! I wonder how many professors encouraged their students to attend by giving them extra credit points for attendance!
I also believe speaker (Paul) Comiskey made several race-baiting comments. To quote him, “If you killed a black person or killed a white person, you’re four or five times more likely to get the death penalty for killing a white person. It’s racist ... .”
Given the fact that Prop. 34, to eliminate the death penalty in California, was defeated by a majority of the voters last November, the opposition has chosen once again to misuse our educational institutions for brainwashing our younger voters to support their cause. And how can it be forgotten that Sen. Darrel Steinberg did just that last fall in the political awareness event held on the Sierra campus. Deceptively he morphed his education speech into a “yes” on Prop. 30 (to raise our taxes).
Let this letter serve as an official complaint that for a second time in six months, an event was held on Sierra’s campus which did not present a balanced view point, but rather a brainwashing event. From my perspective this is a misuse of our higher learning institutions. I would appreciate the trustees and president Duncan look into this matter. Thank you.
Dianne Foster, Foresthill