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CCRI SUPPORTERS CRITICIZE CSUN'S PREFERENCE DEBATE : CO-AUTHOR BLASTS CHOICE OF DUKE.

Byline: Yvette Cabrera Daily News Staff Writer

Backers of the California Civil Rights Initiative say they are angry about a planned visit of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke to Cal State Northridge for a debate on affirmative action with civil rights activist Joe Hicks next month.

Supporters of Proposition 209 on the Nov. 5 ballot have tried to present the initiative, which would dismantle affirmative action in government programs, as an issue of fairness.

``(Duke) has the right to do it, but why go out of your way to invite him when we have far, far more competent people,'' said Glynn Custred, a co-author of Proposition 209. ``That's why I think it's a setup.''

The Sept. 25 debate was organized by the California State University, Northridge Associated Students and has yet to be approved by the student Senate, which is scheduled to vote on it Tuesday.

Student body President Vladimir Cerna said he proposed the idea of inviting Duke, a former Louisiana state legislator, because the debate will center around affirmative action, not CCRI.

``(Duke) is very outspoken on the issue,'' said Cerna. ``He's written books on it, he's gone on national television with it - that guy has built a reputation criticizing social programs such as affirmative action. He was the most obvious choice.

``I don't care if it's fair for the people of CCRI,'' said Cerna.

Cerna originally had envisioned a panel discussion on the issue and had invited speakers like retired Gen. Colin Powell, CCRI co-author Tom Wood, UC regent Ward Connerly, and state Sen. Tom Hayden, D-Los Angeles.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 29, 1996
Words:263
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