Star Parker compared the killing of a Wichita abortion provider to the violence of the anti-slavery movement in a lecture that drew a standing ovation from about 400 people Monday night at Wichita State University.
Parker acknowledged that her statements in a question-and-answer session were bound to draw controversy, such as her opinions about the battle over abortion and racism.
But her passion for social conservatism pleased the mostly white, middle-aged audience at the Campus Activities Center Theatre.
Parker is an author and self-described "conservative crusader" currently on a national college lecture circuit and book tour. She's making several speeches this week in Wichita, and her campus appearance was part of the Civic Engagement Lecture Series sponsored by the Center for Student Leadership.
During her speech "Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: From Entitlement to Empowerment," Parker spoke of growing up a single mother who had four abortions.
Now she's a critic of social programs, public schools and birth control.
Parker said hard work, moral responsibility and educational freedoms, such as private-school vouchers, would end poverty.
"I do not believe the No. 1 problem confronting African-Americans is racism," Parker told the audience. "I believe the No. 1 challenge confronting African-Americans is sexual immorality."
Abortion and AIDS are what threatens African-American communities, Parker said.
That brought a few gasps.
"I know it's controversial," she said.
A question about the shooting death of Wichita abortion provider George Tiller led Parker to say that accused killer Scott Roeder illustrated the hopelessness among those who oppose abortion.
"I believe we are creating an environment where people are going to feel threatened," Parker said.
She compared Roeder to Nat Turner, who led an uprising against slavery in the 1831 uprising that left 55 people dead.
"It's also just as horrible to treat this man as a hero," she said of Tiller.
Parker compared abortion to slavery and the Holocaust.
"God will answer this, just as he did with slavery and the Holocaust," she said. "Then he will let history take over and your grandchildren will ask, 'What did you do about it?' "
But Parker also said the anti-abortion movement needed to carry its protest more quietly.
"We need to tone it down," she said.
Parker implored the audience to use the vote as its weapon.
She identified her enemies by letters: the ACLU, the NAACP, AARP and WHO.
"The World Health Organization is not a credible organization," Parker said, because it advocates sex education over abstinence.
Parker was on the end of an angry shout from one woman.
"The only welfare you're for is welfare for the rich," the woman said.
But Parker said poverty had flourished, especially among minority communities, during what she called "forced integration" and "social engineering."
"We want to create an environment where they can get what they need on their own," Parker said. "Where they have the freedom to go into a store and buy whatever they want based on their own hard work."
Parker said conservative think tanks such as the one she founded — CURE, Coalition for Urban Renewal and Education — are the foundation for social change.
"We are the thinkers who come up with the new ideas," she said. "They (the left) have had the same answers for the last 50 years."
Parker will speak today during a fundraiser for Pregnancy Crisis Center. It begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Beech Activity Center, 9710 E. Central Ave.
Tickets are $25 and may be purchased by calling the center at 316-945-9400.
Only a few dozen tickets remained Monday night.