One of this election season's most controversial critiques of President Barack Obama will take center stage in Charlotte this weekend. Conservative author Dinesh D'Souza will offer his first public lecture on his claim that Obama is basing his White House decisions on the anticolonial views espoused by his African father in the 1950s and '60s.
D'Souza launched this theory - hailed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, dismissed by former Secretary of State Colin Powell - in a recent Forbes magazine cover story titled "How Obama Thinks." He elaborates on it in his new book, "The Roots of Obama's Rage," which is a best-seller.
Though D'Souza appeared last week on CNN and on Fox's "Glenn Beck" show, his Charlotte appearance "is my first scheduled lecture," he told the Observer during an interview. He also addressed criticisms of the article that the White House has called "so lacking in truth and fact."
In the Observer interview, D'Souza defended his article, and especially his book.
"It is not a crude Obama-bashing book," he said. "It's a search for an explanatory framework for Obama. Its strength is its ability to account for a lot of little details about Obama that no other theory can account for."
D'Souza, 49, is coming to Charlotte to be part of the 17th annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics. C-SPAN and possibly Fox News Channel are sending crews to cover his lecture, scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday in the worship center at Northside Baptist Church, 333 Jeremiah Boulevard.
A policy analyst in the Reagan administration, D'Souza now writes conservative books (including "The Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and its Responsibility for 9-11") and serves as president of King's College in New York City.
He appeared at last year's Christian apologetics conference in Charlotte, too, debating atheist writer Christopher Hitchens about religion and life after death. This year, because of interest in his book, he said he's ditching his planned talk about ways to defend Christianity and will instead be talking politics - with the midterm elections just a few weeks away.
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