BAKERSFIELD – Black community leaders announced plans to protest an appearance by former Education Secretary William Bennett, who is set to speak this weekend at the Bakersfield Business Conference. Bennett has been dogged by controversy after his comments last week on his “Morning in America” radio show. Bennett, the author of “The Book of Virtues,” was answering a caller’s question and took issue with the hypothesis put forth in a recent book that one reason crime is down is that abortion was legalized, reducing the number of unwanted babies. “But I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could, if that were your sole purpose, you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down,” Bennett said, adding that it would be “an impossible, ridiculous and morally reprehensible thing to do.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Bakersfield black community members gathered Monday night to plan strategy for the protest. “These are my grandbabies he’s talking about,” said Bernita Jenkins, a Democratic activist. “For him to insert black babies into the comment, it just kind of centers on a whole new frame of racism where we have not been before.” Bennett claims his comments were taken out of context. Keith Wolaridge, chairman of the Black Republicans in the County of Kern, called on Bennett to apologize. A spokesman said Monday that Bennett has no intention of apologizing or canceling his appearance. Bennett postponed an appearance planned for Tuesday at the University of Cincinnati after College Democrats at the school said they would protest.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!