Once again, violence is apparently the answer if a college speaker is “controversial.”
Eugene Volokh quotes a Vermont paper:
Middlebury College Professor Allison Stanger was injured by protesters Thursday evening as she was escorting a controversial speaker from campus. She was treated at Porter Hospital and released….
As Stanger, [Charles] Murray and a college administrator left McCullough Student Center last evening following [Murray’s speech] they were “physically and violently confronted by a group of protestors,” according to Bill Burger, the college’s vice president for communications and marketing.
Burger said college public safety officers managed to get Stanger and Murray into the administrator’s car.
“The protestors then violently set upon the car, rocking it, pounding on it, jumping on and try to prevent it from leaving campus,” he said. “At one point a large traffic sign was thrown in front of the car. Public Safety officers were able, finally, to clear the way to allow the vehicle to leave campus.
“During this confrontation outside McCullough, one of the demonstrators pulled Prof. Stanger’s hair and twisted her neck,” Burger continued. “She was attended to at Porter Hospital later and (on Friday) is wearing a neck brace.”
Murray wrote The Bell Curve, a book which suggested there may be differences in intelligence between racial groups. Which is to say, he actually studied a topic which he knew would get him branded as a heretic, then published a book of his findings. I have no idea if he’s right.
As folks know, I teach. I know brilliant kids of all races, and children who are given lesser academic skill. That second category includes all races as well. Murray might be all wet, but apparently he wasn’t even planning to talk about this at Middlebury.
He might have been right or he might have been wrong in that book, or in whatever else he was going to speak about; I don’t know enough about those questions to speak confidently about that. But the point of universities, of public debate more broadly, and especially of debate about science is to discuss whether these sorts of scientific assertions are right and wrong, not to assume that one view is right and then shout down or physically attack those who disagree with it.
A note to the campus idiots who did this:
You overpriveledged, arrogant twits have no reason to resort to violence to shut down a speaker. You’ve made yourselves the fascists, jackbooted thugs in the service of orthodoxy. If someone strays from the path, proposes a notion which you cannot process, then apparently you figure beating them, pulling their hair and sending them to the emergency room is the answer.
Have your teachers never taught you to listen to opposing views? Have your parents not taught you compassion? Does it not occur to you that a huge number of people in this world disagree with your ideas, and that one day you might be targeted with violence just for holding a controversial view? Are you prepared for that kind of world?
You are the lynch mobs. You are now Bull Connor, ordering water hoses to be used against those who hold opposing views. You are one step away from being James Earl Ray, aiming a weapon at someone whose ideas scare you. You’re wearing the brown shirts now, hoisting a beer and planning to break a few windows.
Martin Luther King, Robert Kennedy, Rosa Parks and all of your supposed heroes would have opposed this. I oppose it. You should be ashamed, but in your life you’ve been sheltered from that notion.
You are wrong.