College cancels Charles Murray over 'mere threat' of Antifa
Controversial economist and author Charles Murray was recently disinvited from speaking at Assumption College due to alleged safety concerns.
The Boston Globe, in an article highlighting Murray’s recent appearance at Harvard University, mentions in passing that it had been informed by Murray of the disinvitation, reporting that Murray had been invited by faculty to speak at the college, but that the offer was later revoked, which Murray called “very sad.”
"[This shows] groups like Antifa that the mere threat of their tactics is enough to cow us into submission."
Meanwhile, The Telegram confirmed with both the university and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Murray’s employer, that the disinvitation had nothing to do with his research, but was based solely on the school’s inability to respond in the event of a violent protest such as occurred at Middlebury College earlier this year.
In fact, while there was no explicit threat of a protest, recent violence both at Murray’s talks and around the country led to the event’s cancellation, Executive Director of Communication Michael Guilfoyle told The Telegram.
Some, however, disagree with the move, including Professor Bernard Dobski, chair of the Department of Political Science, which was set to host Murray.
Dobski saw the cancellation as a form of giving into the tactics of Antifa, saying the disinvitation shows “groups like Antifa that the mere threat of their tactics is enough to cow us into submission.”
“At a time when competition among colleges over a shrinking student population is fierce, the decision to have Dr. Murray on our campus would distinguish us from so many of our regional peers,” Dobski told Campus Reform.
“And we would be giving unwitting support to organizations like the Southern Poverty and Law Center (SPLC), who unjustly smear Murray's name,” he added, noting that he even wrote to the school’s president to encourage him to move forward with the event.
“But he ultimately insisted that his first priority must be the safety of both the students and our guests, and that in light of information shared with him by state, city, and local police regarding potential off-campus threats, he thought it best to cancel the lecture,” he told Campus Reform, pointing out that Murray’s recent lecture at Harvard went smoothly.
“One might simply note that Murray's talk at Harvard on Wednesday night was met with protests, but they were peaceful,” he said. “If such a high-profile event at the epicenter of the academic world in the middle of Cambridge doesn't draw the attention of violent protesters, then it is certainly fair to wonder if a similar event at our relatively modest institution, tucked away in the quiet neighborhoods of Worcester, would have drawn the ire and energies of a fractious mob.”
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