Three years after violent attack, Charles Murray set for return to Middlebury
Murray will speak about his new book “Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class.”
Three years after Charles Murray was forced off stage and attacked by leftist protestsers at Middlebury College, the political scientist will return to speak again.
Three years after the infamous fiasco at Middlebury College, wherein leftist protestors derailed a speech by Charles Murray and subsequently attacked him, the political scientist will return to the college in Vermont.
In March 2017, 67 students were sanctioned for participating in shutting down Murray’s speech. Because of the overwhelming disruption and safety threat, Murray was forced to give his presentation via live-stream from a separate room.
While trying to make his way out of that room, Murray was attacked by a group of leftist protesters.
Now, three years later, the Middlebury College Republicans have reportedly invited Murray back to speak on March 31 about his new book Human Diversity: The Biology of Gender, Race, and Class.
The group’s co-presidents explained the reasoning behind its decision in a Wednesday op-ed titled”An invitation to reengage.”
“We believe that the way the administration and the protestors handled the 2017 event was a stain on Middlebury’s reputation and a betrayal of its mission of ‘creating a world with a robust and inclusive public sphere,’” Dominic Aiello and Brendan Philbin wrote, adding, “we believe that this public sphere is integral to the meaning of a liberal arts education and the freedom of academic inquiry.”
Aiello and Philbin asserted that commitment to academic freedom “must not only be professed but also practiced.”
“For the Middlebury community to live up to its mission statement, it must be willing and able to listen to, understand and challenge controversial ideas like those put forth by Murray,” wrote the pair, adding “A college and its students should not only engage with ideas that run counter to their own beliefs, but they should also seek them. We believe that it is when our own perspectives are challenged — not reinforced — that we are able to develop as thinkers.”
The group presidents went on to proclaim that “Murray’s work is influential in mainstream politics and therefore deserves a platform on which to be heard,” and quoted Weekly Standard founder Bill Kristol’s characterization of Murray as the country’s “leading living social scientist.”
Aiello and Philbin set forth a plan to “avoid many of the mistakes made in 2017,” including not repeating the “short notice” that “inhibited the ability of students, faculty and staff to thoroughly consider the most effective ways to respond to the event.”
The pair concluded with a statement encouraging “all constructive forms of support or opposition” to the event, writing, “we are fervent supporters of the right to peacefully protest and look forward to receiving input from the community in the coming months.”
Campus Reform reached out to the college for comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @celinedryan