6 months ago
In a personal essay, conservative political thinker Charles Murray has broken his silence on the physical intimidation he encountered at the hands of protesters after a guest lecture he gave last week at Middlebury College in Vermont.
Murray was set to speak on how the presidential election relates to themes in his book Coming Apart: The State of White America when protesters overwhelmed the hall with chanting and shouts, forcing him and political science Professor Allison Stanger, the moderator, to move to a second location. Loud protesting turned violent after they tried to leave the building. While Murray was unhurt by the group of an estimated 20 people, Stanger did not walk away unscathed.
“I didn’t see it happen, but someone grabbed Allison’s hair just as someone else shoved her from another direction, damaging muscles, tendons, and fascia in her neck. I was stumbling because of the shoving,” Murray writes. “If it hadn’t been for Allison and Bill keeping hold of me and the security guards pulling people off me, I would have been pushed to the ground. That much is sure.”
A scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, Murray notes that he is concerned about the place for free speech on campus across America.
“If this becomes the new normal, the number of colleges willing to let themselves in for an experience like Middlebury’s will plunge to near zero. Academia is already largely sequestered in an ideological bubble, but at least it’s translucent. That bubble will become opaque.”
Read more about his reflection on the events in Middlebury here. Watch part of the protest below.