This man’s rhetoric poses a threat to the very humanity of college students. But who is this unassuming fellow, and how can his mere words threaten anyone’s humanity?
He is Dr. Charles Murray. The American Enterprise Institute’s biography notes:
Charles Murray is an Emeritus Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. A political scientist, author, and libertarian, he first came to national attention in 1984 with the publication of ‘Losing Ground,’ which has been credited as the intellectual foundation for the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. His 1994 New York Times bestseller ‘The Bell Curve’ (Free Press, 1994), coauthored with the late Richard J. Herrnstein, sparked heated controversy for its analysis of the role of IQ in shaping America’s class structure. Dr. Murray’s other books include ‘What It Means to Be a Libertarian’ (1997), ‘Human Accomplishment’ (2003), ‘In Our Hands’ (2006), ‘Real Education’ (2008), and the New York Times bestseller ‘Coming Apart’ (2012). His most recent book, ‘By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission’ (Crown Forum, 2015) urges Americans to stem governmental overreach and use America’s unique civil society to put government back in its place.
Dr. Murray has Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. in history from Harvard University.
In We Have Met The Enemy…, I documented Dr. Murray’s visit to Middlebury College on March 2 of 2017. An attempt by a rational and decent Democrat, Middlebury Professor Dr. Allison Stanger, ended in violence, and injury to Stanger as she and Murray fled a rampaging Leftist crowd.
The uproar was the usual progressive nonsense: Murry is racist, anti-gay, a white nationalist, sexist, and the enemy of Black Lives Matter and the Southern Poverty Law Center, which calumny is actually a badge of honor for rational people. The Bell Curve was widely cited as evidence for Murray’s racism—and the rest–by people who obviously haven’t read the book (I have). Also ignored is the fact that Murray is the father of mixed-race children. No rational, literate person reading any of Murray’s works could possibly find racism or any other progressive bugaboo, but of course, a lack of evidence, or its utter non-existence, never stops such people.
The lawlessness and insanity at Middlebury was so excessive, even by the usual standards of collegiate excess, it is a matter of urban legend, inspiring pride (for lunatics), and scorn (for the sane), even today, as The New Boston Post reports:
The editor-in-chief of Middlebury College’s student-run newspaper, responding to an apparent wave of criticism over his decision to run a photograph of conservative author Charles Murray on the paper’s front page, recently posted a profuse and rambling apology regarding the ‘jarring’ decision.
The mere publication of a photo of Murray and Stanger from a year ago was sufficient to trigger all manner of special snowflakes, who doubtless ran for safe spaces, Crayons, Play-Doh, and fluffy puppies. Some 60 Middlebury students were eventually disciplined in some way for their horrific 2017 behavior. Ethan Brady, the paper’s editor, wrote:
I wish to explain the photograph on page A1 to the readers. I recognize that it may be especially jarring, particularly for students of color who feel that Charles Murray’s rhetoric poses a threat to their very humanity. I also recognize that Murray’s visit to campus last March is an open wound for a campus trying desperately to move forward from it.
Brady bravely took full responsibility for the horror he visited on the campus, and explained:
This photograph is not meant to troll, or to cause pain, but to ask how that protest still lives with us today, one year later. For many, this image is burned in our collective memory. As much as we try to distance ourselves from that moment, we are made from it.
A better way to put it is: “the photo should remind us–every Middlebury protester–what utter asses we made of ourselves, an act for which we are alone responsible.”
I recognize that running this photograph is a political act. Yet I see no way to comprehend this institution without seeing ourselves as part of American society, which is itself political.
Should someone who thinks running a picture relating to a newsworthy event is a “political act” be the editor of a newspaper? This is obviously a classic case of projection. When I was in college back in the 1400s, few, if any, of us were engaged in politics. We were rather busy attending classes, studying, and sweating the next test. That so many students enrolled at Middlebury apparently have the time to do little but practice anarchy leads one to wonder if any of them bother to attend class, and if not, how might they be passing classes? It would be, one supposes, futile to ask if there might be any consequences for those not bothering to attend class, or failing classes? Brady, however, and one imagines, his compatriots and fellow students, apparently think of little but politics, so they assume everyone else is just like them instead of actually living meaningful, productive lives.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the people who think Murray’s words are violence were the ones who physically assaulted him and Stanger while they fled the chaos last year. Stanger ended up in the hospital with a neck brace. You might say that makes the students hypocrites—they’re against violence, and yet they engage in it—but I know from speaking to leftist students that the most radical activists would say there’s no tension here. They do not recognize a difference between words and actions, so when Murray and his problematic racial views came to campus, he essentially threw the first punch. The students’ violence was an act of self-defense, in their opinion.
And their opinions are so very, very informed and valuable, absolutely world changing.
The college-students-are-all-delicate-snowflakes charge is often leveled unfairly. But a bunch of young newspaper editors cowering in fear of printing a picture of Charles Murray is a reminder that there’s at least a kernel of truth to it.
I’m unaware of anyone suggesting that all college students are special snowflakes, but there is more than a kernel of truth to the assertion that a great many are, and that their professors and administrators not only abet such juvenile, idiotic, self-destructive behavior, they inspire it. Perhaps a whole cob of truth?
These are the people demanding a “dialogue” with normals. These are the people ready to respond to words as though they are criminal assault and battery, even if they’re unspoken, and even–particularly–if they’re imagined.
These, gentle readers, are the best and brightest–the future.