The Murray/Middlebury College/Stanger incident

The subject of the attempted talk by Charles Murray at Middlebury College on 2017-03-02
was his 2012 book Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010.
Evidently a topic the left wishes to monopolize the discussion of.

Middlebury College information page on
"The Charles Murray Event at Middlebury College"

short, 28 second video of the protest

43 minute video of the events in the auditorium, set to start with the introduction of Charles Murray

Middlebury vice president Bill Burger addresses the mob at 38:25,
Professor Allison Stanger addresses it at 41:10.
I wonder why the width of the video is truncated.

‘Grave concerns’ over controversial Middlebury speaker
by Mark Johnson
VTDigger.org, 2017-02-26

Middlebury president to join audience for divisive speaker
by Mark Johnson
VTDigger.org, 2017-02-27


The controversy, Burger said, has prompted the college
to move the lecture to a room that can hold twice as many people.
Students and faculty with Middlebury IDs will be allowed in until five minutes before the event,
when any unused seats will be made available to the public, Burger said.


Video Recording of Charles Murray and Prof. Allison Stanger (1:15:10)
Middlebury College "News Room", 2017-03-06

On March 2, 2017, Charles Murray attempted to give a talk,
which was to have been followed by a question and answer session,
in Wilson Hall on the Middlebury College campus.
When student protestors disrupted the talk,
Murray and Middlebury College Prof. Allison Stanger,
who was to moderate the Q & A, moved to a video studio
that had been set up for the occasion
so that Murray could give his talk with questions to follow by Stanger.
Interested viewers submitted questions using Twitter,
which preserved some of the interactive nature of the event that was planned.

Murray came to Middlebury
at the invitation of the American Enterprise Institute Club,
an organization of Middlebury College students.

The video below [on the web page at the Middlebury web site] is of mixed quality.
You will hear the sounds of protestors inside and outside
the building where the recording was made.
The conversation also was interrupted several times by fire alarms
set off by protestors in the building.
Even with this, a careful watching and listening will allow the viewer
to hear Mr. Murray’s abbreviated talk
and his answers to the questions asked of him by Professor Stanger.

[KH Comments:
Too bad there is not, AFAIK, a transcript of this exchange.

When I watched the video, above and beyond
the fire alarms, poundings, and chants which were clearly caused by the protestors,
there were a number of places where the video simply broke up.
E.g., from 14:50 to 15:15, 20:15 to 20:42, 24:20 to 24:32.
This seems a problem with the video, and I wonder why it is.

Murray's solo talk ends, and the Q&A with Allison Stanger starts, at 26:15.

Stanger starts with questions on three topics:
  • 27:30 American "exceptionalism"
  • 35:20 free markets
  • 41:10 equality
53:25 On to questions from Twitter.
Brief discussion of why Ashkenazi Jews were ignored in The Bell Curve,
Prof. Stanger reacts strongly (note her "Yeah, yeah.") 1:00:10.

Aha, at 1:04:50 Stanger tells us that
her husband is the son of a Holocaust survivor who lost 52 family members in the Holocaust.
When he say a quote about genes, "It pushed all his buttons entirely."
(Thanks, Allison, for that inside view.)
So, because of the Holocaust, we must deny that genetics can affect behavior?
Personally, I would rather simply outlaw genocide.
It is not necessary to deny genetic factors in behavior to prevent genocide, or whatever else Jews rightly fear.

If I am understanding correctly what Stanger says a little later about what Shirley Tilghman is teaching now at Princeton,
Tilghman is teaching PC lies.
But I'm not confident I really got what Stanger said.
In any case,
the discussion about genetics starting at 1:04:35 is VERY interesting.
Murray begins his precise explanation at 1:06:10

1:08:38 Question on job loss in America -- artificial intelligence, etc.

Question to Middlebury College:
Why the &^%*$# wasn't the building cleared of the people making all that noise
so Murray and Stanger could have a conversation without all that racket?
There is NO justification for letting those thugs disturb the conversation.
Doesn't Middlebury have the balls to take such a building clearing action?
Obviously not.

/s/ KHarbaugh]

Protesters Disrupt Speech by ‘Bell Curve’ Author at Vermont College
New York Times, 2017-03-03

[This was also covered by Inside Higher Ed.]

BOSTON — Hundreds of students at Middlebury College in Vermont shouted down a controversial speaker on Thursday [2017-03-02] night, disrupting a program and confronting the speaker in an encounter that turned violent and left a faculty member injured.

Laurie L. Patton, the president of the college, issued an apology on Friday to all who attended the event and to the speaker, Charles Murray, 74, whose book “The Bell Curve,” published in 1994, was an explosive treatise arguing that blacks were intellectually inferior to whites because of their genetic makeup.

“Today our community begins the process of addressing the deep and troubling divisions that were on display last night,” Ms. Patton said in her statement, adding that the Middlebury community had “failed to live up to our core values.” She said that some of the protesters appeared to be from elsewhere but that Middlebury students had also been involved.

The chaotic scene at the small liberal arts college in Vermont drew sharp criticism from the right. Conservatives said that the students were intolerant, had engaged in mob mentality and were quashing free speech, while those on the left maintained that the speaker was racist and hateful and had no place on their campus.


[W]hen Mr. Murray rose to speak, he was shouted down by most of the more than 400 students packed into the room, several witnesses said.
Many turned their backs to him and chanted slogans like “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, Charles Murray go away!”

After almost 20 minutes, it was clear that he would not be able to give his speech, said Mr. Burger, the spokesman. Anticipating that such an outcry might happen, Mr. Murray was moved to a separate room equipped with a video camera so that Allison Stanger, a Middlebury professor of international politics and economics, could interview him over a live stream.
[Bill Burger, a spokesman for the college,] said
the administration felt strongly that Mr. Murray’s right to free speech should be protected and that “no one should have the heckler’s veto.”

Once the interview began in the second room, protesters swarmed into the hallway, chanting and pulling fire alarms.
Still, the interview was completed and officials, including Ms. Stanger, escorted Mr. Murray out the back of the building.

There, several masked protesters, who were believed to be outside agitators,
began pushing and shoving Mr. Murray and Ms. Stanger, Mr. Burger said.
“Someone grabbed Allison’s hair and twisted her neck,”
he said.

After the two got into a car, Mr. Burger said,
protesters pounded on it, rocked it back and forth, and jumped onto the hood.
Ms. Stanger later went to a hospital, where she was put in a neck brace.


Middlebury College professor injured by protesters as she escorted controversial speaker
Addison Independent, 2017-03-03


Sgt. Mike Christopher of the town of Middlebury Police Department said
local officers were on campus but hadn’t heard about the attack.

[Way to go, Middlebury College.
Why take effective action to protect your speaker from harm on is way out?
Why, that might take some intelligence.]

Middlebury College students block controversial speaker
by Emily Greenberg
vtdigger.org, 2017-03-03

Shouting Down a Lecture
By Scott Jaschik
Inside Higher Ed, 2017-03-03

Facebook post by Allison Stanger describing the events at the attempted Charles Murray lecture at Middlebury College
by Allison Stanger
Facebook post, 2017-03-04 at 0818

[Cut-and-paste of what was there on 2017-03-07 at 1800.
I apologize to Ms. Stanger for copying her words,
but I feel that they are important to our understanding of what happened,
and fear that, for one reason or another,
she may delete them from her Facebook page.
Thus I record them here, rather than merely linking to that page.]

I apologize for the impersonal and lengthy nature of this communication, but I wanted to provide a general response to the many people who wrote to me on Friday, and this was the most efficient way to do so. Your cards, gifts, and letters have meant so much to me. Please know that I will be responding to you individually in due time.

I agreed to participate in the event with Charles Murray, because several of my students asked me to do so. They are smart and good people, all of them, and this was their big event of the year. I actually welcomed the opportunity to be involved, because while my students may know I am a Democrat, all of my courses are nonpartisan, and this was a chance to demonstrate publicly my commitment to a free and fair exchange of views in my classroom. As the campus uproar about his visit built, I was genuinely surprised and troubled to learn that some of my faculty colleagues had rendered judgement on Dr. Murray’s work and character, while openly admitting that they had not read anything he had written. With the best of intentions, they offered their leadership to enraged students, and we all now know what the results were.

I want you to know what it feels like to look out at a sea of students yelling obscenities at other members of my beloved community. There were students and faculty who wanted to hear the exchange, but were unable to do so, either because of the screaming and chanting and chair-pounding in the room, or because their seats were occupied by those who refused to listen, and they were stranded outside the doors. I saw some of my faculty colleagues who had publicly acknowledged that they had not read anything Dr. Murray had written join the effort to shut down the lecture. All of this was deeply unsettling to me. What alarmed me most, however, was what I saw in student eyes from up on that stage. Those who wanted the event to take place made eye contact with me. Those intent on disrupting it steadfastly refused to do so. It was clear to me that they had effectively dehumanized
me. They couldn’t look me in the eye, because if they had, they would have seen another human being. There is a lot to be angry about in America today, but nothing good ever comes from demonizing our brothers and sisters.

Things deteriorated from there as we went to another location in an attempt to salvage the event via live-stream for those who were still interested in engaging. I want you to know how hard it was for us to continue with fire alarms going off and enraged students and outside agitators banging on the windows. I thought they were going to break through, and I then wondered what would happen next. It is hard to think and listen in such an environment. I am proud that we somehow continued the conversation. Listen to the video and judge for yourself whether this was an event that should take place on a college campus.

When the event ended, and it was time to leave the building, I breathed a sigh of relief. We had made it. I was ready for dinner and conversation with faculty and students in a tranquil setting. What transpired instead felt like a scene from Homeland rather than an evening at an institution of higher learning. We confronted an angry mob as we tried to exit the building. Most of the hatred was focused on Dr. Murray, but when I took his right arm both to shield him from attack and to make sure we stayed together so I could reach the car too, that’s when the hatred turned on me. One thug grabbed me by the hair and another shoved me in a different direction. I noticed signs with expletives and my name on them. There was also an angry human on crutches, and I remember thinking to myself, “What are you doing? That’s so dangerous!” For those of you who marched in Washington the day after the inauguration, imagine being in a crowd like that, only being surrounded by hatred rather than love. I feared for my life.

Once we got into the car, the intimidation escalated. That story has already been told well. What I want you to know is how it felt to land safely at Kirk Alumni Center after taking a decoy route. I was so happy to see my students there to greet me. I took off my coat and realized I was hungry. I told a colleague in my department that I felt proud of myself for not having slugged someone. Then Bill Burger charged back into the room (he is my hero) and told Dr. Murray and I to get our coats and leave—NOW. The protestors knew where the dinner was. We raced back to the car, driving over the curb and sidewalk to escape quickly. It was then we decided that it was probably best to leave town.

After the adrenaline and a martini (full disclosure; you would have needed a martini too) wore off, I realized that there was something wrong with my neck. My husband took me to the ER, and President Patton, God bless her, showed up there, despite my insistence that it was unnecessary. I have a soft brace that allowed me, after cancelling my Friday class, resting up all day, and taking painkillers, to attend our son’s district jazz festival. He’s a high school senior who plays tenor sax, and I cried when I realized that these events had not prevented me from hearing him play his last district concert.

To people who wish to spin this story as one about what’s wrong with elite colleges and universities, you are mistaken. Please instead consider this as a metaphor for what is wrong with our country, and on that, Charles Murray and I would agree. This was the saddest day of my life. We have got to do better by those who feel and are marginalized. Our 230-year constitutional democracy depends on it, especially when our current President is blind to the evils he has unleashed. We must all realize the precious inheritance we have as fellow Americans and defend the Constitution against all its enemies, both foreign and domestic. That is why I do not regret my involvement in the event with Dr. Murray. But as we find a way to move forward, we should also hold fast to the wisdom of James Baldwin, “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”

Your fellow citizen and Middlebury community member,
Allison Stanger

Middlebury Students: College Administrator and Staff Assault Students, Endanger Lives After Murray Protest
beyondthegreenmidd.wordpress.com, 2017-03-04

[This anonymously written statement purports to give the view of some of the goons and thugs who, by their own statement, tried to prevent Murray and Stanger from leaving the campus.]


Burger, Stanger, and Murray left McCullough around 7:00 p.m.,
surrounded by security personnel.
Community members and students lined the path to their car,
chanting and holding signs as the group left the building.
One person blocked the sidewalk, holding a large sign in front of Murray.
In the first of a series of disproportional and escalating acts of violence,
security personnel immediately and without warning
began pushing and pulling protesters out of the way
as soon as they were within arm’s reach.
Some people were thrown to the ground by security personnel,
and one person was struck hard in the chest.
A student reports that
Professor Stanger’s hair was not intentionally pulled
but was inadvertently caught in the chaos that Public Safety incited.
It is irresponsible to imply that a protester aggressively and intentionally pulled her hair.

Protesters then surrounded the parked car, with some pushing on the sides of the car.
[Get that.
One of the chants used to prevent Murray from speaking was
"Sexist, racist, anti-gay. Charles Murray go away."
But when he tries to go away, these turds, by their own admission,
surround his car to prevent his leaving.
It seems pretty clear that their only purpose was intimidation.]

Several people stood behind the car, yet Burger attempted to back out of the parking spot.
[Duh. Yeah, when Murray et al. got in the car,
they were planning to leave.
What more evidence do you need that purpose of this mob was intimidation and harassment?]

He managed to back out by inching through a throng of security personnel and protesters.
He proceeded to drive through the crowd.
[Apparently the car was on a legal roadway.
Just what right did these protestors have to try to prevent the car from leaving the campus?
They had already prevented Murray from giving his lecture.
What was the reason for interfering with his exit from the campus?
It is clear to me, by their own account,
that these people are simply goons.]

At times Burger accelerated forward into protesters.
Security personnel pushed, grabbed and dragged students and community members to the asphalt to clear the area around the car.
Security personnel inflicted bruises and other physical harm on many people.
One observer states that they saw Public Safety Telecom Manager and Tech Support Specialist, Solon Coburn,
put his body between outside security personnel and protesters,
mitigating security personnel’s unacceptable over-reactions.

A traffic sign with a concrete base was knocked over in the path of the car.
[This is a legitimate act?]
Burger was warned to stop by hand gestures and verbal warnings from multiple officers and protesters standing directly in front of the car.
[Why didn't the "protestors" get out of the way of the car?]
Instead, he accelerated into them and the concrete base,
wedging a student between the car and the sign post,
pushing both for a couple seconds and generating sparks and loud screeching.
Burger showed no signs of stopping the car so people attempted to slow the car down to ensure the safety of the pinned student.
Fortunately, someone was able to yank the student up from between the car and the sign post before the student was injured or killed.
The sign was righted and Burger continued attempting to build up speed,
at times running into protesters at around 5 miles per hour,
sending people onto the hood of the car.
[Yo. Why didn't these people simply get out of the way of the car?
If they want to make their opinions known,
they can show signs, make their comments verbally, shake their fists, make obscene gestures.
But why block the car leaving the campus?
That is pure harassment.]


Middlebury Students: College Administrator and Staff Assault Students, Endanger Lives After Murray Protest
by Anon (keychainmail)
Middbeat, 2017-03-04

Reflections on the revolution in Middlebury
by Charles Murray
AEI, 2017-03-05

[0.0] A few months ago, AEI’s student group at Middlebury College invited me to speak on the themes in Coming Apart and how they relate to the recent presidential election. Professor Allison Stanger of the Political Science Department agreed to serve as moderator of the Q&A and to ask the first three questions herself.

[0.1] About a week before the event, plans for protests began to emerge, encouraged by several faculty members. Their logic was that since I am a racist, a white supremacist, a white nationalist, a pseudoscientist whose work has been discredited, a sexist, a eugenicist, and (this is a new one) anti-gay, I did not deserve a platform for my hate speech, and hence it was appropriate to keep me from speaking.

[0.3] Last Wednesday, the day before the lecture was to occur, I got an email from Bill Burger, Vice President for Communications at Middlebury. The size and potential ferocity of the planned protests had escalated. We agreed to meet at the Middlebury Inn an hour before the lecture so that we could go over a contingency plan: In the event that the protesters in the lecture hall did not cease and desist after a reasonable period, Professor Stanger and I would repair to a room near the lecture hall where a video studio had been set up that would enable us to live-stream the lecture and take questions via Twitter.

[0.4] Here’s how it played out.

[1.1] The lecture hall was at capacity, somewhere around 400. There were lots of signs with lots of slogans (see the list of allegations above), liberally sprinkled with the f-word. A brave member of the AEI student group, Ivan Valladares, gave an eloquent description of what the group was about. Middlebury’s president, Laurie Patton, gave a statement about the importance of free speech even though she disagrees with much of my work. A second brave member of the AEI club, Alexander Khan, introduced me. All this was accompanied by occasional catcalls and outbursts, but not enough to keep the speakers from getting through their material. Then I went onstage, got halfway through my first sentence, and the uproar began.

[1.2] First came a shouted recitation in unison of what I am told is a piece by James Baldwin. I couldn’t follow the words. That took a few minutes. Then came the chanting. The protesters had prepared several couplets that they chanted in rotations—“hey, hey, ho, ho, white supremacy has to go,” and the like. It was very loud, and stayed loud. It’s hard for me estimate, but perhaps half the audience were protesters and half had come to hear the lecture.

[1.3] I stood at the podium. I didn’t make any attempt to speak—no point in it—but I did make eye contact with students. I remember one in particular, from whom I couldn’t look away for a long time. She reminded me of my daughter Anna (Middlebury ’07) — partly physically, but also in her sweet earnestness. She looked at me reproachfully and a little defiantly, her mouth moving in whatever the current chant was. I’m probably projecting, but I imagined her to be a student who wasn’t particularly political but had learned that this guy Murray was truly evil. So she found herself in the unfamiliar position of activist, not really enjoying it, but doing her civic duty.

[1.4] The others…. Wow. Some were just having a snarky good time as college undergrads have been known to do, dancing in the aisle to the rhythm of the chants. But many looked like they had come straight out of casting for a film of brownshirt rallies. In some cases, I can only describe their eyes as crazed and their expressions as snarls. Melodramatic, I know. But that’s what they looked like.

[1.5] This went on for about twenty minutes. My mindset at that point was to wait them out if it took until midnight (which, I was later to realize, probably wouldn’t have been long enough). But finally Bill Burger came on stage and decided, correctly, that the people who had come to hear the lecture deserved a chance to do so. Professor Stanger and I were led out of the hall to the improvised studio.

[1.6] I started to give an abbreviated version of my standard Coming Apart lecture, speaking into the camera. Then there was the sound of shouting outside, followed by loud banging on the wall of the building. Professor Stanger and I were equipped with lavalier microphones, which are highly directional. The cameraman-cum-sound-technician indicated that we could continue to speak and the noise from outside would not drown us out. Then a fire alarm went off, which was harder to compete with. And so it went through the lecture and during my back and forth conversation with Professor Stanger—a conversation so interesting that minutes sometimes went by while I debated some point with her and completely forgot about the din. But the din never stopped.

[1.7] We finished around 6:45 and prepared to leave the building to attend a campus dinner with a dozen students and some faculty members.
Allison, Bill, and I (by this point I saw both of them as dear friends and still do) were accompanied by two large and capable security guards. (As I write, I still don’t have their names. My gratitude to them is profound.) We walked out the door and into the middle of a mob. I have read that they numbered about twenty. It seemed like a lot more than that to me, maybe fifty or so, but I was not in a position to get a good count. I registered that several of them were wearing ski masks. That was disquieting.

[1.8] I had expected that they would shout expletives at us but no more. So I was nonplussed when I realized that a big man with a sign was standing right in front of us and wasn’t going to let us pass. I instinctively thought, we’ll go around him. But that wasn’t possible. We’d just get blocked by the others who were joining him. So we walked straight into him, one of our security guys pushed him aside, and that’s the way it went from then on: Allison and Bill each holding one of my elbows, the three of us plowing ahead, the security guys clearing our way, and lots of pushing and shoving from all sides.

[1.9] 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. 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. What would have happened after that I don’t know, but I do recall thinking that being on the ground was a really bad idea, and I should try really hard to avoid that. Unlike Allison, I wasn’t actually hurt at all.

[1.10] The three of us got to the car, with the security guards keeping protesters away while we closed and locked the doors. Then we found that the evening wasn’t over. So many protesters surrounded the car, banging on the sides and the windows and rocking the car, climbing onto the hood, that Bill had to inch forward lest he run over them. At the time, I wouldn’t have objected. Bill must have a longer time horizon than I do.

[1.11] Extricating ourselves took a few blocks and several minutes. When we had done so and were finally satisfied that no cars were tailing us, we drove to the dinner venue. Allison and I went in and started chatting with the gathered students and faculty members. Suddenly Bill reappeared and said abruptly, “We’re leaving. Now.” The protesters had discovered where the dinner was being held and were on their way. So it was the three of us in the car again.

[1.12] Long story short, we ended up at a lovely restaurant several miles out of Middlebury, where our dinner companions eventually rejoined us. I had many interesting conversations with students and faculty over the course of the pleasant evening that followed. In the silver-lining category, the original venue was on campus and would have provided us with all the iced tea we could drink. The lovely restaurant had a full bar.

* * *

[2.1] Much of the meaning of the Middlebury affair depends on what Middlebury does next. So far, Middlebury’s stance has been exemplary. The administration agreed to host the event. President Patton did not cancel it even after a major protest became inevitable. She appeared at the event, further signaling Middlebury’s commitment to academic freedom. The administration arranged an ingenious Plan B that enabled me to present my ideas and discuss them with Professor Stanger even though the crowd had prevented me from speaking in the lecture hall. I wish that every college in the country had the backbone and determination that Middlebury exhibited.

[2.2] Both Bill Burger, who made the initial remarks in the lecture hall, and President Patton spelled out Middlebury’s code of conduct and warned that violations could have consequences up to and including expulsion. Those warnings were ignored wholesale. Now what?

[2.3] I sympathize with the difficulty of President Patton’s task. We’re talking about violations that involve a few hundred students, ranging from ones that call for a serious tutelary response (e.g., for the sweetly earnest young woman) to ones calling for permanent expulsion (for the students who participated in the mob as we exited), to criminal prosecution (at the very least, for those who injured Professor Stanger). The evidence will range from excellent to ambiguous to none. I will urge only that the inability to appropriately punish all of the guilty must not prevent appropriate punishment in cases where the evidence is clear.

[2.4] Absent an adequate disciplinary response, I fear that the Middlebury episode could become an inflection point. In the twenty-three years since The Bell Curve was published, I have had considerable experience with campus protests. Until last Thursday, all of the ones involving me have been as carefully scripted as kabuki: The college administration meets with the organizers of the protest and ground rules are agreed upon. The protesters have so many minutes to do such and such. It is agreed that after the allotted time, they will leave or desist. These negotiated agreements have always worked. At least a couple of dozen times, I have been able to give my lecture to an attentive (or at least quiet) audience despite an organized protest.

[2.5] Middlebury tried to negotiate such an agreement with the protesters, but, for the first time in my experience, the protesters would not accept any time limits. 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.

[2.6] Worse yet, the intellectual thugs will take over many campuses. In the mid-1990s, I could count on students who had wanted to listen to start yelling at the protesters after a certain point, “Sit down and shut up, we want to hear what he has to say.” That kind of pushback had an effect. It reminded the protesters that they were a minority. I am assured by people at Middlebury that their protesters are a minority as well. But they are a minority that has intimidated the majority. The people in the audience who wanted to hear me speak were completely cowed. That cannot be allowed to stand. A campus where a majority of students are fearful to speak openly because they know a minority will jump on them is no longer an intellectually free campus in any meaningful sense.

[2.7] A college’s faculty is the obvious resource for keeping the bubble translucent and the intellectual thugs from taking over. A faculty that is overwhelmingly on the side of free intellectual exchange, stipulating only that it be conducted with logic, evidence, and civility, can easily lead each new freshman class to understand that’s how academia operates. If faculty members routinely condemn intellectual thuggery, the majority of students who also oppose it will feel entitled to say “sit down and shut up, we want to hear what he has to say” when protesters try to shut down intellectual exchange.

[2.8] That leads me to two critical questions for which I have no empirical answers: What is the percentage of tenured faculty on American campuses who are still unambiguously on the side of free intellectual exchange? What is the percentage of them who are willing to express that position openly? I am confident that the answer to the first question is still far greater than fifty percent. But what about the answer to the second question? My reading of events on campuses over the last few years is that a minority of faculty are cowing a majority in the same way that a minority of students are cowing the majority.

[2.9] I’m sure the pattern differs by geography and type of institution. But my impression is that the problem at elite colleges and universities is extremely widespread. In such colleges, events such as the Middlebury episode will further empower the minorities and make the majorities still more timorous.

[2.10]That’s why the penalties imposed on the protesters need to be many and severe if last Thursday is not to become an inflection point. But let’s be realistic: The pressure to refrain from suspending and expelling large numbers of students will be intense. Parents will bombard the administration with explanations of why their little darlings are special people whose hearts were in the right place. Faculty and media on the left will urge that no one inside the lecture hall be penalized because shouting down awful people like me is morally appropriate. The administration has to recognize that severe sanctions will make the college less attractive to many prospective applicants.

[2.11] My best guess is that Middlebury’s response will fall short of what I think is needed: A forceful statement to students that breaking the code of conduct is too costly to repeat. But even the response I prefer won’t generalize. A tough response will be met with widespread criticism. Students in other colleges will have no good reason to think their administration will follow Middlebury’s example.

[2.12] And so I’m pessimistic. I say that realizing that I am probably the most unqualified person to analyze the larger meanings of last week’s events at Middlebury. It will take some time for me to be dispassionate. If you promise to bear that in mind, I will say what I’m thinking and rely on you to discount it appropriately: What happened last Thursday has the potential to be a disaster for American liberal education.

[As of 2017-03-07 @ 1800, there were 241 comments at the AEI website.
All are readable there.]

The Aftermath at Middlebury
By Scott Jaschik
Inside Higher Ed, 2017-03-06


Middlebury officials now say that a small group of six to 12 people who appeared not to be students were involved in the attack on the car and Stanger.
These people were dressed in black and wore masks.
Earlier some of them tried to enter the lecture hall and were turned away.
Those who shouted down Murray were students,
but those who attacked the car (a group that included students)
appeared to be led by the outside group
(whom Middlebury officials said appeared older than most of the college's students).
College officials called the town police when the car was attacked,
[Big, big, inexcusable mistake.
After all the violence attendant to the interview between Murray and Stanger,
it should have been clear to the administration
that they should have called the Middletown police to have officers on hand
to insure Murray and Stanger could leave the building unmolested.]

but the attackers had run away by the time police officers arrived.
[And none of the observers could describe to the police
the appearance of who attacked Stanger, and where they had run to?]

No one was arrested.
College officials said the size and intensity of the protest surprised them.
[What BS.]

The reports about the nonstudents, dressed in black and with their faces covered, are similar to those from the University of California, Berkeley, and elsewhere about anarchist "black bloc" protests that have turned up on some campuses.

With Middlebury investigating what happened -- including illegal acts in the attacks on the car and the professor, as well as violations of college policies -- students have not come forward with their names to claim responsibility for what happened, or to discuss their views.


Discord at Middlebury: Students on the Anti-Murray Protests
New York Times On Campus, 2017-03-07

On Campus reached out to several students to reflect on the event.

Will DiGravio, Film & Media Studies and English, ’19
Phil Hoxie, Economics, ’17
I helped organize the lecture through Middlebury’s American Enterprise Institute Club.
Edward O’Brien, Economics and French, ’17
Elizabeth Siyuan Lee, Philosophy, ’17
Hannah Blackburn, Economics, ’17
The pre-talk rally began at 3:35 p.m. Two students, a townsperson and a professor spoke, standing before a line of people that stretched a little over 200 yards up the hill. They talked about the symbol of the platform Middlebury was giving Murray, and about how the power structures in our society and on our campus routinely prop up white male voices over other members of the community. It made a lot of sense. Systemic racism and sexism do permeate all levels of society and power always seems to favor the rich white man.
As we waited to be let in, protesters chanted: “Who is the enemy? White supremacy!”
Sophie Vaughan, International Politics and Economics, ’17
Alessandria Schumacher, Geography, ’17
Hannah Blackburn
After students stood up and chanted, I began streaming the event on Facebook Live. Murray stayed at the podium for 20 minutes, waiting. He was then ushered out: The speech was to be delivered via livestream from a secret location instead.
The protesters quickly found the new venue.
I went there and saw a student
scale the side of the building, hang off a windowsill and yell:
“Mr. Murray, are you in there? Hello? I’m trying to have a dialogue.”
Edward O’Brien

How Middlebury College Enabled The Student Riot During Charles Murray’s Visit
by Peter W. Wood, President, National Association of Scholars
The Federalist, 2017-03-07


[The 43 minute YouTube video linked to at the start of this post]
commences when one of the Middlebury officials,
Vice President for Communications and Chief Marketing Officer Bill Burger,
has gone to the podium and in good-humor (“You’re going to love this part”)
attempts to instruct the audience on respecting the right of a speaker to speak.
As audience members scream over Burger, he dutifully responds “I get the point,”
and then reads a prepared statement:
“If an event is disrupted by a group or individual,
a representative of the college may request the action to stop or ask the person or group to leave the event.”

Burger is momentarily drowned out by the audience, then he resumes,
“Individuals or groups who disrupt an event or who fail to leave when asked are in violation of college policy.
Violations of college policy may result in college discipline up to and including suspension.”

Burger’s prepared statement, which was surely something that President Patton approved, exemplified the under-preparation of the college.
The students were plainly ready to take their protest to the limit, or perhaps a little beyond the limit, of what Middlebury would tolerate. But what would that limit be?

What the students received was a pro forma reminder of the rules delivered in a tone that suggested those rules would not be upheld.
While we cannot know exactly what Burger was thinking,
his public tone was amused resignation.
[I certainly noticed that.
His tone really was pro forma:
"I've got to say this, but don't take it too seriously."]

And the rules themselves amounted to nothing more than a warning that a college official may ask you to stop,
and if you don’t stop, you may face college discipline.
In fact, we now know from Charles Murray himself that the college officials,
anticipating a crowd that would ignore the rules,
planned to let the protest unfold without interruption in the hope that
the crowd would eventually settle down.
There was no plan at all to enforce decorum.

Burger’s lines were excerpted from Middlebury’s official statement on “Demonstrations and Protests,”
but curiously omitted a few key points including this:
“Disruption may also result in arrest
and criminal charges such as disorderly conduct or trespass.”

[And, of course, the Middlebury police were notable by their absence.]


As far as one can tell from the video,
Middlebury officials made no effort at all to regain control of the event.
They let the student protesters continue uninterrupted for more than 20 minutes,
and then simply announced that
Charles Murray and the faculty member who would question him
would move to a different room with no audience
and that his talk would be live-streamed from there.


Stanger Participated in the Protest

If you examine the video carefully, [Professor Allison] Stanger makes several appearances before she goes on stage.
At one point (29:08), Stanger is to be found grinning at the chant,
“Hey hey, ho, ho, Charles Murray has got to go.”
At another (30:05) Stanger is broadly smiling as the crowd chants,
“Racist, sexist, anti-gay, Charles Murray go away.”
Still later, as the crowd chants, “Black Lives Matter,”
Stanger raises her hands above her head (33:20) and claps along.
Soon after, the camera pans across her again (33:34 [top of screen])
and she is chanting the slogan as well as clapping.

In other words,
Stanger was not just present at the protest, but participated in it.


The Middlebury Mob Shows How Thin the Veneer of Our Civilization Is
by George Leef
James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal, 2017-03-08

Guess which departments refuse to sign faculty free-speech principles at Middlebury
by Greg Piper
The College Fix, 2017-03-08

A Ray of Hope for Free Speech at Middlebury, after the Mob
By Charles Lips
Zip Dialog, 2017-03-08


In fact, it is worthwhile to examine the departmental affiliations of who signed up for free speech and, on the other side, those who signed the counter-petition (prior to the speech), demanding Murray stay away and then sliming him with false allegations about his views and scholarly findings.

Most (but not all) of Allison Stanger’s colleagues in political science signed the pro-free speech petition, as did she. That’s not surprising. She was, of course, injured in the riots, and some of her friends and colleagues undoubtedly wanted to show solidarity with her.

Parini’s colleagues in English and American Literature signed in larger numbers than most departments. Support from literature departments would not happen at most universities. That it did at Middlebury may reflect the kind of department Parini helped build or simply his colleagues’ friendship.

Who signed the petition beyond faculty in Political Science and Literature? The bulk were in the “hard social sciences” (Economics, Psychology), History, Russian, Math, Chemistry, Geology, and, surprisingly, Religion.

(By “hard social sciences,” I mean those, like economics and psychology, that aspire to be sciences, emphasize large data bases, mathematical models, and empirical testing of causal models. Fields like anthropology and history certainly use data, but they are generally more interested in the actors’ mentalities, intentions, and meanings. Thus, “hard” does not mean difficult, and “soft” does not mean squishy.)

Who refused to sign? There were zero signatures from the following departments and minors:

African American Studies, African Studies, American Studies, Arabic, Comparative Literature, Dance, Education Studies, French, Gender, Sexuality, & Feminist Studies, Global Health , Greek, Hebrew-Classical, Hebrew-Modern, International and Global Studies, International Politics and Economics, Latin, Linguistics , Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Physical Education, Physics, Social Sciences, South Asian Studies , Spanish and Portuguese, Studio Art, and Theatre

That is based on the stated affiliations of the signatories, compared to Middlebury’s official list of its departments and majors. It is possible, of course, that some signatories have “affiliate appointments” in these departments or that the departments have no exclusive faculty of their own.

The data show
◾Supporters of free speech come disproportionately from the physical sciences, “hard” social sciences, and, to a lesser extent, the biosciences.
◾Opposition comes from the Humanities, Arts, and softer social sciences. Because social justice.

That distribution reflects my own experience across multiple universities (but is not based on systematic data).

On nearly every campus, the staunchest opponents are professors of gender, sexuality, women’s studies, race, Native American studies, education, and social work, all highly-politicized bastions of the left. American Studies is now essentially the same and so are most literature departments. (Middlebury is an outlier.)

They always lead the opposition to free speech. Because social justice.

If students don’t agree with the dominant political ideology of these departments, they leave or never enter in the first place. (It is snarky but true to add that students don’t enter them if they are thinking about building skills for future employers. My point is that they are not building skills for open-minded, critical thinking, either.)

These departments never hire professors who vary from the party line. Never.

Here, for example, are the three full-time faculty in Middlebury’s gender studies program. All three signed the “Keep Murray Away” petition. NONE signed the free speech petition. That is anecdotal, of course, but it is repeated on campus after campus. You would be hard fixed to find professors of Gender Studies, Sexuality, Race Studies, Education, or Social Work who take a strong position in favor of free speech. And they are pretty thin on the ground in theater or comparative literature. All think it would permit “oppressive” speech that hurts the weak, poor, and vulnerable.

The dominant ideology of departments like these is:
◾America is an exploitative country and a malevolent force in the world;
◾Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on the right track but too willing to compromise, too willing to work within “the system”
◾America and our college campuses are composed of two main groups: the oppressed and the privileged. Our departments stand with the oppressed. They are simultaneously powerful and vulnerable, needing “safe spaces” to express their views unchallenged. A space is unsafe not because of any physical threat but because certain views (or even the presence of certain people) can produce psychic injury.
◾As professors are activists, inside the classroom and outside. Our teaching is explicitly designed to improve the situation of the oppressed and to assign blame to the oppressors.
◾Designated oppressors should feel guilty and can partially absolve themselves by following our movement, not by leading or questioning it.


Is Intersectionality a Religion?
By Andrew Sullivan
New York Magazine, 2017-03-10


“Intersectionality” is the latest academic craze sweeping the American academy.
On the surface, it’s a recent neo-Marxist theory that argues that
social oppression does not simply apply to single categories of identity —
such as race, gender, sexual orientation, class, etc. —
but to all of them in an interlocking system of hierarchy and power.
At least, that’s my best attempt to define it briefly.
But watching that video helps show how an otherwise challenging social theory can often operate in practice.

It is operating, in Orwell’s words, as a “smelly little orthodoxy,”
and it manifests itself, it seems to me, almost as a religion.
It posits a classic orthodoxy through which all of human experience is explained —
and through which all speech must be filtered.
Its version of original sin is
the power of some identity groups over others.

To overcome this sin, you need first to confess, i.e., “check your privilege,”
and subsequently live your life and order your thoughts in a way that keeps this sin at bay.
The sin goes so deep into your psyche,
especially if you are white or male or straight,
that a profound conversion is required.

Like the Puritanism once familiar in New England,
intersectionality controls language and the very terms of discourse.
It enforces manners.
It has an idea of virtue — and is obsessed with upholding it.
The saints are the most oppressed who nonetheless resist.
The sinners are categorized in various ascending categories of demographic damnation, like something out of Dante.
The only thing this religion lacks, of course, is salvation.
Life is simply an interlocking drama of oppression and power and resistance, ending only in death.
It’s Marx without the final total liberation.

It operates as a religion in one other critical dimension:
If you happen to see the world in a different way,
if you’re a liberal or libertarian or even, gasp, a conservative,
if you believe that a university is a place where any idea,
however loathsome, can be debated and refuted,
you are not just wrong, you are immoral.
If you think that arguments and ideas can have a life independent of “white supremacy,”
you are complicit in evil.
And you are not just complicit, your heresy is a direct threat to others, and therefore needs to be extinguished.
You can’t reason with heresy. You have to ban it.
It will contaminate others’ souls, and wound them irreparably.

And what I saw on the video struck me most as a form of religious ritual —
a secular exorcism, if you will —
that reaches a frenzied, disturbing catharsis.
When Murray starts to speak, the students stand and ritually turn their backs on him in silence.
The heretic must not be looked at, let alone engaged.
Then they recite a common liturgy in unison from sheets of paper.

Here’s how they begin:
“This is not respectful discourse, or a debate about free speech.
These are not ideas that can be fairly debated,
it is not ‘representative’ of the other side to give a platform to such dangerous ideologies.
There is not a potential for an equal exchange of ideas.”
They never specify which of Murray’s ideas they are referring to.
Nor do they explain why a lecture on a recent book about social inequality cannot be a “respectful discourse.”
The speaker is open to questions and there is a faculty member onstage to engage him afterward.
She came prepared with tough questions forwarded from specialists in the field.
And yet: “We … cannot engage fully with Charles Murray,
while he is known for readily quoting himself.
Because of that, we see this talk as hate speech.”
They know this before a single word of the speech has been spoken.

Then this: “Science has always been used to legitimize
racism, sexism, classism, transphobia, ableism, and homophobia,
all veiled as rational and fact, and supported by the government and state.
In this world today, there is little that is true ‘fact.’”
This, it seems to me, gets to the heart of the question —
not that the students shut down a speech, but why they did.
I do not doubt their good intentions.
But, in a strange echo of the Trumpian right,
they are insisting on the superiority of their orthodoxy to “facts.”
They are hostile, like all fundamentalists, to science, because it might counter doctrine.
And they shut down the event because intersectionality rejects
the entire idea of free debate, science, or truth independent of white male power.
At the end of this part of the ceremony, an individual therefore shouts:
“Who is the enemy?” And the congregation responds: “White supremacy!”

They then expel the heretic in a unified chant:
“Hey hey, ho ho! Charles Murray has got to go.”
Then: “Racist, Sexist, Anti-gay. Charles Murray, Go away!”
Murray’s old work on IQ demonstrates no meaningful difference between men and women,
and Murray has long supported marriage equality.
He passionately opposes eugenics. He’s a libertarian. But none of that matters.
Intersectionality, remember?
If you’re deemed a sinner on one count, you are a sinner on them all.
If you think that race may be both a social construction and related to genetics,
your claim to science is just another form of oppression.
It is indeed hate speech.
At a later moment, the students start clapping in unison,
and you can feel the hysteria rising, as the chants grow louder.
“Your message is hatred. We will not tolerate it!”
The final climactic chant is “Shut it down! Shut it down!”
It feels like something out of The Crucible.
Most of the students have never read a word of Murray’s —
and many professors who supported the shutdown admitted as much.
But the intersectional zeal is so great he must be banished —
even to the point of physical violence.

This matters, it seems to me, because reason and empirical debate
are essential to the functioning of a liberal democracy.
We need a common discourse to deliberate.
We need facts independent of anyone’s ideology or political side,
if we are to survive as a free and democratic society.
Trump has surely shown us this.
And if a university cannot allow these facts and arguments
to be freely engaged, then nowhere is safe.
Universities are the sanctuary cities of reason.
If reason must be subordinate to ideology even there,
our experiment in self-government is over.


The Dangerous Safety of College
by Frank Bruni
New York Times Opinion, 2017-03-12

Letters to the Editor in response

A Middlebury update
by Scott Johnson
PowerLine blog, 2013-03-12

A reader alerts us to an important update on the Middlebury debacle with relevant information we haven’t seen reported elsewhere. Two or three days after the thug brigade assaulted Professor Allison Stanger, she returned to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a concussion.
The initial incident occurred March 2;
we believe the concussion was diagnosed on Sunday, March 5.
Below is the undated message distributed to the Middlebury community (faculty, staff, students) by Professor Stanger’s husband, political science professor Michael Kraus (a man who fled the Communists in Czechoslovakia in 1968).
Here is the message from Professor Kraus as forwarded by our reader:

Subject: Re: Some thoughts on recent events

Dear Middlebury Community Members,

I write to let you know that the reason my wife Allison Stanger cannot be “listening and connecting” with all of you who have written or called is that she had to go back to Porter Hospital ER yesterday afternoon, where she was diagnosed with a concussion.
As a result, she had to cancel her class and office hours today
[Monday, 03-06, per later information].
Allison thanks you for all your notes of support and concern and hopes to respond properly when she is physically able to do so.

In the meantime, you can watch her discussion with Dr. Murray here.

Michael Kraus
Frederick C. Dirks Professor of Political Science

The Kids Are Right
There’s nothing outrageous about stamping out bigoted speech.
By Osita Nwanevu
Slate, 2017-03-12

What happened at the Middlebury protest?
by Paul Fleckenstein
Socialist Worker, 2017-03-13

[This contains an interesting discussion of
the debates the protestors engaged in before the lecture,
deciding what tactics they would use.]


The counterdemonstration against Murray was organized over several days,
with a considerable debate over what strategy to adopt.
Organizers say there were different positions put forward and considered,
ranging from trying to make it impossible for Murray to speak,
to waiting until the question-and-answer period to pose criticisms of him.


Middlebury professor Allison Stanger was injured in the confrontation.
Official accounts claim protesters pulled Stanger by the hair,
sending her to the emergency room.
Protesters say the injury was unintentional,
happening as she and others got caught up in the scuffle.

[This illustrates very clearly the deceit practiced by the left.
Murray, Stanger, and university offical Bulger (MSB henceforth)
were merely trying to leave the building and enter their car.
They certainly had every right to do so.
Do apologists for the thugs deny that?
On the other hand,
the left wing thugs were there, waiting for them,
for one and only one purpose:
to interfere with their walk to their car.
Was there ANY other reason for them to be obstructing
Murray, Stanger, and Bulger's path?
Again, MSB's goal was to get to their car, surely an unobjectionable goal.
The thugs, OTOH, had no such innocent goal.]


[T]he confrontation came as Murray was leaving the campus,
after he had suffered some measure of disgrace for being unable to face an open audience.

[The fact is, he did face them.
He only left the auditorium after the protestors had chanted so as to obstruct what he had to say for 20 minutes,
and gave no signs they were through.
That is hardly a "disgrace".]


Understanding the Angry Mob at Middlebury That Gave Me a Concussion
by Allison Stanger
New York Times Opinion, 2017-03-13

[The emphasis is added.]


[1] There’s nothing like a little violence to focus the mind.
I am the Middlebury College professor who ended up with whiplash and a concussion
for having the audacity to engage with the ideas of Charles Murray,
a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.

[2] Though he is someone with whom I disagree,
I welcomed the opportunity to moderate a talk with him on campus on March 2
because several of my students asked me to do so.
They know I am a Democrat, but the college courses I teach are nonpartisan.
As I wrote on Facebook immediately after the incident,
this was a chance to demonstrate publicly a commitment
to a free and fair exchange of views in my classroom.
But Dr. Murray was drowned out by students who never let him speak,
and he and I were attacked and intimidated while trying to leave campus.

[3] In the days after the violence,
some have spun this story as one about what’s wrong with elite colleges and universities,
our coddled youth or intolerant liberalism.
Those analyses are incomplete.

[4] Political life and discourse in the United States is at a boiling point,
and nowhere is the reaction to that more heightened than on college campuses.
Throughout an ugly campaign and into his presidency,
President Trump has demonized Muslims as terrorists
and dehumanized many groups of marginalized people.
He declared the free press an enemy of the people,
replaced deliberation with tweeting,
and seems bent on dismantling the separation of powers and 230 years of progress
this country has made toward a more perfect union.
Much of the free speech he has inspired — or has refused to disavow —
is ugly, and has already had ugly real-world consequences.
College students have seen this, and have taken note:
Speech can become action. [?????
I'm not a university professor, but it seems to me to be important
to distinguish speech from action.]

[5] That is the context into which Dr. Murray walked and was so profoundly misunderstood.

[6] From the stage where I sat with Dr. Murray, waiting for students to take their seats, I saw a sea of humanity.
Students were chanting,
“Who is the enemy? White supremacy,” and
“Racist, sexist, anti-gay: Charles Murray, go away!”
Others were yelling obscenities at Dr. Murray or one another.
What alarmed me most, however, was what I saw in the eyes of the crowd.
Those who wanted the event to take place made eye contact with me.
Those intent on disrupting it steadfastly refused to do so.
They couldn’t look at me directly, because if they had,
they would have seen another human being.

[7] The protesters succeeded in shutting down the lecture.
We were forced to move to another site and broadcast our discussion via live stream,
while activists
[Activists? Their actions suggest other words for them: thugs and disrupters.]
who had figured out where we were banged on the windows and set off fire alarms.
Afterward, as Dr. Murray and I left the building
with Bill Burger, Middlebury’s vice president for communications,
a mob charged us.

[8] Most of the hatred was focused on Dr. Murray,
but when I took his right arm to shield him and to make sure we stayed together,
the crowd turned on me.
Someone pulled my hair, while others were shoving me.
I feared for my life.
Once we got into the car, protesters climbed on it,
hitting the windows and rocking the vehicle whenever we stopped to avoid harming them.
I am still wearing a neck brace, and
spent a week in a dark room to recover from
a concussion caused by the whiplash.

[9] It is obvious that some protesters made dangerous choices.
But with time to reflect,
I have to say that I hear and understand the righteous [??] anger
of many of those who shouted us down.
I know that many students felt they were standing up to protect marginalized people
who have been demeaned or even threatened under the guise of free speech.

[10] But for us to engage with one another as fellow human beings —
even on issues where we passionately disagree —
we need reason, not just emotions.
Middlebury students could have learned from identifying flawed assumptions
or logical shortcomings in Dr. Murray’s arguments.
They could have challenged him in the Q. and A.
If the ways in which his misinterpreted ideas have been weaponized
[This sort of hyperbole seems common among today's PC set.]
precluded hearing him out,
students also had the option of protesting outside,
walking out of the talk or simply refusing to attend.

[11] Part of the problem was the furor that preceded the talk.
This past month, as the campus uproar about Dr. Murray’s visit built,
I was genuinely surprised and troubled to learn that
some of my faculty colleagues had rendered judgment on Dr. Murray’s work and character
without ever having read anything he has written.

It wasn’t just students: Some professors protested his appearance as well.

[12] Intelligent members of the Middlebury community —
including some of my own students and advisees —
concluded that Charles Murray was an anti-gay white nationalist
from what they were hearing from one another,
and what they read on the Southern Poverty Law Center website.
Never mind that Dr. Murray supports same-sex marriage
and is a member of the courageous “never Trump” wing of the Republican Party.

[13] Students are in college in part to learn how to evaluate sources
and follow up on ideas with their own research.
The Southern Poverty Law Center incorrectly labels Dr. Murray a “white nationalist,”
but if we have learned nothing in this election,
it is that such claims must be fact-checked, analyzed and assessed.
Faulty information became the catalyst
for shutting off the free exchange of ideas at Middlebury.
We must all be more rigorous in evaluating and investigating anger,
or this pattern of miscommunication will continue on other college campuses.

[14] I am not saying that students shouldn’t protest white nationalism.
That it is immoral is not at issue.
But there was a direct line between the fighting words on campus,
the suppression of speech
and the angry mob that gave me a concussion.
All violence is a breakdown of communication.

[15] There is no excusing what happened at Middlebury,
and those who prevented Charles Murray from speaking
must be punished for violating college rules.
But what the events at Middlebury made clear is that,
regardless of political persuasion,
Americans today are deeply susceptible to
a renunciation of reason and celebration of ignorance.
They know what they know without reading, discussing or engaging
those who might disagree with them.
People from both sides of the aisle reject calm logic,
eager to embrace the alternative news that supports their prejudices.

[16] More broadly, our constitutional democracy will depend on
whether Americans can relearn how to engage civilly with one another,
something that is admittedly hard to do with a bullying president as a role model.
But any other way forward would be antithetical to the very ideals
of the university and of liberal democracy.

Allison Stanger, a professor of international politics and economics at Middlebury College, is the author of “One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy.”

Terrorism on campus: Let’s call Middlebury’s mob what it IS
By Nate Madden
Conservative Review, 2017-03-15


Stanger is correct in one respect:
The old diagnoses of campus intolerance and illiberalism are no longer sufficient.
What happened at Middlebury has happened at other campuses,
as Thomas Sowell points out.
But even further, past this “ground zero” of illiberal political violence,
what happened at Middlebury has also happened at Trump rallies,
at the inauguration and in cities from Ferguson to Milwaukee to Charlotte,
and on the eve and aftermath of Trump’s inauguration.

The acts of violence against Murray and Stanger
weren’t just college kids getting out-of-hand,
they were terrorism.
Just like the summer’s riots,
and just like the acts of violence —
and chemical warfare against Trump supporters —
that surrounded January’s inauguration festivities.

The problem is not that the president said mean things that hurt enough feelings to stoke this fire at present;
Rather, Trump Derangement Syndrome has given the Left
a growing violence problem,
one to which we’re all becoming numb and normalized.

In his short time in office, President Trump has taken on
the engines that confound the nature of a government by consent —
a biased media, a removed judiciary,
and an autocratic “deep state” climate in Washington —
only to find the red brigades of the Left
ready to prop up those engines by any means necessary.
If it means breaking a few noses and setting a few fires, so be it.

Such are the hysterical reactions of
self-assured progressives with a collective messiah complex,
driven to madness when their prophesy goes unheeded by enough people
to cost them an election,
and who have turned to violence as a means of discourse.
We have a word for that: terrorism.


Charles Murray’s Attackers
by Matthew Continetti
Commentary Magazine, 2017-03-15


And the coverage of all this has been terrible.

Murray’s hometown paper, the Washington Post, ran stories of the episode that accepted the radical worldview of the mob. The night of the attack, the Post carried an AP story with a headline that read “College students protest speaker branded white nationalist.” The unidentified correspondent wrote that “hundreds of Vermont college students have protested a lecture by a speaker they call a white nationalist.” Not until the second paragraph did the reader learn that this “white nationalist” was Murray, who has occupied a prestigious chair at the American Enterprise Institute for decades, written not one but three hugely influential books (Losing Ground, The Bell Curve, and Coming Apart), and has long argued for a classically liberal society in which every individual is subject to the impartial administration of justice. To equate Murray with the neo-Nazis of Stormfront or the ethnocentrism of Richard Spencer is not only baseless. It’s defamatory.

On March 4, the Post carried a subsequent AP story. The picture accompanying this article was captioned, “Hundreds of college students on Thursday protested a lecture by a speaker they call a white nationalist.” The lead ran as follows: “A libertarian author who has been called a white nationalist said college students who protested his lecture this week were ‘scary.’”

So much is wrong with that sentence. Notice the evasion implicit in the use of the passive voice. It’s not AP calling Murray a white nationalist. No, AP is just reporting that he has been called that. Notice how the reporter defines deviancy down by referring to “college students who protested.” What happened at Middlebury wasn’t a protest. It was an assault. And notice how the reporter, from the safe space of anonymity, uses scare quotes to trivialize Murray’s characterization of the mob as frightening. Maybe the reporter would be scared too if he or she were an invited guest of a student group who had to escape from an Orwellian orgy of hate under threat of physical attack by masked men. Just a thought.

Murray has been called a racist since the publication of The Bell Curve in 1994. The claim is based on the 17 pages of that 917-page book that explore the relationship, if any, between race, heritability, and IQ. What did Murray and his coauthor, the late Richard Herrnstein, conclude? “It seems highly likely to us that both genes and the environment have something to do with racial differences. What might the mix be? We are resolutely agnostic on that issue.” [Emphasis mine.] Moreover, “If tomorrow you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that all the cognitive differences between races were 100 percent genetic in origin, nothing of significance would change. The knowledge would give you no reason to treat individuals differently than if ethnic differences were 100 percent environmental.” Murray’s profession of agnosticism and reassertion of the principle of equality under the law have been studiously ignored ever since the book’s publication. The hate-sniffers at the Southern Poverty Law Center can write that Murray uses “racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women, and the poor,” and the vapid assertion is parroted by the AP, published by the Washington Post, and quoted in the New York Times.

“For two decades, I have had to put up with misrepresentations of The Bell Curve,” Murray wrote a year ago. “It is annoying.” Not until 2017, however, did these misrepresentations become physically hazardous. Enemies of public discourse are using the rise of Donald Trump and the so-called alt-right—both of which Murray opposes—to brandish targets as “white nationalists.” In this the advocates of political correctness are aided by an economically reeling and intellectually feeble media largely made up of recent college graduates who know only what they learned from their gender studies professors and The Daily Show. To expect these writers to be familiar with the 20-year-old debate surrounding The Bell Curve, much less to have read the book on their own, is foolish. A since-deleted Tweet about Murray by the executive editor of Vox.com revealed the progressive left’s openness to debate: “If Adolf Hitler flew in today,” he wrote, stupidly paraphrasing The Clash, “they’d say the real villains are the people who protested his on-campus speaking appearance anyway.” Here is what a Harvard degree gets you: the ability to liken eminent scholars to Hitler.


Rejecting 'Campus Illiberalism'
Ideological odd couple Robert George and Cornel West issue joint statement --
attracting thousands of signatures --in wake of shouting down of a speaker at Middlebury.
By Colleen Flaherty
Inside Higher Ed, 2017-03-16

Stylistically and politically, Robert P. George and Cornel West don’t have much in common. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, is one of the country’s most prominent conservative intellectuals. West, a professor of the practice of public philosophy and African and African-American studies at Harvard University, is a self-described “radical Democrat” who, in addition to many books, once released a spoken-word album.

So when George and West agree on something and lend their names to it, people take notice -- as they did this week, when the pair published a statement in support of “truth seeking, democracy and freedom of thought and expression.” It’s a politely worded denunciation of what George and West call “campus illiberalism,” or the brand of thinking that led to this month’s incident at Middlebury College, where students prevented an invited speaker from talking and a professor was physically attacked by some who were protesting the invitation.


The immediate impetus for the statement was indeed the shouting down of Murray, author of the controversial book The Bell Curve, at Middlebury;
the professor who was injured at the protest is the next signatory, after George and West. But the authors say they’ve long been concerned with a turning tide on colleges campuses that’s led to the shouting down and disinvitation of invited speakers, and other forms of what is arguably intellectual censorship.


[Allison] Stanger said she was asked to sign the statement first and did so, willingly.
“It is beautifully written and badly needed, both for college campuses and the country at large,”
she said via email.
“Nothing good ever comes from demonizing our brothers and sisters.”


Sarah Ray, Middlebury spokesperson, said Wednesday that
the college has hired an independent investigator to look into
what is “a very complex incident.”

She reiterated a previous statement from President Laurie L. Patton that said
Middlebury is a “determining a course of action for each individual understood to be involved in some way” in the events March 2.

Right now, she said,
“we are gathering information and conducting a thorough investigation.
This takes time, especially since so many people are involved.”


Charles Murray’s SPLC page as edited by Charles Murray
by Charles Murray
AEI, 2017-03-24

For years, the protesters I have encountered at colleges
have gotten their information about why I am a terrible person
from the Charles Murray page at the website of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
For all of those years, I have ignored that material.
But in the aftermath of the Middlebury affair and the attendant publicity
citing the SPLC’s allegations that I am
a white nationalist, white supremacist, racist, and sexist,
people who wonder whether these allegations have any basis
need to know what I have to say about them.

What follows is an edited and expanded version of the SPLC page
that I can live with.
My self-imposed ground rules are that
I can’t delete accurate quotes from my work
that I wish I had worded more felicitously,
but I am permitted to extend quotes with material
that immediately adjoins the quoted text,
to correct factual mistakes, and
to make suggestions to the author, as copy editors routinely do.

Jonathan Haidt on the Cultural Roots of Campus Rage
An unorthodox professor explains the ‘new religion’ that drives the intolerance and violence at places like Middlebury and Berkeley.
Bari Weiss interviews Jonathan Haidt
Wall Street Journal, 2017-04-01

New York

When a mob at Vermont’s Middlebury College shut down a speech by social scientist Charles Murray a few weeks ago, most of us saw it as another instance of campus illiberalism. Jonathan Haidt saw something more—a ritual carried out by adherents of what he calls a “new religion,” an auto-da-fé against a heretic for a violation of orthodoxy.

“The great majority of college students want to learn. They’re perfectly reasonable, and they’re uncomfortable with a lot of what’s going on,” Mr. Haidt, a psychologist and professor of ethical leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business, tells me during a recent visit to his office. “But on each campus there are some true believers who have reoriented their lives around the fight against evil.”

These believers are transforming the campus from a citadel of intellectual freedom into a holy space—where white privilege has replaced original sin, the transgressions of class and race and gender are confessed not to priests but to “the community,” victim groups are worshiped like gods, and the sinned-against are supplicated with “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings.”

The fundamentalists may be few, Mr. Haidt says, but they are “very intimidating” since they wield the threat of public shame. On some campuses, “they’ve been given the heckler’s veto, and are often granted it by an administration who won’t stand up to them either.”

All this has become something of a preoccupation for the 53-year-old Mr. Haidt. A longtime liberal—he ran a gun-control group as an undergraduate at Yale—he admits he “had never encountered conservative ideas” until his mid-40s. The research into moral psychology that became his 2012 book, “The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion,” exposed him to other ways of seeing the world; he now calls himself a centrist.

In 2015 he founded Heterodox Academy, which describes itself as “a politically diverse group of social scientists, natural scientists, humanists, and other scholars” concerned about “the loss or lack of ‘viewpoint diversity’ ” on campuses. As Mr. Haidt puts it to me: “When a system loses all its diversity, weird things begin to happen.”

Having studied religions across cultures and classes, Mr. Haidt says it is entirely natural for humans to create “quasireligious” experiences out of seemingly secular activities. Take sports. We wear particular colors, gather as a tribe, and cheer for our team. Even atheists sometimes pray for the Steelers to beat the Patriots.

It’s all “fun and generally harmless,” maybe even healthy, Mr. Haidt says, until it tips into violence—as in British soccer hooliganism. “What we’re beginning to see now at Berkeley and at Middlebury hints that this [campus] religion has the potential to turn violent,” Mr. Haidt says. “The attack on the professor at Middlebury really frightened people,” he adds, referring to political scientist Allison Stanger, who wound up in a neck brace after protesters assaulted her as she left the venue.

The Berkeley episode Mr. Haidt mentions illustrates the Orwellian aspect of campus orthodoxy. A scheduled February appearance by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos prompted masked agitators to throw Molotov cocktails, smash windows, hurl rocks at police, and ultimately cause $100,000 worth of damage. The student newspaper ran an op-ed justifying the rioting under the headline “Violence helped ensure safety of students.” Read that twice.

Mr. Haidt can explain. Students like the op-ed author “are armed with a set of concepts and words that do not mean what you think they mean,” he says. “People older than 30 think that ‘violence’ generally involves some sort of physical threat or harm. But as students are using the word today, ‘violence’ is words that have a negative effect on members of the sacred victim groups. And so even silence can be violence.” It follows that if offensive speech is “violence,” then actual violence can be a form of self-defense.

Down the hall from Mr. Haidt’s office, I noticed a poster advertising a “bias response hotline” students can call “to report an experience of bias, discrimination or harassment.” I joke that NYU seems to have its own version of the morality police in Islamic countries like Saudi Arabia. “It’s like East Germany,” Mr. Haidt replies—with students, at least some of them, playing the part of the Stasi.

How did we get here, and what can be done? On the first question, Mr. Haidt points to a braided set of causes. There’s the rise in political polarization, which is related to the relatively recent “political purification of the universities.” While the academy has leaned left since at least the 1920s, Mr. Haidt says “it was always just a lean.” Beginning in the early 1990s, as the professors of the Greatest Generation retired, it became a full-on tilt.

“Now there are no more conservative voices on the faculty or administration,” he says, exaggerating only a little. Heterodox Academy cites research showing that the ratio of left to right professors in 1995 was 2 to 1. Now it is 5 to 1.

The left, meanwhile, has undergone an ideological transformation. A generation ago, social justice was understood as equality of treatment and opportunity: “If gay people don’t have to right to marry and you organize a protest to apply pressure to get them that right, that’s justice,” Mr. Haidt says. “If black people are getting discriminated against in hiring and you fight that, that’s justice.”

Today justice means equal outcomes. “There are two ideas now in the academic left that weren’t there 10 years ago,” he says. “One is that everyone is racist because of unconscious bias, and the other is that everything is racist because of systemic racism.” That makes justice impossible to achieve: “When you cross that line into insisting if there’s not equal outcomes then some people and some institutions and some systems are racist, sexist, then you’re setting yourself up for eternal conflict and injustice.”

Perhaps most troubling, Mr. Haidt cites the new protectiveness in child-rearing over the past few decades. Historically, American children were left to their own devices and had to learn to deal with bullies. Today’s parents, out of compassion, handle it for them. “By the time students get to college they have much, much less experience with unpleasant social encounters, or even being insulted, excluded or marginalized,” Mr. Haidt says. “They expect there will be some adult, some authority, to rectify things.”

Combine that with the universities’ shift to a “customer is always right” mind-set. Add in social media. Suddenly it’s “very, very easy to bring mobs together,” Mr. Haidt says, and make “people very afraid to stand out or stand up for what they think is right.” Students and professors know, he adds, that “if you step out of line at all, you will be called a racist, sexist or homophobe. In fact it’s gotten so bad out there that there’s a new term—‘ophobophobia,’ which is the fear of being called x-ophobic.”

That fear runs deep—including in Mr. Haidt. When I ask him about how political homogeneity on campus informs the understanding of so-called rape culture, he clams up: “I can’t talk about that.” The topic of sexual assault—along with Islam—is too sensitive.

It’s a painfully ironic answer from a man dedicating his career to free thought and speech. But choosing his battles doesn’t mean Mr. Haidt is unwilling to fight. And he’s finding allies across the political spectrum.

Heterodox Academy’s membership has grown to some 600, up about 100 since the beginning of March. “In the wake of the Middlebury protests and violence, we’re seeing a lot of liberal-left professors standing up against illiberal-left professors and students,” Mr. Haidt says. Less than a fifth of the organization’s members identify as “right/conservative”; most are centrists, liberals or progressives.

Balancing those numbers by giving academic jobs and tenure to outspoken libertarians and conservatives seems like the most effective way to change the campus culture, if only by signaling to self-censoring students that dissent is acceptable. But for now Heterodox Academy is taking a more modest approach, focusing on three initiatives.

The first is its college guide: a ranking by viewpoint diversity of America’s top 150 campuses. The goal is to create market pressure and put administrators on notice. The University of Chicago currently ranks No. 1—rising seniors, take note.

The second is a “fearless speech index,” a web-based questionnaire that allows students and professors to express how comfortable they feel speaking out on sensitive subjects. Right now, Mr. Haidt says, there are a tremendous number of anecdotes but no real data; the index aims to remedy that.

The third is the “viewpoint diversity experience,” a six-step online lesson in the virtue and practice of open-minded engagement with opposing ideas.

Heterodox Academy is not the only sliver of light. Following the Middlebury incident, the unlikely duo of Democratic Socialist Cornel West and conservative Robert P. George published a statement denouncing “campus illiberalism” and calling for “truth seeking, democracy and freedom of thought and expression.” More than 2,500 scholars and other intellectuals have signed it. At Northwestern the student government became the first in the country to pass a resolution calling for academic freedom and viewpoint diversity.

“What I think is happening,” Mr. Haidt says, is that “as the visible absurdity on campus mounts and mounts, and as public opinion turns more strongly against universities—and especially as the line of violence is crossed—we are having more and more people standing up saying, ‘Enough is enough. I’m opposed to this.’ ” Let’s hope.

If you’re not a student or professor, why should you care about snowflakes in their igloos? Because, Mr. Haidt argues, what happens on campus affects the “health of our nation.” Ideological and political homogeneity endangers the quality of social-science research, which informs public policy. “Understanding the impacts of immigration, understanding the causes of poverty—these are all absolutely vital,” he says. “If there’s an atmosphere of intimidation around politicized issues, it clearly influences the research.”

Today’s college students also are tomorrow’s leaders—and employees. Companies are already encountering problems with recent graduates unprepared for the challenges of the workplace. “Work requires a certain amount of toughness,” Mr. Haidt says. “Colleges that prepare students to expect a frictionless environment where there are bureaucratic procedures and adult authorities to rectify conflict are very poorly prepared for the workplace. So we can expect a lot more litigation in the coming few years.”

If you lean left—even if you adhere to the campus orthodoxy, or to certain elements of it—you might consider how the failure to respect pluralism puts your own convictions at risk of a backlash. “People are sick and tired of being called racist for innocent things they’ve said or done,” Mr. Haidt observes. “The response to being called a racist unfairly is never to say, ‘Gee, what did I do that led to me being called this? I should be more careful.’ The response is almost always, ‘[Expletive] you!’ ”

He offers this real-world example: “I think that the ‘deplorables’ comment could well have changed the course of human history.”

Ms. Weiss is an associate book review editor at the Journal.

Appeared in the Apr. 01, 2017, print edition as 'The Cultural Roots of Campus Rage.'

Middlebury, My Divided Campus
by Allison Stanger
New York Times Op-Ed, 2017-04-03

Edward J. Snowden was beamed into Wilson Hall at Middlebury College on March 16, the same hall in which Charles Murray was to speak on March 2.

I was the faculty interlocutor for both events.
I interviewed Mr. Snowden in a neck brace and sunglasses ...
The lingering effects of whiplash and a concussion
continue to compromise my daily routine.

That these events transpired in the same place but so very differently speaks volumes about
the milieu in which students today at elite institutions are educated.
[And the selection criteria for college students theyse days.]
The majority of faculty and students are progressive.
A small minority are conservative; many of them are in the closet,
afraid to speak their minds for fear of being denounced as reactionary bigots.
[And what is so bad about being reactionary?
Nothing, in my opinion.
I am perfectly happy to be considered, and to be, "reactionary".]

If I might generalize about circumstances at my institution,
the natural sciences largely see no place for politics in scientific inquiry;
the social sciences and the humanities are another story.


Students have expressed fear that they are not allowed to disagree with their professors, who might punish them with lower grades.
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos may have no educational experience,
but she was right when she told the Conservative Political Action Conference that
professors should not tell students “what to say, and more ominously, what to think.”

The moderate middle at Middlebury currently feels
it cannot speak out on the side of free inquiry
without fear of being socially ostracized as racist.
Most alarming,
I have heard some students and faculty denounce reason and logic
as manifestations of white supremacy.

[In my view, people expressing such views
are pure scum, and most certainly
do not belong in the university.
Kick them out.]

This is not a productive learning environment for anyone.
This is not what the life of the mind is supposed to provide.


At Middlebury today, however, a perceived schism exists on liberal education’s purposes. One side sees the free exchange of ideas as fundamental and nonnegotiable. The other sees inclusivity and social justice as the supreme value. As Middlebury’s president argued at a recent faculty meeting, the two goals are intertwined. Freedom of speech and assembly protect everyone, especially minority opinion. The struggle for equality before the law, safeguarded by the Constitution, has been a means to greater inclusivity and social justice. Yes, there is still so much to be done. But shutting down speech will not get us there.


Middlebury College Completes Sanctioning Process for March 2 Disruptions
Middlebury College, 2017-05-23


In total,
the College disciplined 67 students
with sanctions ranging from probation to official College discipline,
which places a permanent record in the student’s file.


Separately, the Middlebury Police Department (MPD) today announced
that it had concluded its investigation into the violence that took place following the event as Murray and Professor Allison Stanger left the building.
The department said it has been unable to identify any specific individual responsible for the injuries sustained by Stanger.
MPD also said it had established that as many as eight masked individuals were in the area and
used tactics indicating training in obstruction.
Further, the department said that while it had identified a number of other people who were in the crowd of more than 20 people outside the event venue,
“on consultation with the Addison County State’s Attorney it was determined that
there was insufficient information to charge any specific person who participated in
damaging the car or interfering with or blocking the car’s progress as it exited the parking lot.”

Police Close the Investigation
Into the Disturbance at Middlebury College
Following the March 2, 2017 Presentation By Charles Murray

Middlebury Police Department, 2017-05-23

Middlebury Police Case Number: 17MB000685

The Middlebury Police Department has concluded its investigation
into the events on the Middlebury College Campus on March 2.
We are not anticipating any criminal charges to be filed at this time
due to insufficient evidence against any specific individual.

The Police investigation did not identify any specific individual who hurt Allison Stanger
as she and her party left McCullough Student Center
on their way to a car that was to transport them from the venue.

The police investigation established that as many as eight (8) masked individuals were present
using tactics that indicated training in obstruction and intimidation.
A number of individuals who were in this crowd of more than 20 people outside the event venue were identified,
many of whom were not members of the college community.
However, on consultation with the Addison County State’s Attorney it was determined that
there was insufficient information to charge any specific person who participated
in damaging the car or interfering with or blocking the car’s progress as it exited the parking lot.

Police: No charges in Middlebury protest
Nicole Higgins DeSmet , Free Press Staff Writer
Burlington Free Press, 2017-05-23

How the Middlebury Riot Really Went Down
The protest has become a symbol of liberal intolerance,
but a closer look reveals it’s as much about Donald Trump’s election,
racist incidents and a clumsy response by school officials.
By Taylor Gee
Politico Magazine, 2017-05-28

Fecklessness at Middlebury
by Charles Murray
AEI, 2017-06-12

When your next college free speech controversy erupts, don’t blame liberals
By Jacques Berlinerblau
Washington Post GradePoint, 2017-06-30

[T]he liberal/conservative divide at a typical college—and especially at an elite college—is fairly irrelevant to free speech dust-ups.
That’s because in American academic culture there exist not two,
but three, broad ideological camps
and neither liberals nor conservatives are center stage.

The fault lines I am describing are most evident among the faculty. The smallest of the three camps is comprised of professors whose political leanings are conservative. As researchers have demonstrated again and again, such scholars are drastically underrepresented on college faculties, and in the humanities in particular. Consider that a mind-boggling 3 percent of sociologists and 2 percent of literature professors identify as Republicans. When conservatives charge that they’re outnumbered by campus liberals, they are unequivocally correct.

But does this mean that liberals rule the academy, fostering the type of oppressive environment that suppresses free expression? In my experience, liberal professors play far less of a role in these incidents than a group we might refer to as the “radical left.” This third camp is composed of a vast, and diverse array of quite serious scholars whose animus towards liberal ideas often exceeds its disdain for conservative ones.

If you want to conceptualize the differences between liberal and leftist professors in political terms—which, I repeat, is always hazardous—think of it this way. Liberal professors are the types that probably voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential elections. Radical left professors likely wrote her off as a dreaded “neo-liberal.” Their primary votes might have been cast for Bernie Sanders—as irritatingly “mainstream” as the social-democratic candidate might have been to them. In the general election they might have opted for Jill Stein, or sat it out altogether in protest of American capitalism, imperialism, hegemony, etc.

Yet whereas Stein received 1 percent of the popular vote, one recent national study of professors in all disciplines demonstrated that roughly 15.6 percent at non-sectarian schools self-identify as “far left.” That finding calls attention to a pronounced difference between the politics of American voters and American professors. But even this number strikes me as way too low. Although the data has never been parsed in this way, if we were to look solely at professors in the humanities and interpretive social sciences, my guess is that the 15 percent figure would be two or three times higher—and more so at elite institutions. In other words, at a nationally ranked school a department of English, Women’s Studies, Art History, French, African-American Studies, Spanish, Philosophy, Anthropology, Film Studies or Sociology is likely to have more far-left faculty than liberals and conservatives combined.


There’s a lot to be gained by contemplating the tripartite distinction identified above. College administrations and scholarly societies need to ask themselves why these ideological imbalances are so pronounced. They might also wonder why it’s so hard to identify a fourth camp, comprised of professors whose politics are inscrutable or unpredictable. (I would hope that my teaching and research places me in that camp.) The radical left might ponder why the academy is the sole American institution where its ideas hold any sway. Conservatives have every right to complain about ideological imbalance. But they need to stop blaming liberals for their misfortune, politically expedient as such a charge might be.

[Jacques Berlinerblau is Professor of Jewish Civilization at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.]

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