brouhaha by the intolerant at Middlebury
Another sad, fascist episode on a college campus-- shouting down Charles Murray at Middlebury College and then engaging in thuggery. Brutal, especially for self-styled liberals at a university.
(You can see the video of it here-- and you can tell by the substance and repetitiveness of the comments of those preceding Murray-- laying out sticks and carrots-- that they're really worried about the crowd. She talks about the "hard work" of good discussion and says, incorrectly, that Middlebury is moving that forward with the event.)
It's a shame since Murray has offered so much vital work to contemporary debates on public policy. I'm hard-pressed to think of anyone who rivals the quality, quantity and variety of his output. Losing Ground was pivotal to the early part of the debate on welfare policy. Check out my review of In Pursuit of Happiness and Good Government (maybe the most important book on policy I've read) and my review of Coming Apart (can't think of a more important book on contemporary policy).
For what got these students going-- his book, The Bell Curve-- I haven't read that tome, but here are a few of my thoughts about Murray on race vs. class and more important, his comments 10 years after Bell Curve was published.
Murray's account of and reflections on the events at Middlebury (where he spoke just a few years ago, with no incident) and Allison Stanger's who was injured by the mob (his host for the event, sponsor of the program, and a critic of his work). Here's some great commentary from Jonathan Haidt and Frank Bruni on the Charlie Rose Show. (I like Bruni's comment that this should be the century of social science, but maybe not...!)
Here's an insider's view-- Dr. Matt Dickinson, a faculty member at Middlebury who runs a popular blog. And here's a broader faculty response. Alison Stanger later wrote about Murray's visit vs. Edward Snowden.
The WaPo, including a note about Murray's non-white wife/kids and the SPLC glossing him as a eugenicist and a white supremacist-- completely undermining their credibility. (Again, the SPLC is far more eugenicist than Murray could dream of being. Here's Murray dealing with the slanderous description of him by the Southern Poverty Law Center.)
The Boston Globe (note the dude with the "eugenics" poster, even though he is far more likely to embrace eugenics policies than Murray, who would far those deeply offensive). Here it is in the NYT. Here's the PBS coverage.
Van Jones on some of the larger issues, with some excellent metaphors, esp. on "safe spaces"-- well-defined and poorly-defined. Universities are supposed to be places where you build muscle in these regards, not be protected.
Here's George Will's angle on the Middlebury fiasco...
And finally, here's an interesting piece on the implications of this trend for comedy.
UPDATE: Another example, this time with Heather McDonald, accusations of white supremacy and fascism, ironic fascism in reply to her speech: her account, another piece, a piece in Reason, and video from Bill O'Reilly. Where are the liberals? Where are the professors who (courageously) live up to the values of the profession?
Another update on Murray: The NY Times did some terrific work in sending academics what Murray planned to say at Middlebury-- and comparing the results when the work was anonymous vs. attributed to Murray.