Here is the latest on the state of tolerance for opposing views on college campuses in America today:
Student-led protests prevented Dr. Charles Murray, a W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), from delivering a lecture scheduled to take place on Thursday evening at Middlebury College, according to the student newspaper.
The College’s AEI Club invited Murray to speak about his 2012 book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, and to engage in a conversation with Russell J. Leng ’60 Professor of International Politics and Economics Allison Stanger.
After Murray arrived at the podium, students began to protest.
Approximately twenty minutes after the protest began, the College canceled the live event in Wilson Hall and decided to live stream a private conversation between Murray and Stanger.
Murray is shown taking the podium at the 18:46 mark of the below clip.
From the blurb to Murray's book:
In the bestselling tradition of Hillbilly Elegy, the acclaimed bestseller than explains why white America has become fractured and divided in education and classIn Coming Apart, Charles Murray explores the formation of American classes that are different in kind from anything we have ever known, focusing on whites as a way of driving home the fact that the trends he describes do not break along lines of race or ethnicity.-RW
Drawing on five decades of statistics and research, Coming Apart demonstrates that a new upper class and a new lower class have diverged so far in core behaviors and values that they barely recognize their underlying American kinship—divergence that has nothing to do with income inequality and that has grown during good economic times and bad.
The top and bottom of white America increasingly live in different cultures, Murray argues, with the powerful upper class living in enclaves surrounded by their own kind, ignorant about life in mainstream America, and the lower class suffering from erosions of family and community life that strike at the heart of the pursuit of happiness. That divergence puts the success of the American project at risk.
The evidence in Coming Apart is about white America. Its message is about all of America.
Protests continued as the live stream was broadcast.
Protests continue: pic.twitter.com/X7fpeuBJhW— Middlebury Campus (@middcampus) March 2, 2017
From a letter by Middlebury alum on why intellectual debate should not occur with Murray:
We fully support the core liberal arts principle that contact with other intellectual viewpoints and life experiences than one’s own is integral to a beneficial education.
However, in this case we find the principle does not apply, due to not only the nature, but also the quality, of Dr. Murray’s scholarship...
We ask the Middlebury College community, and the American Enterprise Institute in particular: If Dr. Murray’s scholarship is of blatantly dreadful quality — and we hold, along with so many of his colleagues, that it is — then what is the point of “debating” his views? How, and why, does one go about arguing in good faith with a scholar whose entire intellectual premise consists of what are now being called, incredibly, “alternative facts”?
Since Dr. Murray’s views are not worth engaging on these grounds, this can hardly be called an occasion for open, rigorous academic debate. His invitation to campus, then, is not an educational opportunity, but a threat. It is a message to every woman, every person of color, every first-generation student, every poor and working-class person, every disabled person and every queer person that not only their acceptance to and presence at Middlebury, but also their safety, their agency, their humanity and even their very right to exist are all up for “debate.”