You may have heard that a mob prevented author Charles Murray from delivering a public lecture at Middlebury College.
They held signs telling him that “white supremacy” wasn’t welcome there. There’s no non-hysterical definition of “white supremacy” that comes anywhere close to describing Murray’s views, but I’m sure you knew that.
I went onstage, got halfway through my first sentence, and the uproar began.
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.
These are the high-IQ students, as you can see.
Murray decided to go to Plan B, which was to livestream a discussion with a Middlebury professor in another room that had been outfitted for this purpose. Real Dissent: A Libert... Best Price: $11.96 Buy New $18.74 (as of 06:30 EDT - Details)
Although they managed to do this, loud noises and pounding on the walls outside that room continued throughout the proceedings.
As Murray attempted to leave the building, a group of protesters, some of whom were wearing ski masks, blocked him. Security had to push the students aside to get him through. A political science professor with Murray was assaulted.
He himself barely escaped a similar fate:
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.
You won’t be surprised to learn that the protesters surrounded and banged on the car that had Murray and his colleagues in it; others climbed onto the hood.
Murray and his companions soon discovered that the protesters had found out where the post-event dinner was to take place, so that was changed to another venue.
A total fiasco.
Meanwhile, either Middlebury College expels hundreds of students for violating the college’s code of conduct, or the savages are emboldened there and elsewhere. Meltdown: A Free-Marke... Best Price: $1.42 Buy New $5.00 (as of 08:55 EDT - Details)
Murray recalls that in the past, there would have been some agreement between protesters and a college administration that they could demonstrate for X minutes, but then the event would take place. This was the first time Murray has seen protesters who have rejected such an offer, and who simply shut the event down.
He fears that
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.
Now it should be easier to understand why I think provocative right-wing campus speakers are a good thing. Their very presence, and the large numbers who come out to see them, remind the majority that they are, after all, the majority, and that they shouldn’t let themselves be intimidated by drama queens who think they’re preventing the spread of fascism by drowning out speakers and beating people up. (They’re not very good with irony, these people.)
Meanwhile, you can get opposing, non-p.c. views without being assaulted, and while pleasantly driving your car, from my Liberty Classroom.