The Corner

Charles Murray’s Account of Middlebury

What happened to Charles Murray at Middlebury was a disgrace. It was shameful and appalling.

Where is the outrage from faculty at universities around the country, both towards this incident, and so many others? Where is the outrage from donors? The very idea of the university is being assaulted by this anti-intellectual, anti-liberal, immature nonsense. I say nonsense, but really, this is dangerous stuff, particularly for a republic.  How is it possible that the most important non-student stakeholders at universities are not in protest over what is happening to these incredibly important institutions?

But I digress. Back to Dr. Murray, my august colleague at the American Enterprise Institute. Murray is handling all this with his characteristic courage and integrity. And, of course, he’s in the right. In this instance, and as a general matter, he models an embrace of the competition of ideas and a commitment to free speech and open, intellectual debate. His example should serve as a lesson to those who shouted him down, pushed him around, and injured a Middlebury faculty member.

He has written an account of his experience — “Reflections on the revolution in Middlebury” — for AEI’s blog. Here is a particularly chilling paragraph:

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.

I do encourage you to read Dr. Murray’s entire essay.


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