Free speech? Not at my college!

"You're not going to let us speak." 

You would expect to hear those words in oppressive Communist regimes, or in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, where unacceptable speech can get you beheaded.

No – this is what was disgracefully heard this month at Middlebury College, an elite private liberal arts college in Vermont.  This was what Professor Allison Stanger acknowledged to an unruly crowd of Middlebury students who decided it was "unacceptable" for Dr. Charles Murray, an invited controversial conservative political scientist and author, to speak on their campus.  Among chants yelled by the mob was "Shut it down!" and "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Charles Murray has got to go!"

Stanger, who had agreed to moderate the discussion, then pursued plan B – go to a closed location and live-stream the discussion.  The angry students pursued and banged on the walls and set off fire alarms to stop any talk with Murray.  Murray was there to discuss his book, called Coming Apart, that details the plight of poor working-class white Americans and how whites in America live in a stark two-class society.  Murray has been vilified for a previous book he co-authored called The Bell Curve.  This book had some discussion on ethnicity and I.Q., which has led Murray to be called a "racist" and "white supremacist" among many other nasty labels.

No one seemed to know or care that Murray is the father of two biracial children, has degrees from Harvard and MIT, and even has a daughter who is an alumna from Middlebury.

During the interrupted live-stream talk, Murray asked simply, "What is it that is so terrible that I cannot speak?"  While Murray was trying to leave the campus, Stanger was assaulted and endured a neck injury and was treated at a hospital.  Stanger later wrote, "I feared for my life."

The incident at Middlebury has received national attention and articles have been written in The Wall Street JournalThe Atlantic, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and many others.  Last month, a violent protest also broke out at U.C. Berkeley to stop Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial conservative writer, from speaking that resulted in $100,000 in property damage.

Though the media has portrayed the incidents at Middlebury and Berkeley as a new trend, censorship of conservative speakers on U.S. college campuses has been ongoing.  Furthermore, Caroline Glick writes in the Jerusalem Post, "Jewish speakers and students have been subjected ... to campaigns of repressions for nearly 20 years at universities and colleges throughout the US. What is new about the riots against Murray and Yiannopoulos is that they were shouted down despite the fact that they weren't talking about Israel."

In 2016, a commentary in the Washington Examiner describes how Ben Shapiro and Young America's Foundation "were greeted by a raucous mob ... at California State University-Los Angeles. Hundreds of Black Lives Matter activists formed a human chain around the lecture hall, hitting and shoving conservative students."  Disruptions also occurred at Shapiro's 2016 lectures at Penn State and at University of Wisconsin.

Last year, at DePaul University, a Yiannopoulos event was disrupted after Black Lives Matter "protesters stormed the stage, blew whistles, grabbed the microphone out of the interviewer's hand and threatened to punch Yiannopoulos."

As security stood by and watched, Kati Danforth, an African-American student, came on stage and scolded the protesters.  She said, "I'm pretty sure your parents didn't raise you to be disrespectful! ... It's an opinion, guys!  It's an opinion!  It's not going to kill you!" she shouted.  "If you believe in who you are and you know who you are, it will not bother you!"

Amen to Kati Danforth.

"You're not going to let us speak." 

You would expect to hear those words in oppressive Communist regimes, or in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, where unacceptable speech can get you beheaded.

No – this is what was disgracefully heard this month at Middlebury College, an elite private liberal arts college in Vermont.  This was what Professor Allison Stanger acknowledged to an unruly crowd of Middlebury students who decided it was "unacceptable" for Dr. Charles Murray, an invited controversial conservative political scientist and author, to speak on their campus.  Among chants yelled by the mob was "Shut it down!" and "Hey, hey, ho, ho, Charles Murray has got to go!"

Stanger, who had agreed to moderate the discussion, then pursued plan B – go to a closed location and live-stream the discussion.  The angry students pursued and banged on the walls and set off fire alarms to stop any talk with Murray.  Murray was there to discuss his book, called Coming Apart, that details the plight of poor working-class white Americans and how whites in America live in a stark two-class society.  Murray has been vilified for a previous book he co-authored called The Bell Curve.  This book had some discussion on ethnicity and I.Q., which has led Murray to be called a "racist" and "white supremacist" among many other nasty labels.

No one seemed to know or care that Murray is the father of two biracial children, has degrees from Harvard and MIT, and even has a daughter who is an alumna from Middlebury.

During the interrupted live-stream talk, Murray asked simply, "What is it that is so terrible that I cannot speak?"  While Murray was trying to leave the campus, Stanger was assaulted and endured a neck injury and was treated at a hospital.  Stanger later wrote, "I feared for my life."

The incident at Middlebury has received national attention and articles have been written in The Wall Street JournalThe Atlantic, the Boston Globe, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and many others.  Last month, a violent protest also broke out at U.C. Berkeley to stop Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial conservative writer, from speaking that resulted in $100,000 in property damage.

Though the media has portrayed the incidents at Middlebury and Berkeley as a new trend, censorship of conservative speakers on U.S. college campuses has been ongoing.  Furthermore, Caroline Glick writes in the Jerusalem Post, "Jewish speakers and students have been subjected ... to campaigns of repressions for nearly 20 years at universities and colleges throughout the US. What is new about the riots against Murray and Yiannopoulos is that they were shouted down despite the fact that they weren't talking about Israel."

In 2016, a commentary in the Washington Examiner describes how Ben Shapiro and Young America's Foundation "were greeted by a raucous mob ... at California State University-Los Angeles. Hundreds of Black Lives Matter activists formed a human chain around the lecture hall, hitting and shoving conservative students."  Disruptions also occurred at Shapiro's 2016 lectures at Penn State and at University of Wisconsin.

Last year, at DePaul University, a Yiannopoulos event was disrupted after Black Lives Matter "protesters stormed the stage, blew whistles, grabbed the microphone out of the interviewer's hand and threatened to punch Yiannopoulos."

As security stood by and watched, Kati Danforth, an African-American student, came on stage and scolded the protesters.  She said, "I'm pretty sure your parents didn't raise you to be disrespectful! ... It's an opinion, guys!  It's an opinion!  It's not going to kill you!" she shouted.  "If you believe in who you are and you know who you are, it will not bother you!"

Amen to Kati Danforth.

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