Horatius Defiant

A Journal of Great Books, Liberal Education, and the Academy in Exile

When you stick your neck out...

And then the Progressives Will Shoot the Liberals…

Allison Stanger, an international politics professor at Middlebury College, suffered a concussion at the hands of an angry mob of student protesters when they physically attacked her as she attempted to flee with her guest, Charles Murray, after they were bullied out of Middlebury’s Wilson Hall, where Dr. Stanger had been moderating a lecture being given by Dr. Murray.  Since then, she’s published two op-ed pieces with the New York Times: the first describing the incident (well worth the read), and the second on the toxic political environment at Middlebury in particular and universities more generally.
In her most recent piece, Dr. Stanger makes the somewhat disturbing but enlightening comparison to the sycophantic reception given to Edward Snowden, former CIA employee and alleged traitor, and the lynch-mob reception given to Charles Murray, the AEI scholar and alleged white-supremacist. In her words:

I interviewed Mr. Snowden in a neck brace and sunglasses (he burst out laughing when he first saw me during the soundcheck). He spoke without disruption, despite being charged with espionage for leaking classified information, and was rewarded with thunderous applause. Two weeks earlier, Charles Murray was prevented from speaking, and protesters did their level best to stop our attempt to salvage the event via livestream from a remote location. We were attacked as we struggled to leave the building. The lingering effects of whiplash and a concussion continue to compromise my daily routine.

To anyone who might ask how a guest lecture featuring a fugitive wanted for crimes against his country (whose guilt  is really uncontested, mitigating circumstances notwithstanding) not only failed to cause any controversy, but actually evoked “thunderous applause,” Dr. Stanger offers some insight (emphasis added):

That these events transpired in the same place but so very differently speaks volumes about the milieu in which students today at elite institutions are educated. The majority of faculty and students are progressive. A small minority are conservative; many of them are in the closet, afraid to speak their minds for fear of being denounced as reactionary bigots.

Finally and sadly, Dr. Stanger informs us of the status afforded the remaining pillars upon which the university is built: reason and free inquiry (emphasis added)

The moderate middle at Middlebury currently feels it cannot speak out on the side of free inquiry without fear of being socially ostracized as racist. Most alarming, I have heard some students and faculty denounce reason and logic as manifestations of white supremacy. This is not a productive learning environment for anyone. This is not what the life of the mind is supposed to provide….

…And so the progressives begin attacking liberals…

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