Having accepted the SPLC’s verdict on Murray, the alumni write that their call to keep him off the campus “is not an issue of free speech.” Of course, they claim that Middlebury students must hear “a diverse range of perspectives,” including those in which “our beliefs were questioned and our assumptions challenged” but in Murray’s case, “the principle does not apply.” That is because they believe that Murray argues for “the biological and intellectual superiority of white men” and does so pretending to have “academic authority.” Then they falsely accuse him of promoting “eugenics,” and of “genocidal white supremacist ideologies.” Somehow, I don’t think any of these alumni signers would have protested an appearance by noted eugenicist and birth control advocate Margaret Sanger, if she was still with us.
They assert that Murray shows in all his books “the same disregard for basic standards of research and peer review.” In fact, many academics thought The Bell Curve raised substantive issues that needed discussing. Wouldn’t students have learned a better lesson had they been allowed to hear Murray’s talk, and then heard the discussion when he was challenged during the Q and A? Using the phrase recently uttered by Kellyanne Conway, they proclaim his books are composed of “alternative facts.” So rather than have academic debate, they call the invitation to hear Murray a “threat.”
As events showed, it was a threat—one that did not come from Charles Murray, but from the student mob of self-righteous uninformed leftists who prevented him from speaking, and who threatened Murray’s First Amendment rights. (In a tweet, Murray quipped that “I don’t think physical assault is covered by lst amendment either. But I’m not a constitutional scholar.”)