Sunday, July 23, 2017

When 'safe spaces' turn violent

Rich Lowry

At Middlebury College last week, Charles Murray needed a safe space — literally.  In a significant escalation of the campus speech wars, protesters hooted down the conservative scholar in a lecture hall and then roughed up a Middlebury faculty member escorting him to a car.  The Middlebury administration commendably tried to do the right thing and stand by Murray’s right to be heard, but was overwhelmed by a yowling mob with all the manners and intellectual openness of a gang of British soccer hooligans.............Finally, there was the violence. The students who brought in Charles Murray framed the evening as “an invitation to argue,” and in that spirit asked Professor Allison Stanger, a Democrat in good standing, to serve as Murray’s interlocutor. When chanting students commandeered the lecture hall, Stanger and Murray repaired to another room for a livestreamed discussion.

Protesters found the room and pounded on the windows and pulled fire alarms. When Murray and Stanger exited at the end of the livestream and headed for their getaway car, protesters assailed them. They shoved and grabbed Stanger, who was shaken up and later went to the hospital, and pounded on the car and tried to obstruct it.

Stanger wrote afterward that she “feared for my life.”And for what offense? Talking to someone who thinks differently than the average Middlebury faculty member or student.....If campuses aren’t to sink further into their current miasma of illiberalism, administrators will have to actively fight the tide of suppression. It’s not enough to say the right things about free speech, they have to punish thuggish student agitators............. To Read More.....



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