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Students Protest Charles Murray’s ‘Racism’ and ‘Classism’ at NYU They would be better served by engaging with scholarly ideas outside of their ideological bubble. By Paul Crookston

Charles Murray was not met with riots when he showed up to speak at NYU last Friday, as he had been at Middlebury College a few weeks before. Still, his reception hardly served as a model for campus discourse. Security was beefed up, and his hosts, a student group affiliated with the American Enterprise Institute, had to restrict access to the event. A small crowd showed up to protest Murray’s presence — and to hurl insults at attendees and the university itself.

In response to what occurred at Middlebury, the speech’s venue was moved to an underground room in NYU’s Torch Club, and tickets had to be reserved ahead of time, angering many who had hoped to gain admission in order to protest.

The protest was an unimpressive showing. Demonstrators numbered about 20 and brandished signs with such inane slogans as “No Eugenics on Campus — Fight Fascism.” They chanted about Murray but also directed opprobrium at NYU for permitting his visit. Pairing Murray’s alleged prejudice with that of the university, a chant of “How do you spell ‘classist’? N-Y-U!” rang out as I stood waiting to get through security, and many signs accused Murray of racism. Indeed, NYU’s Faculty of Color Caucus wrote a letter indicting Murray’s talk as “hate and fear under the guise of scholarship and free speech.”

The strongest condemnation of Murray focused on his supposed view of the poor as an underclass deserving of their situation. One student, Shirish Sarkar, told me: “Charles Murray is the latest in a long line of people that have been pushing this sort of eugenics-based poverty myth, where there’s a correlation between intelligence and poverty.” The Faculty of Color Caucus summarized Murray’s book Coming Apart, on which the talk was based, as “[blaming] poor whites for their own poverty.” Those of us who listened to what Murray had to say in his talk in fact heard him sharply reprove the out-of-touch elite that had smugly abandoned the working class and poor to their fate.

As Murray entered the Torch Club through a side door, flanked by security, his talk began with shouts of “Shame! Shame! Shame!” faintly echoing from above ground, outside of the restaurant. He referred to the hullabaloo only with an opening joke that it was all wasted on a talk that will make listeners think, “That’s it?”

Is the Ivy League’s Admission Bias a ‘Trade Secret’? Princeton sues to block the government’s release of documents that could show discrimination. By Jason L. Riley


Shortly after the Supreme Court’s dispiriting decision last year in Fisher v. University of Texas, which upheld the use of racial preferences in college admissions, Gallup released some encouraging poll results. More than 6 out of 10 white, black and Hispanic respondents said they disagreed with the ruling. And 7 in 10 people—including 76% of whites, 61% of Hispanics and 50% of blacks—said colleges should admit applicants based “solely on merit.”

Of course, the Supreme Court’s job is to interpret the commands of the Constitution, not opinion surveys. Still, the polling results are a reminder that the courts and the college administrators who cheered the ruling are much bigger fans of racial double standards than are the general public—even those who supposedly benefit from race-based affirmative action.

But the Gallup poll also illustrates how our national discussion of racial preferences in higher education has gotten so dated. Nowhere mentioned in the survey—and only glancingly referenced in the Fisher majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy—are Asian-Americans, though they are the country’s fastest-growing racial group and have become increasingly fed up with their treatment at elite colleges.

“The old paradigm of affirmative action being about white versus black has been completely upended,” says Edward Blum of Students for Fair Admissions, a group that opposes racial preferences. “California, Arizona, Texas, Florida—these are states that are becoming majority-minority, multiracial, multiethnic. We’re competing as different racial and ethnic groups that really have less and less meaning in our multiracial and multiethnic society.”

‘Ending Jewish Privilege’ flyers distributed at University of Illinois, Chicago By Thomas Lifson

The rising tide of Jew-hatred raised its ugly head in Chicago this week, hurling a slur that could signal a new rationale for anti-Semitism. The University of Illinois, Chicago (where Bill Ayers was a professor for decades), saw antisemitic pamphlets and posters. Stephen Gossett of Chicagoist writes:

“Ending white privilege starts with ending Jewish privilege,” the flyer reads. Several figures with Stars of David stand atop a pyramid. “Is the 1% Straight White Men? Or is the 1% Jewish,” it reads.

Student and Rohr Chabad House president Eva Zeltser, who posted a photo of the flyer on Facebook, sent a letter to the Dean of Students asking that the university take action. “If you are against hate crimes against one group, you should be against these acts of violence for ALL groups,” she wrote. “I understand free speech, but what about my freedom to feel safe on campus,” she added.

As several commenters noted, the math on the flyer, which tries to cobble together two PEW Research polls, does not add up, either.

The university’s response contained boilerplate about “the importance of tolerance, inclusion and diversity” and also “the right to free expression,” but did use the word “anti-Semitic” to describe the posters.

No doubt some people will tally this rise to Trump supporters for no good reason, but the rhetoric of “white privilege” suggests a demographic that voted heavily for Hillary. Which leads me to believe that the perps here will suffer no consequences.

The expression “Jewish Privilege” is particularly chilling for Jews, of course, because Jews are so disproportionately successful in many realms of competition. In an era when claims of victimhood are rewarded, few targets are more tempting than the disproportionately successful.

The Left Can’t Stop Campus Riots Like Middlebury’s Because Their Ideology Deserves Blame: Peter Wood *****

Liberals need to appreciate the dangers posed by a radical movement that rejects the principles of intellectual freedom and freedom of expression.

The Middlebury College protest on March 2 that silenced an invited speaker and hospitalized a popular professor has continued to garner attention.

More than 100 Middlebury professors—included the one injured in the encounter—have signed a statement of principles, Free Inquiry on Campus, upholding the classic virtues of “free, reasoned, and civil speech.” The document implicitly repudiates the actions of some other Middlebury professors who instigated the effort to deny Dr. Charles Murray the opportunity to speak on campus.
The American Political Science Association, representing 13,000 professors and students, issued its own statement condemning “Violence at Middlebury College.” The APSA statement says, in part, “The violence surrounding the talk undermined the ability of faculty and students to engage in the free exchange of ideas and debate, thereby impeding academic freedom on the Middlebury campus.”
How Liberals Are Responding To Middlebury’s Protest

Harry Boyte, founder of the Public Achievement movement, has written in The Huffington Post to condemn Middlebury students’ intolerant, violent actions. Boyte pointedly evoked his memories of the 1960s: “the student actions recalled the mob violence across the South which I often saw as a young man in the civil rights movement working for Martin Luther King’s organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).” Boyte also underlined the essential point: “Free speech is a crucial value for education.”

The liberal commentator Frank Bruni devoted his Sunday New York Times column, “The Dangerous Safety of College,” to lamenting “the recent melee at Middlebury.” Bruni’s point is that “somewhere along the way,” the Middlebury protesters “got the idea that they should be able to purge their world of perspectives offensive to them.” Instead of using the occasion “to hone the most eloquent” arguments against Dr. Murray, “they swarmed and swore.” Indeed they did worse than that, but Bruni provides a nice round-up of comments from liberals who firmly reject the tactics of the Middlebury protesters, if not their message.

One notable figure Bruni failed to cite is Bill McKibben, the radical environmentalist who may well be Middlebury’s best-known professor. In the same vein as Bruni, McKibben took to the pages of The Guardian to chastise his fellow activists for choosing the wrong tactic to express their disdain for Dr. Murray. McKibben explains that by preventing Murray from speaking, they conferred on him a “new standing” and made him “a martyr to the cause of free speech.” It would have been better to have “taken all the available seats, and then got up and peacefully left.”

Many other Middlebury students, alumni, and faculty members have been writing and posting about the events as well, and because I published one of the longest and mostdetailed accounts of what happened, I received many private communications as well as pointers to other items of interest.

Interest in the story seems to be growing because it has implications well beyond the one small college in Vermont where the events took place. In that light, I think it useful to summarize the discussion so far, starting with the microcosm of Middlebury itself.
Yes, The Protest Really Became A Riot

Anti-Semitism Dressed Up As “Education” The pernicious lies of the organization “If Americans Knew.”

Founded in 2001 by Alison Weir, If Americans Knew (IAK) describes itself as a “research and information-dissemination institute” that focuses primarily on “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S. foreign policy regarding the Middle East, and media coverage of this issue.” The organization’s mission — rooted in the premise that the U.S. media are largely infected with a pro-Israel bias — is to “inform and educate the American public on issues of major significance that are unreported, underreported, or misreported.”

IAK asserts that because of what it calls the “Israeli military occupation” of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Palestinians in those regions “live in an odd and oppressive limbo” where “they have no nation, no citizenship, and no ultimate power over their own lives.” By IAK’s telling, “Israel is one of the leading violators” of the Geneva Conventions, “a set of principles instituted after World War II to ensure that civilians would ‘never again’ suffer as they had under Nazi occupation.” Lamenting that “Palestinians live, basically, in a prison in which Israel holds the keys,” IAK claims that “Israeli forces regularly confiscate private land; imprison individuals without process — including children — and physically abuse them under incarceration; demolish family homes; bulldoze orchards and crops; place entire towns under curfew; destroy shops and businesses; [and] shoot, maim, and kill civilians.”

Arguing that it is only because of “the money and weaponry provided by the United States” that Israel is able to “impos[e] an ethnically discriminatory nation on land that was previously multicultural,” IAK calls for a complete cessation of all U.S. aid to the Jewish state. “American support of the Israeli government,” the group elaborates, “… places us [the U.S.] at war with populations whose desperate plight we are helping to create and … makes us an accomplice to war crimes and an accessory to oppression.” In addition, IAK charges that U.S. economic assistance to Israel not only “prop[s] up a system of discrimination that is antithetical to American principles of equality and democracy,” but also “interferes with American relations with the oil-producing nations” while siphoning vital tax revenues away from “domestic needs.”

In an effort to shield itself from charges of anti-Semitism, IAK is usually careful not to disparage “the Jews” explicitly; instead it typically refers to subsets of Jews such as “the Zionists,” “the Israel lobby,” or “the neocons” whose “dual loyalties” allegedly undermine America’s national sovereignty.

A Field Guide to Harvard’s Field Guide on ‘Fake News’ The real fake-out is that the Left is capable of honestly policing fake news. By Ben Shapiro

Last week, Harvard released a new research guide on “fake news.”

“Fake news,” of course, is the source of all evil, according to the Left. It’s only thanks to lies that Donald Trump was elected! Instead of targeting stories that are completely false, however, the Left applies the label of “fake news” to outlets that report factual stories but draw political conclusions from them — in other words, they call everything with which they disagree “fake news.”

Which means that their talk of “fake news” is actually fake news.

Of course, the largest “fake news” item of all is that “objective” news sources aren’t biased in their coverage. They obviously are, and it’s why conservatives have warmed to President Trump’s labeling left-leaning outlets such as CNN “fake news” even if CNN isn’t actually reporting anything factually false but merely drawing convenient leftist inferences from overblown coverage of core facts.

Nonetheless, the Harvard guide, written by “social justice” professor Melissa Zimdars of Merrimack College, purports to compile a handy-dandy list of fake-news sites to avoid. The list provides ten different ways to label the stories on such sites:

fake news (actual fake news)
extreme bias (“sources that come from a particular point of view and may rely on propaganda, decontextualized information, and opinions distorted as facts”)
conspiracy theory
rumor mill
state news
junk science (“sources that promote pseudoscience, metaphysics, naturalistic fallacies, and other scientifically dubious claims”)
hate news
proceed with caution (“sources that may be reliable but whose contents require further verification”)

Two other indicators are used for leftist sites that meet Zimdars’s politically correct standards:

The Middlebury Aftermath Robert George and Cornel West issue a defense of free speech.

Amid the icy Nor’easter that hit the east coast Tuesday, a clear ray of intellectual sunshine emerged: Professors Robert George of Princeton University and Cornel West of Harvard University posted online, for national signatures, a petition in defense of freedom of speech. You may find it at http://jmp.princeton.edu/statement.

Their statement—“Truth Seeking, Democracy, and Freedom of Thought and Expression”—follows on the heels of last week’s remarkable free-speech statement by professors at Middlebury College, which now has more than 100 signatures at that small Vermont institution.

Both efforts come in the aftermath of a protest at Middlebury against scholar Charles Murray of the American Enterprise Institute. That protest turned into a mob action, including an assault on Middlebury professor Allison Stanger, who had questioned Mr. Murray on stage.

For years, Professors George and West, the former a conservative and the latter a socialist, together taught a class at Princeton on how to listen to contrary points of view. Middlebury’s violence drove home what many in academia have come to see more clearly now—that the most basic tenets of free inquiry and exchange are under unprecedented pressure in the U.S., not least at universities.

The George-West statement stands as a forceful rebuttal to the all-too-frequent attempt to stigmatize opponents into silence. We hope it gains the national support it deserves.


In a letter to the editor posted in last Sunday’s NYTimes magazine, the writer had this to say:

“Thank you Nikole Hannah-Jones for making plain how antiblackness and the effort to subjugate black and brown people and those deemed “other” are enduring subtexts to all our fights around education. There is a direct line from efforts to eradicate the language and culture of native people to the substandard education offered to the formerly enslaved and our ‘no excuses” or test-obsessed charters today….The underlying theory is that schools sort students into winners and losers, that parents want to seek competitive advantage so their children are on top and the means for gaining advantage as well as the results are highly racialized to maintain white supremacy.” (Beth Glenn, Director , Education Justice Network, ( NYT 3/12/17)

Ms. Glenn is obviously unaware that as of 2014, it is Asian “other” students who constituted 73% of the enrollment at Stuyvesant, 62% at Bronx Science and 61% at Brooklyn Tech. So much for white supremacy at those public schools in New York where performance is judged by merit, not by race. Asian parents traditionally resist putting their children into English as a Second Language class where students often languish unsuccessfully for years. They do not consider that their native language is “eradicated” when their children learn the native language of the country where they live. They properly understand that language is a vital necessity in the path to educational and professional success. No black or Latino children today are formerly enslaved but that desire for victim status is a giveaway to Ms Glenn’s mode of thinking and her inability to grasp that “no excuses” is another reality and a character building tool for gaining a foothold in a competitive society

Sadly, black and Hispanic enrollment at these special schools is in single digit percents and surprisingly, the minority with the highest poverty rate among New York’s races is also Asian. Rather than complain about disadvantage, they seem determined to instill the values of hard work, perseverance, willingness to do what is necessary without feeling aggrieved or looking for cop-outs. Unfortunately, too many who determine policy at the Board of Education seem to be more n line with Ms. Glenn’s unproductive attitudes. Standards constantly get lowered so that students who are deficient in English and Math get pushed ahead anyway, though too many drop out and only 65% graduate from high school on time. Currently, students can appeal the grade on their Regents exam if they have taken the test twice, passed the course and scored between 62 – 64; the new proposal is to further lower that to 60. Compare this with the graduation rate of 85% for Asians and 82% for whites. New York has just eliminated a required literacy test for its teachers, further dumbing down the standards for working in the field of education along with the possibility of acquiring one.

Some on the Left Now Criticize the Students They Created After a half-century of hateful rhetoric about conservatives, liberals shouldn’t be surprised when students treat Charles Murray like a mortal enemy. By Dennis Prager

In the last few weeks, there has been a spate of columns by writers on the left condemning the left-wing college students who riot, take over university buildings, and shout down speakers they differ with.

These condemnations, coming about 50 years too late, should not be taken seriously.

Take New York Times columnist Frank Bruni. His latest column is filled with dismay over the way Middlebury College students attacked Charles Murray and the liberal female professor who invited him to Middlebury (she was injured by the rioters).

I have no doubt that Bruni is sincere. Sincerity, however, is completely unrelated to wisdom or insight.

Here’s the problem: It is the Left that transformed universities into the moral and intellectual wastelands most now are.

It is the Left that created the moral monsters known as left-wing students who do not believe in free speech, let alone tolerance.

It is the Left that has taught generations of young Americans that America is essentially a despicable society, racist and xenophobic to its core.

It is the Left that came up with the lie that the university has been overrun by a “culture of rape.”

It is the Left that taught generations of Americans that everyone on the right is sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic, racist, and bigoted.

It is the Left that is anti-intellectual, teaching students to substitute feelings for reason.

It is the Left that removed the portrait of Shakespeare hanging at the English department of the University of Pennsylvania because Shakespeare is a white male — thereby teaching college students that art is not measured by excellence or by the pursuit of truth but by race, gender, and class.

It is the Left that has transformed the Founders of the United States from great men creating the freest and most affluent society in human society into rich, white, racist males who created a racist, colonialist, imperialist, women-hating, foreigner-hating, non-white-hating society.

Free speech? Not at my college! By John Meinhold

“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 try and 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 alumnus 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 Journal, The Atlantic, Boston Globe, Philadelphia Inquirer, and many others. Last month a violent protest also broke out at UC 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.”