News & Politics

Middlebury Student: Riot Was Not Rioters' Fault

Middlebury College students turn their backs to Charles Murray, unseen, who they call a white nationalist, during his lecture in Middlebury, Vt., Thursday, March 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

When Charles Murray was slated to speak at Middlebury College, no one expected a riot like the one that occurred when Milo was to appear at Berkeley. One Middlebury faculty member was attacked and needed to receive treatment at a hospital.

But Middlebury students aren’t to blame, just the security staff. At least that’s what a student want us to believe:

Burger, Stanger [the injured professor], and Murray left McCullough around 7:00 p.m., surrounded by security personnel. Community members and students lined the path to their car, chanting and holding signs as the group left the building. One person blocked the sidewalk, holding a large sign in front of Murray. In the first of a series of disproportional and escalating acts of violence, security personnel immediately and without warning began pushing and pulling protesters out of the way as soon as they were within arm’s reach. Some people were thrown to the ground by security personnel, and one person was struck hard in the chest.

A student reports that Professor Stanger’s hair was not intentionally pulled but was inadvertently caught in the chaos that Public Safety incited. It is irresponsible to imply that a protester aggressively and intentionally pulled her hair.

Protesters then surrounded the parked car, with some pushing on the sides of the car.

Several people stood behind the car, yet Burger attempted to back out of the parking spot. He managed to back out by inching through a throng of security personnel and protesters. He proceeded to drive through the crowd. At times Burger accelerated forward into protesters. Security personnel pushed, grabbed and dragged students and community members to the asphalt to clear the area around the car. Security personnel inflicted bruises and other physical harm on many people. One observer states that they saw Public Safety Telecom Manager and Tech Support Specialist, Solon Coburn, put his body between outside security personnel and protesters, mitigating security personnel’s unacceptable over-reactions.

There’s a lot here in these two paragraphs, and there’s still a lot more at the original link. However, let’s look at what we can glean from this.

The student admits that students protested as Murray was being escorted out of a building and through a hostile crowd. They crowded Murray, Stranger, and college VP of communications Bill Burger to the point that the security escort could make contact with them, which implies that security needed to push their way through.

Then, the student admits that the mob was assaulting the sides of a car occupied by the now-injured Stanger, preventing the car from leaving.

Burger using his vehicle to push his way through the mob is exactly what he should have done. The car could have been flipped, the windows smashed in at any moment. We’ve seen a Trump supporter dragged from his vehicle and beaten not that long ago, and it’s not unreasonable to believe people shoving your car, who have already seriously injured one of the passengers, will do far worse should they stay still.

The whole article by this student is the typical vacating of responsibility for one’s actions that permeates this generation. He might as well write: “Look at what you made us do.” He knows the public is sick of spoiled kids on college campuses who think violence is an appropriate response to political disagreement, and he doesn’t want to admit to himself that he’s guilty.

I’m leaning towards the account of Allison Stanger — a political science professor who is a liberal and disagrees with Murray on most things and who describes a very different scene than this student pretending he didn’t do a darn thing wrong.