Violent Student Mob in Vermont Shuts Down Charles Murray Lecture, Injures Professor
Controversial author and scholar Charles Murray and a Middlebury College professor were attacked by an angry mob Thursday night as they left a campus building following an attempt at a lecture.
Professor Allison Stanger's neck was injured when someone pulled her hair as she tried to shield Murray from 20 to 30 violent agitators who attacked the pair outside the McCullough Student Center at Vermont’s traditionally liberal Middlebury College.
According to Bill Burger, vice president of communications at the college, the crowd was made up of students and "outside agitators," some of whom wore masks as they screamed at Murray. He described their behavior outside as "incredibly violent and said that "it was a very, very dangerous situation."
Charles Murray is a political scientist and author who is best known for his 1994 book, The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, co-written with Richard Herrnstein. The New York Times bestseller is controversial for linking social inequality to genetics. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) labels Murray a white nationalist on its website.
Via Vermont's "Independent Voice" Seven Days:
"The demonstrators were trying to block Mr. Murray and Professor Stanger's way out of the building and to the car," Burger said. "It became a pushing and shoving match, with the officers trying to protect those two people from demonstrators — and it became violent."
"This was an incredibly violent confrontation," added Burger, who described the crowd a "mob."
On Friday afternoon, Middlebury College president Laurie Patton sent a statement to all students, faculty and staff describing how "deeply disappointed" she was by the incident.
"I know that many students, faculty, and staff who were in attendance or waiting outside to participate were upset by the events, and the lost opportunity for those in our community who wanted to listen to and engage with Mr. Murray," she wrote, later adding: "I extend my sincerest apologies to everyone who came in good faith to participate in a serious discussion, and particularly to Mr. Murray and Prof. Stanger for the way they were treated during the event and, especially, afterward."
Murray had been invited and scheduled to speak at Wilson Hall earlier in the day. But a jeering and booing crowd of students turned their backs on him and shouted down his attempts to speak. After about 25 minutes, administrators resorted to plan B: moving Murray to a private room and streaming the video of his speech online.
Seven Days added:
Students continued to make a ruckus as Murray spoke from the private room with occasional questions from Stanger, a professor of international politics and economics.
About half an hour after the event ended, Burger said, the two, accompanied by a college administrator and two public safety officers, tried to leave the building via a back entrance and hurry to a car.