- The Washington Times - Friday, March 3, 2017

Hundreds of students shouted down Libertarian author and political scientist Charles Murray during a lecture Thursday at Vermont’s Middlebury College, forcing him to move to a private room and stream the lecture online.

Mr. Murray, a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, was interrupted immediately after taking the podium at the McCullough Student Center’s Wilson Hall, according to video posted by The Middlebury Campus student weekly.

Once he started to speak, dozens of students stood up and turned their backs to him, holding signs and asking others to join. They then read a script in unison condemning Mr. Murray’s supposed “hate speech” and started chanting “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, Charles Murray go away.”

Mr. Murray stood silently at the podium for 18 minutes until organizers approached him.

The college ultimately decided to cancel the lecture and moved Mr. Murray to a private room where he could stream the talk live, The Middlebury Campus reported.

Mr. Murray is most famously known for writing the 1994 book “The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life,” and is deemed a “white nationalist” by the liberal nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center.

He was set Thursday to discuss his 2012 book “Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010,” which students argued normalizes white supremacy and white nationalism.

More than 450 Middlebury alumni signed a letter published Wednesday condemning the school’s decision to allow Mr. Murray on campus.

The student group that invited the author, the American Enterprise Institution Club, said the invite was not necessarily an endorsement of his beliefs.

“I really think his work ‘Coming Apart’ is incredibly important in understanding the forces at play that brought the movement together, and as a Republican, I don’t understand this movement enough,” club president Phil Hoxie told a local NBC News affiliate.

Bill Burger, the vice president of communication at the school, said he was disappointed by the protesting students’ behavior Thursday.

“We respect the right for students to express themselves and to protest, and we acknowledge that at the opening remarks for the event, but it’s clear that a group of students were committed to disrupting the event, and to an extreme degree they’ve done that,” he told NBC. “Fortunately, we’ve been able to preserve what he says again, the important thing in our community is that there is an opportunity for people to speak and to be heard and listen and to challenge.”

Middlebury officials told Inside Higher Ed that as Mr. Murray was trying to leave campus, protesters swarmed the vehicle and jumped on it, trying to prevent him from leaving.

Mr. Murraysaid on Twitter Friday that he was physically assaulted by the “out-of-control mob.”

“Report from the front: The Middlebury administration was exemplary. The students were seriously scary,” he tweeted.


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