Is It Time to Rethink Campus Protest? - 2018-05-04
In a new era of protest and de-platforming, conservatives have defensively invested the First Amendment with a transcendent power and moral authority it does not warrant. What happens when equality and free speech are in direct opposition?
The guest of honor at this year's annual "Disinvitation Dinner," a Manhattan gala held every spring by the William F. Buckley Jr. Program, was Charles Murray. Murray first made his name as a co-author of The Bell Curve, which posits controversial connections among race, IQ, and socioeconomic status. He has since become a lightning rod for campus dissent.
Murray is a frequent campus lecturer on the topics of race and science; his ideas have also been subject to substantial student protest. The most dramatic disruption to one of his speeches came last May, when Middlebury College students shut Murray down by (among other acts) pulling fire alarms, physically roughing up his faculty interviewer (giving her a concussion), and jumping up and down on the hood of Murray's getaway car.