The Middlebury Meltdown

By | 2017-03-05T14:38:57+00:00 March 5th, 2017|
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Future historians of the liberal arts in American academic life will be able to pinpoint the time and place of its death with remarkable accuracy. The fatal blow was delivered Thursday night, March 2, at Wilson Hall, Middlebury College, Vermont. The victim struggled manfully, but finally expired outside the McCullough Student Center an hour or so later.

It was there that liberal fascism—that witch’s brew of identity politics, political correctness, and what I’ve called the weaponization of victimhood—finally erupted with definitive virulence.

No one should have been surprised. There had been many earlier outbreaks on prominent campuses throughout the country. But what happened at Middlebury crossed a line.

Chapter One: The social scientist Charles Murray is invited to speak at Middlebury by a small student club.

Chapter Two: When Murray is introduced before an audience of some 400, a patter of boos and catcalls disrupt the introduction. When he rises to speak, most of the audience rises en masse and turns its back on Murray. For the next 20 minutes, as Murray stands calmly at the podium, the mob cycles through a sequence of obviously rehearsed chants: “Who is the enemy? White Supremacy,” “Hey hey, ho ho, Charles Murray has to go,” “Racist, sexist, anti-gay, Charles Murray go away,” “Your message is hatred we will not tolerate it,” “Charles Murray go away Middlebury says no way,” etc.

Chapter Three: College officials, apparently anticipating a disruption, announce, to renewed boos, that Middlebury Professor Allison Stanger will conduct an interview with Murray from another location and stream the proceedings back to Wilson Hall. Then this happened:

Once the interview began in the second room, protesters swarmed into the hallway, chanting and pulling fire alarms. Still, the interview was completed and officials, including Ms. Stanger, escorted Mr. Murray out the back of the building.

There, several masked protesters, who were believed to be outside agitators, began pushing and shoving Mr. Murray and Ms. Stanger, Mr. Burger [a spokesman for the college] said. “Someone grabbed Allison’s hair and twisted her neck…”

After the two got into a car, Mr. Burger said, protesters pounded on it, rocked it back and forth, and jumped onto the hood. Ms. Stanger later went to a hospital, where she was put in a neck brace.

Note that the violence occurred as Murray and Stanger attempted to leave. As Andrew Stuttaford of National Review observes, “The ‘justification’ for disrupting his speech was that opinions such as Murray’s should not be given a hearing on campus, but this was something else. Murray was not about to speak, he was about to depart, and yet he and Ms. Stanger were attacked.”

An amateur video of the proceedings in Wilson Hall has gone viral. It makes for a disturbing 43 minutes.

Quite apart from the mindless vituperation of the student totalitarians, the performance of Middlebury President Laurie L. Patton, who briefly addressed the crowd before Murray rose to speak, was an emetic specimen of self-congratulatory virtue signaling.

“I would regret it terribly,” she said, if her presence in the hall were regarded as “an endorsement of Mr. Murray’s research.” Certainly not! In case there were any doubts, the President of Middlebury announced that she “profoundly disagrees with many of Mr. Murray’s views.” Applause from the audience (but not as enthusiastic as the applause that greeted her announcement of another forthcoming speaker: Edward Snowden).

Middlebury, said President Patton, was dedicated to unlocking “the brilliance” of every student (was this Middlebury or Lake Wobegone?) “no matter their race, their class, their sexual orientation, their religious orientation, their disabled status, or any other demographic marker.”

Patton must have been proud of that formulation, for she repeated it verbatim later in her remarks. She also declared, without obvious irony, that “very premise of free speech on this campus is that the speaker has a right to be heard.” Is that so? Watch the video. Can you imagine any less welcoming place, short of North Korea, for free speech?

Parents: This year, it costs $64,332 (not including books and incidentals) to attend Middlebury. Watch that video: money well spent?

John Stuart Mill once noted that if you know only your own side of an argument, you don’t even know that. It is only through the pressure of alternatives that we come to appreciate the strengths and weaknesses of our own position. That hoary liberal idea is obviously completely passé at elite institutions like Middlebury. There what is wanted is the party line and nothing else. Apparently, it has been that way for a while. One news report revealed that some 450 Middlebury alumni were “disappointed, confused and alarmed” to learn Murray had been invited to Middlebury.

That alumni letter trades in an oft-used, if also deeply disingenuous, rhetorical strategy. It begins by asserting that its effort to squash free speech is “not an issue of freedom of speech.” Like President Patton, it affirms their commitment to “a diverse range of opinion.” etc. etc. No, it is not free speech but a concern about the “nature” and “quality” Charles Murray’s work that bothers them. It’s worth reading this inadvertently hilarious letter and then asking yourself what nearly $300,000 gets you at Middlebury College. Not much, I’d say.

Is there a more distinguished social scientist active in America than Charles Murray? I cannot think of one. The usual epithet applied to Murray is the weasel word “controversial.” A more useful (and more accurate) term would be “distinguished.” His long list of books includes such classics as Losing Ground: American Social Policy, 1950–1980, What It Means to Be a Libertarian, Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950, Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America’s Schools Back to Reality, and Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960–2010. Together these strikingly original works have reshaped and improved the way we think about a host of social problems, from welfare policy and education to the prerequisites of human flourishing in affluent but increasingly divided societies like our own.

Whenever Murray appears on a college campus, however, he is the author of only one book: The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life (1994), which Murray wrote with the Harvard Professor Richard Herrnstein. Last year Murray was invited to speak at Virginia Tech. Tim Sands, the president, wrote a hand-wringing and self-congratulatory “open letter” in which he defended Murray’s right to speak on campus (see how broadminded I am?) while at the same time registering his profound repugnance that so vile a person should appear in their midst (see how virtuous I am?). “This will not be the last time,” Sands mournfully observed, “that a student group, a faculty member or the administration invites a speaker whose views will be regarded by some in our community as repugnant, offensive or even fraudulent.”

“Fraudulent,” eh? “Dr. Murray is well known for his controversial [but of course!] and largely discredited [my emphasis] work linking measures of intelligence to heredity, and specifically to race and ethnicity—a flawed socioeconomic theory that has been used by some to justify fascism, racism and eugenics.”

As Murray noted in reply to this allegation, it is clear that “President Sands is unfamiliar either with the actual content of The Bell Curve . . . or with the state of knowledge in psychometrics.” First of all, the subject of the book is not race but, as the subtitle helpfully indicates, “Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life.”

Murray’s reply gives a brief but pointed summary of his argument in The Bell Curve. At the center of the book is the question to what extent IQ is heritable and to what extent it is a product of environmental factors. A key passage on page 311 notes,

If the reader is now convinced that either the genetic or environmental explanation has won out to the exclusion of the other, we have not done a sufficiently good job of presenting one side or the other. It seems highly likely to us that both genes and the environment have something to do with racial differences. What might the mix be? We are resolutely agnostic on that issue; as far as we can determine, the evidence does not yet justify an estimate.

As Murray notes: “That’s it—the sum total of every wild-eyed claim that The Bell Curve makes about genes and race. There’s nothing else.” In other words, Murray and Herrnstein’s tort was to decline to argue that the observed IQ differences between whites and blacks (one standard deviation, or about 15 points) were due entirely to the environment, not genetic inheritance.

So why the fuss? It seems clear that “Charles Murray” is an hallucination. That is to say, some portion of the population, mesmerized by a fantasy of politically incorrect malignancy, has projected their anxiety on Charles Murray and transformed a sober and humane scholar into a demon. It is, I submit, a species of insanity, and it is not without irony that something similar has been practiced upon one of Murray’s bêtes noirs, Donald Trump.

But that is a subject for another day. For now, it is enough to note the disgusting and dangerous treatment that Middlebury College accorded to a great visiting scholar, not to mention one of its own faculty members. No one, I think, can watch that video and believe that Middlebury fosters an environment hospitable to open debate. On the contrary, despite Patton’s protestations—but doubtless in part because of her policies—Middlebury is a politically correct slum that works to instill a rancid intellectual and moral conformity in its charges. No parent, I trust, could watch that video and be easy about sending his child to Middlebury. And no donor could see it and think about writing a check.

What happened at Middlebury on the evening of March 2 was a declaration of spiritual bankruptcy. Every student who can be identified in that video should be expelled and Laurie Patton should resign. The former have violated the basic compact of respect upon which liberal education rests and the latter has vividly demonstrated her incompetence.

Really, the college should be closed and its facilities repurposed as something useful—a menagerie, perhaps, in homage to the strange, intolerant creatures that cavorted there when it pretended to be an educational institution.

About the Author:

Roger Kimball
Roger Kimball is Editor and Publisher of The New Criterion and President and Publisher of Encounter Books. Mr. Kimball lectures widely and has appeared on national radio and television programs as well as the BBC. He is represented by Writers' Representatives, who can provide details about booking him. Mr. Kimball's latest book is The Fortunes of Permanence: Culture and Anarchy in an Age of Amnesia (St. Augustine's Press, 2012). He is also the author of The Rape of the Masters (Encounter), Lives of the Mind: The Use and Abuse of Intelligence from Hegel to Wodehouse (Ivan R. Dee), and Art's Prospect: The Challenge of Tradition in an Age of Celebrity (Ivan R. Dee). Other titles by Mr. Kimball include The Long March: How the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s Changed America (Encounter) and Experiments Against Reality: The Fate of Culture in the Postmodern Age (Ivan R. Dee). Mr. Kimball is also the author ofTenured Radicals: How Politics Has Corrupted Our Higher Education (HarperCollins). A new edition of Tenured Radicals, revised and expanded, was published by Ivan R. Dee in 2008. Mr. Kimball is a frequent contributor to many publications here and in England, including The New Criterion, The Times Literary Supplement, Modern Painters, Literary Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Public Interest, Commentary, The Spectator, The New York Times Book Review, The Sunday Telegraph, The American Spectator, The Weekly Standard, National Review, and The National Interest.
  • Sam

    That is a fine defence but the truth is that Conservatism Inc members will not publicly defend the position that racial differences in IQ are partly genetic. They will defend Murray because he has the credentials and the connections. As long as this is the case conservatives are part of the problem and not the solution.

    • effinayright

      A hundred or even fifty years ago, the excuse was that blacks were held back by colonialism abroad and segregation here.

      Those excuses are getting might thin; just the other day the leader of South Africa advocated taking land and property from whites in order to “solve” Africans’ problems.

      It’s ALWAYS excuses. It’s ALWAYS scapegoats. It’s ALWAYS an Enemy without, rather than an Enemy within.

      • champ

        “Those excuses are getting might thin; just the other day the leader of South Africa advocated taking land and property from whites in order to “solve” Africans’ problems.}

        Because that worked out so well in Zimbabwe…

    • mnemonicmike

      What? I think that Murray shows (scientifically) that there is a spread of intelligence around various human domains. In fact, if you check the local statistics in the US, you’ll find that it’s an unavoidable conclusion that different races have statistically different IQ’s. What’s happening here is that liberals have a religious belief that there cannot and must not be a difference between species in IQ’s. In other words there is a religious and socialism/politics requirement that all people MUST be equal in all things that matter. So much for all the talk about “evolution” and “science”.

      • Sam

        But conservatives are equally to blame. Consider how often liberals call American society racist(or sexist) for disparities that can be explained by IQ. Yet how often do you see conservatives mention that. The great insight of the Alt-Right is that conservatism is the real problem because it doesn’t dare defend its base nor American society as it is deadly afraid of offending liberals.

        When was the last time a conservative mentioned IQ differences between races?
        I’ll hold my breath.Even Charles Murray rarely if ever talks about IQ differences among races and the evidence has been pilling in ever since the Bell Curve. Did conservatives stand up for him in the 90’s or 00’s? That is why cucks are the ultimate problem.

        • dannyboy116

          In 1979, when I graduated from University, the average IQ of an African American was 85. In 2016, the average IQ of an African American was/is 85. Average IQs of white Americans have not changed either (still right around 100). Depending on your political views, reaction to the above true statement can be taken a number of different directions. 1. I am a racist for mentioning unpleasant facts; 2. We are not doing enough to help African Americans shed the remaining chains of slavery; 3. More money and effort needs to be spent on Affirmative Action programs; 4. We shouldn’t worry about group averages, and understand that each of us is an individual responsible for his/her own attitudes, work ethic, character, and success.

      • CMS

        Fascinating how when you get on sports radio and you bash Christian McCaffrey and say he cant be a running back because he is white you hear no one argue otherwise. Faster than both of the other two premier backs. Better in most drills other than bench press. Better stats than either, yet the boy cant ball because he is white? There are differences in people. Some are genetic (think fast twitch muscle) and some are environmental (Daddy could ball with the best of them). To think otherwise is insane. We are not ALL the same. We need to start recognizing that and take advantage of the diversity we do have.

      • BrooklynNow

        You said “What’s happening here is that liberals have a religious belief that there cannot and must not be a difference between species in IQ’s””

        First you use the term “different races” then make a statement about “difference between species.”

        News to you: “Races” are varieties in the SAME species. All modern humans are the same species since they can mate and produce fertile offspring. Different species cannot mate and produce fertile offspring (for example, a human cannot produce a child by mating with non-human primates). That is the biological definition of species, please don’t mangle it by equating it with the biological definition of variety.” Are there intelligence differences among different species…well obviously even “liberals ” will agree that other primates did not produce the thing called human civilization.Whether there are intelligence differences among the varieties of human species is clearly yes too (a “mentally disabled”–what used to be called “retarded” person has not the same intellligence level as others). Whether there is any natural as opposed to social reason for the current observed correlation between measured IQ and so-called “racial” variation is not known.

        • 1Gandydancer

          It would be exceedingly odd if the process that has produced physical variations between the races did not produce mental variations as well.

        • dannyboy116

          Give the guy a break, he obviously meant “race” when he used the word “species”. Not worthy of the long drawn out “put down” that you wrote.

    • tv22

      So what you’re saying is that we support him because he has a right to speak a position that is contrary to our beliefs? Yes we do. It’s called adulthood.

  • AEJ

    A handful of years back (as a 40-something returning student) I took a World Civ I and a World Civ II course at our Community College (same Prof for both) and we had to read a portion of the Bell Curve. The Prof (he had a Ph. D. in History btw, and has authored highly regarded college level textbooks widely used here and abroad) was not a Conservative at all; more like an old ’60s hippie with a personal bent towards Social Democracy (if not Socialism!) BUT he gave us very fair and balanced required readings, never pushed his opinions as THE CORRECT one, and never penalized for those who disagreed with the PC line. There was also not one student who felt ‘triggered’ by reading the texts, and the sources -both primary and secondary.
    I learned so damn much from those courses! I can’t for the life of me imagine attending a school like Middlebury. Mine was a million times more educational. And for $5K a year…

    • James Becker

      That is all well and good, but it was only stage one.

      Stage two was when the students of that particular class grew up and became future teachers. Then the methods became more direct and coercive.

      Try to remember that stage one was always to be followed by stage two. The fact that you got to witness stage one is fine, but it could never be permanent.

      • AEJ

        Most were already grown up. It was just about 6 years ago (my son took the same courses with the same Prof 2 years ago), and the ages ranged from mostly in their 20s to one in her 50s. Imagine: we actually READ the Bell Curve. At Middlebury, they shrunk from just allowing the author to speak.

        • Samuel Adams

          I can only imagine what would happen today if any of these snowflakes saw the reading lists for the 20th century German history sequences I took 35 years ago…it included…gasp!… Mein Kampf. (a horridly written book btw, but anyone reading it would have had few doubts, in 1926, of where Hitler was headed if handed power)

          • SeanusAurelius

            Tangent to discussion, I agree with you about Main Kampf (not to mention YouTube videos of his speeches). The Trump-Hitler equivalences we hear now are laughable, Hitler was openly promising to abolish other political parties to whole crowds well before 1932.

    • John_In_Michigan

      The “students,” and I use the term loosely, exhibit a determined, if not actually aggressive ignorance. They do not wish to hear another point of view simply because that other viewpoint might disclose the deficiencies in their collective hallucination. That would, in turn, require them to think. Heaven forbid.

      • William Fankboner

        Well, I don’t condone their behavior, but maybe they have a point. You don’t have to read “Mein Kampf” to reject Nazism. And you don’t have to read “The Bell Curve” to reject its conclusions. Charles Murray is a charlatan and a fraud.

        • AEJ

          If you don’t read a primary source, on what basis do you come to any conclusion?
          What others conclude? That’s not thinking, that’s following, and frankly, it’s lazy.
          It’s fine to reject something but not if your reason is because someone told you ought to.

          • William Fankboner

            I believe this is called an ad hominem argument. Look AEJ I think you’re a fine fellow and truly sincere, but I didn’t know I was responsible for your education and I don’t think this forum is the appropriate place to explain why Stanford-Binet I.Q. tests are not legitimate data. You’ve heard of Google?

          • AEJ

            I didn’t argue that a person was a fraud. Ad hominem? Not mean to be; not directed at you personally, really. Sorry if you are offended. Just a question, asking what conclusions that one is a fraud or a charlatan are based on. I might say that your argument was an appeal to authority, but I don’t think you were really arguing that CM is a fraud or charlatan because you say so. I took it to mean that it’s just your opinion.
            Nor have I offered my opinion on S-B IQ tests, nor any judgment at all RE the Bell Curve. The author’s piece isn’t about that.

          • William Fankboner

            Well, my point was that while the conduct of these ‘students’ was reprehensible, the idea that they must have read Murray’s books, like “The Bell Curve,” to repudiate him and his work, is false. Any so-called social scientist who uses Stanford-Benet I.Q. tests as his primary data set is prima facie a scoundrel and a charlatan.

          • Jimmy

            And your argument that if one disagrees with a research paper or its author it is permitted to deprive that person of a right of expression essentially guts the First Amendment. You need to read some back issues of Pravda. You can draw a direct line from there to what is now happening on college campuses today.

          • AEJ

            Intellego.

          • Jimmy

            It is not an ad hominem argument. And Murray doesn’t base his study only on IQ tests. If you believe that you simplify his study and only show you really haven’t read it.

        • mwl

          A fraud? Why is that? Is it because Murray apparently does not accept as a foregone conclusion the assertion that 100% of all human intelligence is based on environment, and none of it is based on heridity or genetic factors? Is that your position as well?

        • John_In_Michigan

          One can hardly equate Murray with Adolph Hitler. That is beyond reasonable. As for The “Bell Curve,” can you articulate its thesis? It is actually about much more than race.

        • Greg Kells

          You can’t reject a conclusion if you don’t know what it is. Murray’s most controversial conclusion in Bell Curve was that there wasn’t enough evidence to make a conclusion. Is that what you reject? Do you even know what it is you are rejecting?

          • William Fankboner

            “Disturbing as I find the anachronism of The Bell Curve, I am even more distressed by its pervasive disingenuousness. The authors omit facts, misuse statistical methods, and seem unwilling to admit the consequences of their own words.” –Stephen Jay Gould

          • Greg Kells

            So you’ve told me why Stephen Jay Gould disagrees, why do YOU disagree? What facts were omitted, what statistics misused and how? The Bell Curve didn’t put forth the idea that people of different races score differently on IQ tests, that’s an objective fact. The authors simply wrote about what possible explanations there may be for that. There have been a lot of wild eyed criticisms, like Gould’s that seems hardly worth the effort it took to write ifnhe can’t cite any specific missing facts or misused stats. I guess that bullshit critique served its purpose, some people read it and used it as an excuse to dismiss somethung they couldn’t reasonably refute on their own.

          • William Fankboner

            Here you go (read it this time):

            http://www.intelltheory.com/bellcurve.shtml#gould

            Any social ‘scientist’ who relies on Stanford-Benet I.Q. tests as their data set is prima facie a charlatan.

          • Greg Kells

            Don’t cite others opinions or critiques, offer your own. It’s the Stanford-Binet not Benet, and it’s still the most commonly used test. What makes the Stanford Binet IQ test unnacceptable to you? Nearly every social scientist working uses it, if they use any took to measure intelligence. The test has been used longer than any other, and has undergone rigorous study and revision. At any point in time, it would be considered the most reliable and unbiased test available. Here is a good resource that lists a few alternatives with brief descriptions. The Stanford Binet, however, is the most universally used and accepted.

            http://geniustests.com/frequently-asked-questions/links-other-intelligence-testing-resources

          • Greg Kells

            Why is any social scientist that relies on the most universally accepted IQ test as their primary data set prima facie a charlatan? Do you even know what “prima facie” or “charlatan” mean, or do you just think it sounds super smart?

          • William Fankboner

            Grrrr! Don’t make me come over there!

          • Greg Kells

            If I was into dudes, I’m pretty sure I could do better than you.

          • William Fankboner

            Touche! I’ll never cross swords you again!

          • R Clayderman

            WF’s assertion is an affirmative categorical proposition, which can be disproved by a single counter example. That’s easy. A researcher who uses such IQ test data to determine how the test works in a given social setting is not a charlatan or a scoundrel. The universally-generalized name-calling is not valid argumentation, WF should know better.

          • Jimmy

            If I disagree with Stephen Jay Gould’s analysis, can I shout him down, call him disingenuous, reprehensible, a fraud, all ad hominid attacks. Why do you have to cite another source to support your position? You essentially prove the point that you can only parrot what you heard or read and not your own arguments, which is intellectually dishonest.

        • BOB✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

          …said the Middlebury undergrad.

          • 1Gandydancer

            …said the Middlebury-class intellectual…

          • William Fankboner

            Dumb.

          • BOB✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            Your self-assessment is on-point.

          • BOB✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            …said the 12 year old on his mommy’s laptop.

          • William Fankboner

            You’re such a smart aleck!

          • BOB✓ᵛᵉʳᶦᶠᶦᵉᵈ

            ?????

        • Gmama

          What a foolish comparison. You can reject Nazism for what the Nazis did without reading Mein Kampf, because the Nazis, most of whom had likely not read the book, did horrible things.

          Attacking an author who has never advocated violence against anyone for his well-researched book is idiotic. To claim the Bell Curve, which indicates Asians fare better than all other races on standardized testing is a white supremacist book is insane.

          Do you think angry, violent mobs should shut down liberal speakers conservatives disagree with as well?

        • Greg Kells

          I sincerely doubt you actually reject National Socialism (nazism). Do you actually understand the basic tenets of it? You cannot reject something without understanding it. Nazism is not some one dimensional ideology based on hate, in fact the racist and anti-semitic aspects of it were not a central issue to mostnof it’s early adherents. Aside from radical nationalism it’s remarkably similar in policy and intent to FDRs New Deal. Both are considered early examples of corporarist or mixed economies. They kept elements of capitalism and private property in a centrally planned, highly regulated framework. FDR and Hitler both used Mussolini’s fascist policies as a template. I’m sure you also reject fascism, but like most (particularly antifa) you probably have no idea what that means either. You really cannot reject something without knowing what it is, sorry.

        • Jimmy

          My guess is that you haven’t read any of his works and are only parroting the cliches of these mediocraties in Middlebury.

  • mnemonicmike

    A “masked protester” is a typical Democrat Party voter. Let’s quit pretending that it’s someone from another planet.

  • SCWillson

    I think the bulk of the IQ difference is due to environment. An environment the Democrats have worked diligently for 50 years to maintain. Without “victims” what’s their reason to exist at all? So they create victims in our inner cities, then claim only the Democratic Party can help.

    Minorities, how’s that working out for you? Are things better than ever?

    • SurfingUSA

      Ah no, genetics.

      Put a European in the Kalahari, you’ll get Javascript programming. The obverse situation, not.

      • SCWillson

        Put a European from the same tech level (say 5000 BC) in the Kalahari and he won’t do any better than the locals. Probably worse.

        I’m not saying genetics has no effect, just that environment and opportunity probably play a much larger part.

        • See above. You might also read “The 10,000 Year Explosion.”

        • flatsac1

          the great European universities of the medieval period were predicated upon the presentation of diverse thoughts and ideas which helped to propel western civilization to a standard of living that the descendents of cultures that suppressed diverse ideas are now clamoring to access

        • PierrePendre

          A comparison between Israel and its neighbours would refute your claim.

          • SCWillson

            More confirmation, actually. Genetically, Israel’s Jews and Arabs are nearly identical. And I’d be willing to bet Israeli Arabs would outperform the Arabs in neighboring states by a comfortable margin.

            Besides, talk of raw IQ is pointless. It’s not how smart you are, it’s what you do with those smarts that is important. Culture matters far more. And Muslims in the Mideast have opted to keep their culture in the 6th century.

          • 1Gandydancer

            “Genetically, Israel’s Jews and Arabs are nearly identical.”

            Nope. The 1-std.dev. increase in Ashkenazi IQ is evidently post-Roman-expulsion.

            But of course the environments even of Israeli citizen Jews and Israeli citizen Arabs are very different. I’m not expressing an opinion on your nature-vs-nurture argument, except to say that where the “bulk of the difference” lies undoubtedly varies with circumstance.

          • SCWillson

            Except not all Israeli Jews are Ashkenazi. And if Ashkenazi Jews score better on standardized IQ tests, that might show nothing more than circumstances (read: environment and culture) allowed them to appreciate and push thought and education more to survive in a hostile environment. There’s a reason Jews in Europe focused on learning skills such as medicine or law, those assets can’t be seized during a pogrom. If all you can take with you when you flee to avoid being murdered is the clothes on your back, a salable skill is better than a suitcase full of money.

          • 1Gandydancer

            Nope. Ashkenazi Jews have a higher IQ than other populations, and it’s clearly genetic rather than environmental, since it survives adoption, etc. The genetic shift had its origin in environment, of course, but that’s not the question. Nor is it necessary that all Israeli Jews be Ashkenazi to disprove the statement, “Genetically, Israel’s Jews and Arabs are nearly identical.”

          • CincyGal

            Huge cultural differences.

        • CincyGal

          IMO, genetics set the outer parameters of what is possible for the individual; culture, the means to achieve; intelligence, recognition of the possible.

          • SCWillson

            That’s not unreasonable, assuming that it allows for outliers. Genius is not just about being super-duper smart, it takes the right resources and a culture which rewards innovation to bring out that genius. A genius goat herder in the highlands of Afghanistan who never learned to read isn’t likely to accomplish much.

    • Read Steven Pinker’s “The Blank Slate” which pretty well refutes that theory of Stephen Jay Gould.

      • SCWillson

        I presume you’re referring to Gould’s “The Mismeasure of Man”? I’m a big fan of Gould’s, and own (and have read) every one of his books (except the one on baseball) at least twice. I thought many of his points were cogent, although I wouldn’t disagree with those that think he may have mildly overstated his case. But I can’t see how there can be disagreement that IQ tests are highly subjective, since even advocates of IQ tests can’t agree on exactly what IQ measures. If they were truly neutral, then there would be only one IQ test necessary for the entire world; all could be the same except for translation into the local language.

        • 1Gandydancer

          Highly neutral tests which don’t rely on language have in fact been developed. And they turn out to measure the same “G” that the language-based tests do.

          See my response to Frankboner, above, for a couple links on Gould fraudulence in “The Mismeasure of Man”. And there’s a lot more fraudulence in that book.

  • kishkeyum

    Do you notice how it’s always “outside agitators?” If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you.

    • Gray Panther

      There propabaly was a number of outsiders. It’s well known now that people answer ads in places like Craigslist offering money to go to these places & stir up trouble.

      • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

        “Well known”. Please stop being an idiot.
        Has it ever happened? Possible. Widespread or frequent? No.

        • Gray Panther

          You need to get out more, namecaller. #argumentfail

          • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

            When you make an assertion that is idiotic, I suppose I should say “Please stop saying things that are idiotic”. Apologies.

          • Gray Panther

            Idiotic to you, perhaps. Certainly not to others.

          • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

            Right, because it is inconceivable to you that huge numbers of people think this POTUS is a [email protected] and turned out to protest him without some financial inducement.
            And why were the Pro-Trump “rallies” (gatherings? Church Socials?) this weekend so sparsely attended?

          • 1Gandydancer

            Because he’s already won the election.

          • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

            Your point being…?

          • 1Gandydancer

            People needn’t bother rally for him because he’s already won the election. You asked a question, I answered it. Why is this hard?

          • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

            Got it.

    • Whiskey Sam

      At least some were. One of the original news articles on this interviewed one of the protest organizers who was someone who lived nearby and did not attend the college. Why he was allowed to organize an on-campus protest and not arrested for inciting a riot is another matter.

  • spunknik

    Murray appears to be a white of European descent. Not Ashkenazi Jewish, not Asian (the groups with the highest IQs). Being a white European puts him in one of more average IQ groups, even according to his own research. So much for the left’s claims about his “white supremacy”.

    Next think you know, the left will tell you there’s no difference in skin color between different races.

  • Dusty Thompson

    Where are college kids getting this foolish and poisonous notion that they have opinions relevant to anyone?

    • lichau

      You get my vote for best comment.

    • Gray Panther

      Well, when one grows up getting accolades for just showing up, one is inclined to develop a huge false sense of entitlement.

    • toomuchthinking

      their parents

  • gearbox123

    The Progressive worldview that all people are the same is wrong, and the facts can’t be ignored any more. Their faith is collapsing, their god is dying. That’s why they’re lashing out.

    • CFD33

      I think they are lashing out because that is who they are. They will always find a reason to be violently dissatisfied with other viewpoints. And whenever such people obtain complete, unquestioned control, they always find it necessary to start bumping people off in order to make sure that everyone is properly intimidated by their awesome power. It is who they are: The ends don’t just justify he means, the means ARE the ends.

    • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

      The “Progressive worldview” isn’t that all people are the same, it is that all people are deserving of equal rights and protections, all people are deserving of equal opportunity to succeed or fail, all people are deserve some of the basics of survival when things go bad, all people are deserving of another chance.

      • John_In_Michigan

        Then why do they fear Murray? One does not need to shout down an opinion that receives no support, only an opinion that you fear might receive support, and for which you have no counter.

      • Kitty

        All except the unborn.

        • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

          The unborn are protected after they are viable outside of the womb. Have to draw a line somewhere.

      • Greg Kells

        Funny, that’s the same worldview as libertarians and conservatives, we just happen to think you have a funny way of expressing it.

        • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

          Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others.

          • Greg Kells

            Ambrose Bierce isn’t a dictionary, or a particularly timely or relevant source. Nice try though.

          • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

            Hey, I thought we could agree on something!

          • Greg Kells

            We do agree on many things, as most people do. The underlying ethical beliefs of most ideologies are roughly the same, its the fine details, like how to achieve those things that differentiates them. “Progressives” lay claim to the concept of progress as if they invented it and everyone else would be standing still or moving backwards if not for them. We all want progress, and a free and just society. We just don’t agree on how to define those ideas or how achieve them. By stating that YOURS is the only progressive, true and just worldview, you draw a line that doesn’t really exist.

          • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

            Uhm, did you not see the post I was replying to?

          • Greg Kells

            I wrote it. I remember what it was. Did you not write the original comment I was replying to? That may be the context I’m missing here. I don’t generally reopen the article to respond, I just assumed I was responding to the same guy. My bad, if thats not the case.

          • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

            I was replying to “gearbox123” who posted “The Progressive worldview that all people are the same is wrong, and the facts can’t be ignored any more. Their faith is collapsing, their god is dying. That’s why they’re lashing out.”
            So you can see why I may have taken exception.
            ¯_(ツ)_/¯

          • WyleEHokie

            Just where in the hell did you get THAT definition?

          • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

            Ambrose Bierce. Fascinating guy, worth reading up on. The “definition” is from his Devil’s Dictionary.
            It is just slightly tongue in cheek.

          • WyleEHokie

            Gee…… sounds like an exceptionally authoritative source there

          • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

            Aren’t you unpleasant.

      • CincyGal

        All people exist as individuals in a specific time and place. People may deserve many things, but if a government is not set up to encourage equal opportunity or if that government is not rich enough to provide the basics of survival in emergencies, then all that talk means nothing.

        • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

          If the govt. of the US, the wealthiest, most powerful nation on earth, is somehow too poor to ensure those things, then the way we fund the govt. needs to be re-examined.

          • CincyGal

            Ah, you mean rich Western countries. There are people desperate for food in Venezuela and actually starving in North Korea. Do these people have fewer rights than Americans? Or have you expanded the definition of rights to include availability? There have been recent water shortages in California and long-time farming communities have suffered. Yet no one argues Californians have fewer rights than the rest of the US citizens. The Magna Carta is considered a great document because the English barons ganged up on a weak king and forced him to sign over additional rights to them, rights which did not exist before an army secured them. It is easy to get carried away being idealistic, but you can’t get blood from a turnip. (Sorry, I love the old sayings!)

          • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

            I have no idea what point you are trying to make. Could you be more explicit?

          • CincyGal

            You may have a right to food, but if there is no food, you’ll starve.

          • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

            Not if the govt. has the resources to buy food to keep it’s citizens from starving.

          • hasanhh

            Ain’t never red the national balance sheet?
            Wez broke and in det.

  • melk2

    Interesting how the Left was able to tolerate the remarkable number of invited speaking appearances at Columbia University by the likes of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, not only as President of possibly the most homophobic, anti-semitic and misogynistic regime on the planet, but as a personal advocate of all these negative views. There is no Left/Right equivalence on the issue of Free Speech.

    • Dragblacker

      He wasn’t a white Westerner, so they don’t expect them to live up to their standards. Their actions are just a response to Western oppression/racism, anyway.

  • Robert Catt

    Ha ha ha Middlebury parents, what is it $65k per annum for this?

  • Bill Francis

    The state of eduction in America is not good. A lot has to do with “education” at the university level. Unfortunately the great majority of “educators” (and “media”) are from the hard left. The result is extremely biased news from the major media and the situation of ZERO TOLERANCE FROM THE LEFT at Middlebury and elsewhere. Maybe we should set aside some areas for only the left such as Russia for them to dominate.

  • TrustbutVerify

    Eugenics you say? Margaret Sanger? Mother of Planned Parenthood? Kids, Professors and College Presidents apparently need to look at which party the eugenics folks resided in and that still supports their programs.

    • tv22

      My thoughts exactly, Oh the irony and they aren’t even aware of it.

  • Dan Wafford

    Liberals may physically reside in the United States, but in their hearts and souls they the elite of Oceania, the privileged few who collectively comprise Big Brother, and quite a 1984-ish bit “more equal” than the rest of us, who are not sufficiently enlightened to appreciate the purity of their insight and genius. We, the “less equal” animals on the farm, are first ignored and dismissed, and when we fail to become sufficiently submissive, abused and finally murdered by our “more equal” betters.

    • secondgenamerican

      You’re mixing two books and not doing a very good job of it.

  • andrewp111

    Next time, the masked leftists should do serious violence, not what they did here. It is time to make this ideological war real. Fort Sumter is calling.

  • CFD33

    After I had been teaching science to high school kids for some years I read the Bell Curve. Then I decided to do my own, very simple, statistical study of race/gender performance among my students. Girls scored quite significantly higher than boys, and whites less significantly higher than blacks, but there was no significant difference between whites and blacks within one gender category. I took the gender difference to mean that girls were generally given less free rein after school by their parents than boys. They used their increased time at home to do more homework than the boys, and so had more understanding and topic continuity from day to day in the classroom. Likewise, the race difference I attributed to cultural differences and expectations in the home rather than to IQ. I did not access how white and black families compared with having one versus two parents in the home, or if two parents whether one parent was a stay-at-home specialist. However, my hunch is that data would have been in favor of white households, and would have explained the race gap in performance.
    So, nothing I learned from my small sample study contradicted Murray’s conclusions, one of which was that it is pointless to throw money at the educational problem unless you know what the problem is. Of course the powers that be went in the opposite direction when they decided that multiple choice testing on standardized tests was the solution. Idiotic! The mind of a child does not improve by making dark marks in little circles. However, essay tests (or for low level classes, paragraph answers) do.

    • Harry Callahan

      1) Anecdotal evidence
      2) Inconsequential sample size
      3) Blatant conflation of correlation and causation
      4) Such conjecture illustrates the hazards of social science exploration.

      • bob smith

        liberals like the poster fail to see their own bias. they got the results they wanted to get.

        • CFD33

          I am not a liberal. I am a strong social conservative. Did you even read my post? There was absolutely no bias in the data except that created by the student himself or herself on account of his or her tendency to pay attention in class, do homework, and learn.

          • 1Gandydancer

            Your speculation as to the cause of gender difference (parenting) is interesting, and may contribute, but is idiosyncratic. Boys are not girls.

            “Girls scored quite significantly higher than boys, and whites less significantly higher than blacks, but there was no significant difference between whites and blacks within one gender category”? Unless the gender ratios were significantly different between races all three claims cannot be true.

          • CFD33

            The population size was 140 students. When this was divided into four parts the variance was too large to show significance at the 5 percent level.

          • 1Gandydancer

            If whites score significantly higher than blacks then, when you further divide by gender, the racial disparity for one gender will almost certainly decrease and for the other increase. My intuition says the latter will usually remain significant despite the smaller sample size. I could be wrong, but…

            More importantly, your suggestion that the difference in male and female student behavior is due to parenting is less convincing to me than the usual suggestion that the (K-12 particularly) educational environment is simply less conducive to male than female success.

      • CFD33

        You are wrong on all counts. The evidence was numerical, controlled, and processed according to an appropriate statistical method. The method also controlled significance level for sample size and standard deviation, but in any case I had a total group size of approximately 140 students. Not representative of the nation, but representative of the community in which I worked, and therefore representative of all such semi-rural communities. As for causation, once statistical significance is found, one is allowed to speculate as to causation. It was clear in my post that I was speculating in this sense. Finally, your snarky reply illustrates the hazards of having a superior attitude about things of which you know nothing.

        • spunknik

          “Likewise, the race difference I attributed to cultural differences and expectations in the home rather than to IQ.”

          And that’s where your “science” became conjecture. You may as well have attributed it to Zodiac sign, because you arrived at this part of your conclusion with no basis. This makes your whole methodology suspect, and it’s why people like you don’t belong in science.

          • CFD33

            Conjecture is a necessary part of science. Conjecture leads to hypothesis. In my post it was quite clear that my conjecture was exactly that, not itself supported by statistical analysis. This is why people like you should never have been taught how to read and write. You are in over your head.

          • spunknik

            LOL, now you’re just an angry twit in addition to being a pseudo-scientist.

            The controversial part of Murray’s research is that IQ is partially determined by race. That’s what this discussion is about. You did a “study”, made a conjecture, and concluded that Murray was wrong. If you don’t understand his research or methodology, read it.

          • CFD33

            I was just responding in kind, LOL.

          • Jack Acme

            But Spunknik Murray himself, as quoted above, denies that his work supports either genetics or environment as having the upper hand, let alone race. “What might the mix be [of genetics vs. environment]? We are resolutely agnostic on that issue; as far as we can determine, the evidence does not yet justify an estimate.”

          • spunknik

            Sorry, I should have said “Murray’s suggestion that IQ might be partially determined by race.” This is apparently an area of inquiry that has already been decided upon by the left, and we need not investigate further.

            Anyone who believes that there are not inherent differences in ability or intelligence between two races or two genders is a fool. This is the same kind of crap that happened to Lawrence Summers a few years ago, only without the violence.

          • fojap

            It’s important to note that. Murray’s work has been inaccurately portrayed in the media allowing those protestors to fantasize that they’re taking a stand against an evil racist. The headline regarding this incident in Slate read, “Middlebury Professor Injured as Protest Against Racist Author Turns Violent.”

        • Harry Callahan

          Controlled? In what manner?

          To attach ANY significance whatsoever to a sample size of 140 is ludicrous in the extreme.

    • bob smith

      girls scored “quite significantly” higher than boys? LOL talk about BIAS!

      • CFD33

        You are wrong. Bias would have been , “I hope that girls score higher than boys.” That fact was that they did score higher. LOL.

        • BrooklynNow

          I think LOL was the clue that “bob” was being sarcastic.

        • spunknik

          Sigh… his point was that the term “quite significantly” was an exaggeration on your part, revealing bias. It would have been adequate to say “quite” or “significantly” without combining the two words. By the way, a girl, with her higher language skills, would have been more likely to see bob’s underlying meaning. A boy, with his higher math skills, would easily see through the conclusions in your “study”. I must say that it frightens me that people like you are in a position to “teach” my children.

          • CFD33

            “Significance” is generally granted at the 5% level of error for rejecting the null hypothesis. “Quite” means something less than 5%, as in 1-2%. I am sorry I frightened you. Maybe you should play with some Legos or puppies for awhile until you feel better.

          • spunknik

            Even the biggest fool knows that the English word “quite” is much larger than 1-2%. Stay in school. No… wait, please retire with your generous pension and let someone competent take over for you.

            I’m feeling “quite well” today. That is, 1% better than I usually feel.

          • dannyboy116

            Don’t worry – girls are not “smarter” than boys, although they are more likely to do their homework and get an “A” in class. The next Microsoft or Google is much more likely to created by a “boy”.

      • dannyboy116

        Actually males and females both have an average IQ of 100. The difference is that the “bell” is much wider in males – so you tend to have more males that are geniuses, but also more males that are total idiots.

      • Richard Johnson

        girls scored “quite significantly” higher than boys? LOL talk about BIAS!

        These were neither IQ tests nor SAT/GRE tests, which tend to measure aptitude, but tests of material covered in class. There is plenty of evidence that girls tend to do better in class than boys. Boys are more likely to be behavior problems, to repeat grades, and to drop out of school. More girls than boys go to college. So why should we be surprised that girls scored better on CFD33’s tests? Recall what CFD33 wrote: “I took the gender difference to mean that girls were generally given less free rein after school by their parents than boys.” IOW, CFD33 is of the opinion that the test differences were NOT due to aptitude.

  • Earl A. Birkett

    I attended Middlebury almost 40 years ago and I would be proud to stand alongside these students today. They are heroes fighting another fascist nightmare darkening their country and the planet. The sooner these racist, right-wing monsters are flushed down the toilet of history the better.

    • tv22

      When did stomping your feet and wailing like a child make people “heroes”?

    • CMS

      And I would be proud if my kids looked at those students (and by extension you) and said “crazy people.” And they do by the way and our family is full of independents. Teach your children to be petulant little brats for $250K+? Thanks I till take the real education at 1/4 to 1/6 of the cost. One that teaches independent thought, tolerance, and respect. Lest you get high and mighty and suggest I just dont get it because I couldnt get in, undergrad routinely ranked as the best of its kind in the world (the year I was accepted it had the highest SAT scores in the US beating Harvard and had a 4% selection rate), grad school (Top 10 again), etc etc etc. This is not about brains, IQ, etc. It is about being a human being, something far too many zealots on both sides just dont get.

    • bob smith

      YOU are a racist.

    • champ

      Earl, you would have made a great Brownshirt!

    • fojap

      Charles Murray is a libertarian. He even wrote a book about it. I am not a libertarian and I do not agree with Murray on many issues, but conflating fascism and libertarianism is intellectually sloppy.

      • ptsargent

        Could you define libertarian?

        • fojap

          I would say that it is a political philosophy that advocates for individual liberty and minimal state power. I should probably specify that I am thinking of people in the U.S. today who identify themselves as Libertarians. Libertarians are also advocates of laissez-faire capitalism.

          I do have sympathy with Libertarian impulses.

          • ptsargent

            And I do as well. Not only is conflating fascism with libertarianism “intellectually sloppy”, as you mentioned, but it is demonstrably false. If one wants to conflate fascism with anything, it should be to progressivism and/or liberalism. Fascism in this country began seriously with Woodrow Wilson and the Progressive movement.

    • 1Gandydancer

      2017 – 40 = 1977. Yeah, the idiocy was well underway by then.

      • Earl A. Birkett

        1978, and I am no match for the lunacy of the Republican right. They bring disgrace to my country and humanity.

  • tv22

    The left has confused what they consider “Freedom of speech” (which to them is the freedom to shout someone down and chase them out of town) and civil behavior. If there were a speaker I didn’t like, I simply wouldn’t go.

    • Gugliemus

      True enough, tv22; and you wouldn’t have to. And yet . . . the idea of freedom of speech is predicated on the idea that there are not only speakers but listeners, and that those listeners are willing (perhaps even obligated) to listen to a range of views–including those views they might not think they agree with. Freedom of speech in an empty desert doesn’t mean much. Analogously, who would write a book, let alone publish it, if he knew there would be no readers?

  • BobinVT

    Murray’s “sin” in The Bell Curve is treating the 15 point IQ test deviation between blacks and whites as a fact. The left for decades has written off such differences to racially biased tests. All races are the same don’t you know? No proof ever offered, just smearing of those who disagree. The fact that asians consistently test higher than whites (and of course blacks) is rarely mentioned, but if this was all a white supremacist plot, wouldn’t they rig it so whites scored higher than all other groups, including asians?

    • RPVG

      The notion of racially biased tests is, in itself, racist. Language is language. Math is math. Science is science. Race has NOTHING to do with it.

  • bob smith

    liberals are just disgusting.

  • Riki Pinckney

    the whole IQ thing strikes me as rather silly. IQ measured by what? some test formulated for that purpose with questions like “what picture best fits the sequence”. Tests written by people who sit behind a desk. How about the IQ needed to dismantle and reassemble a truck transmission or drive a bulldozer down a 20% grade without tipping it over?

    • Matt

      IQ tests measure intelligence because that is what IQ tests measure. You have to understand psychometrics to understand the meaning of things like reliability and validity. IQ measures a construct that some define as overall intelligence. It’s just like depression or pain or beauty. They are variable constructs that are only loosely meaningful. Just like the SAT. SAT kinda measures success in college only because there are some studies that correlate success in college with SAT score.

      • 1Gandydancer

        “SAT kinda measures success in college only because there are some studies that correlate success in college with SAT score.”

        No, it PREDICTS success in college, and would do so even if there were no such studies. It measures “G” and “G” is real and useful.

        • Matt

          Uhm, your G must be pretty low. You cannot know what a test predicts until you compare it to an outcome. It is correlational, To determine predictive validity, you have to measure some outcome. Just because you string a bunch of questions together doesn’t mean you know what those questions measure. That would be closer to content validity.

          • 1Gandydancer

            No, my G is unusually high. E.g., I was a National Merit Scholar semifinalist, which was the result of what was essentially an IQ test. You, on the other hand, don’t seem to have taken my point, which is that you have confused validation with causation. And the sentence I quoted is, frankly, illiterate as well as confused.

    • LokVahKoor

      Rather than say “measured by what,” say rather “what does IQ measure.” The answer is that IQ is, just as you said, fundamentally about pattern recognition, because that is primarily what is tested. It is a critical skill in measuring intellectual adaptability–the ability to apply what you’ve seen once to something else that is similar but not identical. That obviously has lots of real-world implications for both academic and economic achievement. But the whole reason the point of the Bell Curve was narrow was that it held everything else equal, when everything else is NOT equal.

      There are people with IQs of 150+ who are perfectly content to be librarians, and others that struggle to cope with life in general for all manner of reasons. There are people with IQs of 105 (basically average) that are fantastically economically successful because they know how to connect with customers and sell things, or because they happen to have other skills that IQ does not measure but that happen to have real market value.

      Needless to say, IQ also says nothing about character. Ted Kaczynski had an IQ of 167.

      • fojap

        I agree with your overall point, but there is a correlation between IQ and economic success and that was one of the points of Murray’s book. Of course, one of the deceptive things about those sorts of studies is that they obscure individual variation.

  • Matt

    Here is the problem. People use Murray’s work to say that black people cannot be intelligent. That translates to Murray is evil. However, if you bring the fact that Darwinism suggests the acceptability of eugenics, then Darwin is not thought of as evil. Science has become political and these ideas are pushed by nonscientists. I am a professor who teaches at a liberal arts college. The problem is that no one with half a brain would get a PhD in these humanities masquerading as science so all you get is those with half a brain. They then fill the positions. We have just reached the point where enough of these idiots are in these positions. I am a science professor and I don’t understand any of it. My inbox blows up with faux outrage by idiots.

    • CincyGal

      Interesting thought. But no one was at Murray’s lecture to listen to anything. I sympathize with you. So far, the STEM programs have not been affected.

  • JayJay

    If your positions can’t hold up to scrutiny or common sense, then you have no choice but to compromise on your ideals, or marginalize opponents and shut down debate. Liberals certainly aren’t going to compromise…

  • champ

    As an aside, I looked at the signers/cosigners of the letter from the Middlebury alumni. I would estimate that 98-99% of those who signed were graduates from 2013 – 2016 (I did notice one 2005 and one 2011). So the great majority who signed were marinated in the same toxic sludge as are Middleburry’s current crop of militant regressives.

  • Shore111

    Middlebury sounds like they would be happier inviting the Iranian ex-president Ahmadinejad like that wonderful university, Columbia. The snowflakes there were so impressed with the ex hostage taker, they gave him a standing ovation. Irony is lost on the lib.

    • SCWillson

      Irony is a word coined by dead white males. So knowing it is discriminatory. Probably elitist too.

  • maandrews

    Sickening!

  • Old West

    I suspect Murray has written more serious books than most of those screaming have read.

  • sun_wukong

    Academia, you broke it, you own it. Congratulations.

  • glendower

    Following is the Mission Statement from the Middlebury College Dept. of Public Safety, which I quote without comment.

    The mission of the Department of Public Safety
    is to support the educational goals of the college by delivering
    services that enhance and protect the college community. An environment
    conducive to learning requires a commitment from each student, faculty
    member, staff member, and visitor to uphold the ideals of community
    living. It is the role of the members of the Department of Public
    Safety to ensure that those ideals are held in high regard by enforcing
    College policies, laws and ordinances, protecting property and persons,
    and offering services that contribute to an effective living and learning environment. We welcome you to contact us with any questions or concerns either by email, or telephone.

    • Chip Goodman

      Where is the part about arresting thugs who bring violence to a peaceful presentation? If they did that, there would be no mystery as to who the thugs are, where they came from and who bailed them out if jail. Now you would have a record and (real, off campus) police would be compelled to follow through and prosecute those who beget violence. Prison and fines – and banned from the campus for life. President Patton is more than a little complicit here since she has the power to push the campus cops to do more, but somehow found herself without any arrested thugs to prosecute. Same outcome as Berkeley. Not a coincidence.

  • I was at Dartmouth when “The Bell Curve” came out. A friend, who knew I was reading it, asked if she could borrow it when I finished as she did not want to be seen buying a copy at the Dartmouth Bookstore. Amazon has solved that problem, at least.

  • Dan Brown

    The sooner someone who is attacked like this opens up on the attackers and kills a bunch of them the better. Eventually this will come to blood. Better liberal scum blood than American blood.

    • CincyGal

      Calm down. It certainly looks like, from the outside agitators point of view, that retaliatory violence would be welcomed to make martyrs for the cause. Discipline does need to be imposed. I thought we had courts for this sort of thing?

  • fojap

    The world has changed a lot.

    When The Bell Curve came out, I was in school. It was also a small liberal arts school where the student body leaned decidedly to the left. Being adopted and having a significantly different IQ than that of my adopted family, I’ve always been interested in the subject and read the book shortly after it came out. I recall being early for a class one day and sitting around talking to several other students who had either read the book or were wondering if it was worth reading. Mostly, the thoughts regarding the book were what one might expect from leftward leaning students and were, over all, not positive. However, no one at that time felt a need for a disclaimer about how they disagreed with Murray and Herrnstein before stating that we had read the book, nor would anyone have assumed that merely reading the book implied an endorsement of its contents. That a significant number of people in academia now think that not reading a book simply because you anticipate that you might disagree with a portion of its contents is a desirable position is scary and I hope we all understand, no matter what our political inclinations may be, the import of this development.

    When academics give disclaimers, such as the one President Laurie L. Patton gave before Murray’s speech, it implies that reading ideas with which one disagrees is not routine behavior for an academic. It also signals fear of the people who might accuse her of giving an “endorsement” of Murray’s ideas.

    I hope mainstream conservatives, libertarians, centrists and true liberals will heed this incident. The attacks against Milo Yiannopoulos were merely a harbinger. Do not assure yourself that because believe yourself to be respectable that it can’t happen to you.

    • Chip Goodman

      When the Bell Curve came out, my daughter was in college. Her professor told the class that it was a racist screed unworthy of reading, much less analysis. Good little sheeple that she turned out to be, she took his word over my own (since I was aware of the psychometric basis and described it as such).

  • fojap

    The professors at Middlebury should make all their students read at least one book by Murray if only to show them that it won’t hurt them, to show them that it’s okay to read books by people with whom you disagree.

  • watcher104

    I keep thinking of 1984 for some reason.

  • bill

    This makes for a nice conversation but it’s just a by-product of the change in our society going on for the last 50 years. (As a mental exercise, imagine the reception for Nancy Pelosi at Dallas Baptist University — there may be some boos.) We are becoming polarized, and Twitter/Facebook is making it easier to organize.

    I have to think there’s a limit. We ultimately have laws against violence, and that’s the limit. Meanwhile it’s best to ignore this stuff, since there is no way to stop it. I learned a long time ago (Erhard Seminars Training, or EST) — only play games that you know you’ll win.

    • TheMule61

      How’s old Jack Rosenberg doing anyway? My mother took the EST training back in the early ’70s in San Francisco. Helped turn her into a half-baked psychopath. In a single parent household, she spent all her meager savings on EST and partying. Got us evicted, and we had to move to the midwest to afford a place to live. I was 10 at the time, and looking back of what I saw of EST, it was a pretty much a cult.

      • bill

        I just read a book on the beach in Santa Barbara in 1978. Right after reading the Bell Jar in fact! That line about playing games stuck with me.

      • fojap

        I had a friend who got involved in EST and came to more or less the same conclusion.

  • TheMule61

    Strange that these supposedly well educated young leftists would chant that Murray is a “white supremacist” when a key point in Murray’s book, The Bell Curve, was that whites tend to have lower scores on standardized IQ tests than Asians. What kind of “white supremacist” would make a point like that? That’s pretty much saying that whites are decidedly not supreme in the critical area of intelligence.

    • 1Gandydancer

      Unless they’re Ashkenazi whites…

      Anyway, it seems the more usual slur is “White Nationalist”.

  • Historybuff

    Mr. Kimball summarizes it well in his wrap up:

    “What happened at Middlebury on the evening of March 2 was a declaration of spiritual bankruptcy. Every student who can be identified in that video should be expelled and Laurie Patton should resign. “

    We must stand up to those that would destroy our Freedoms.
    HB

  • James Greenbaum

    I agree 100% with Roger Kimball. An absolute disgrace. But just look at the heathens in the video. College freaks revile in a septic downward spiral of disgrace. Contemptuous fools cling like feces to the toilet bowls of inhumanity. Simpletons grasping for meaning, regarding lives of total waste, attempt to find relevance protesting the very things they are guilty of … dictatorship, censorship, hatred, oppression, tyranny and intolerance. When they wake from their drugged induced stupor, they will regurgitate sick cocktails, brainwashed indoctrination, and return to their fetid, rotting campus believing they had done something good.

    • dannyboy116

      Spot on!

  • William Fankboner

    Okay, we can agree that these ‘students’ are savages. But Charles Murray is a charlatan and a fraud.

    http://www.intelltheory.com/bellcurve.shtml#gould

    • 1Gandydancer

      You’re repeating yourself. But it’s Gould who’s demonstrably dishonest.

      • William Fankboner

        As Bertrand Russell once said, whenever anyone says something is ‘demonstrable,’ it usually is not. Please explain why Gould is dishonest. Of course, you can’t, because you have no idea what you’re talking about. Here’s a good place to start: Any so-called social ‘scientist’ who relies on Stanford-Binet I.Q. tests as their data set is prima facie an imposter.

        • Greg Kells

          Explain in your own words why Murray is a charlatan, and why the most commonly used and universally accepted IQ test doesn’t meet your standards. Leave Goyld out of this. Critique Murrays ideas, not Gould’s interpretation of them.

        • Greg Kells

          You really like quoting other people don’t you? Have you ever considered thinking for yourself?

  • dannyboy116

    It is interesting how culture impacts people’s opinions. (I am an American who lives in Russia.) If you ask 100 Americans, who is smarter, men or women, about 70% will answer that women are smarter. If you ask the same question of 100 Russians, about 70% will answer that men are smarter. (The correct answer is that the average IQ of men and women is the same – 100.)

    • 1Gandydancer

      Since men and women perform differently on different parts of IQ tests the result that they have the same average IQ is an artifact, the result of an arbitrary decision about weighting. And the shapes of the resultant bell curves are not identical.

    • Greg Kells

      The average IQ is about the same, but women on average are slightly more intelligent. There are more men with genius level IQs, and more women with average or slightly above IQs. The bell for men is much flatter. A woman is less likely to be complete moron but also less likely to be a genius.

  • I just finished reading a book by Fred Siegel called, “The Revolt Against the Masses: How Liberalism Undermined the Middle Class.” It’s a tremendous historical overview of how the progressives of the early 20th century turned into the modern illiberal liberals we see today. I think what we’re seeing with this episode, and all the leftist hysteria to Trump is a dying ideology. It’s utterly bankrupt and will join its ideological ancestors, the Soviets, in the dustbin of history very soon.

    • fojap

      That looks like an interesting book. Recently, I reread a book I read ages ago, “The Revolt of the Elites,” by Christopher Lasch.

      • You will love it! So eye opening. My 15 year old son wants to read it because I told him he’ll learn where all this sickness and evil had it’s antecedents. I’ll definitely check out the Lasch book. Thanks!

  • nolawyers1

    I wonder if the snowflakes have the slightest idea of how little the world would grow if only politically correct thoughts and words were allowed. Quite probably the earth would still be flat.

  • Mark Hamilton

    I’m getting past the point where I think taking the high road is an effective way to deal with this. Maybe we should just have it out already. Fortunately, it’s not my call.

    • AEJ

      LOL “fortunately, it’s not my call” part.

      • Mark Hamilton

        The older I get the more I realize it is a good thing that I am not in charge.

  • fondolo

    Missing the point: the stated objection to Dr. Murray’s mischaracterized racial views – that intelligence differences are genetic — is not the real objection. The real objection is to his mentioning that the observed difference is one standard deviation, or about 15 points of IQ. That fact is intolerable, regardless of assertions about causes.

    • Greg Kells

      But it is a fact. I would think an attempt to determine the cause of that would be welcome. Dr.Murray didn’t draw a conclusion in that regard but he at least tried to advance the research and debate. Ignoring facts doesn’t make them less factual, only less actionable.

  • ObamaFails

    It is so sad what has happened to colleges and universities. When I was in college I was President of the College Republicans and never once did a professor hold it against me. Perhaps the most interesting exchange I ever witnessed was in a WWII history seminar. The professor was Jewish and very liberal, however, I NEVER saw him exhibit any bias. In fact during one of the government shut downs, he joked with me telling me “you must be happy” with a big smile on his face. He invited a speaker who was gay to discuss the similarities between antisemitism and homophobia. One kid raised his had and said “I am homophobic.” Rather than scream, yell, make fun of the student, etc. the guest speaker asked “Why?” And the guest speaker added “And you know what? I am happy you said that because if you can admit it I can change your mind.”

    No student freaked out, no student cried, no administrator was called. The next day the professor told the kid “I have no issue with what you said. In fact that led to a great exchange.” I can only imagine what would happen if a college student admitted today they were homophobic. I would imagine the most likely outcome would be expulsion. College used to be about exchanging thought and ideas. Today if you are a conservative and/or Republican college can be a dangerous place where people are waiting for you to say something the differs from the ignorant liberal utopia so they can try to get you expelled.

    • AEJ

      Amen.
      These students have no idea what they’re missing. And chances are, they’ll never later wonder what they might have missed and go look for it.
      I’m beginning to think the History professors are the most open to other lines of thought.
      My ‘best’ college prof told us that one way -but not the only way- to think about History was to ask what he called: “the great ‘what if? of History”
      i.e., What if Elizabeth I’s England hadn’t repelled the Spanish Armada?

  • buddygonzo

    They would be acting the same if Jeb! or Marco were President

    • 1Gandydancer

      Trump Derangement Syndrome is something well beyond what a GOPe win would have produced. But, yes, it could very well have happened even if Hillary were President.

      • buddygonzo

        I think the frenzy would happen to any Republican
        Look at the hatchet job they did on Mitt Romney

        • 1Gandydancer

          Nope. This happened because Murray wrote “The Bell Curve”. In 1994. The hostility long preceded the last election. That’s why it might have happened no matter who won the election. Of course Romney was demonized despite his squishiness, as was Trump despite his, but Romney’s rallies were never attacked the way Trump’s were. And had Jeb! or Little Marco won the nomination I doubt their rallies would have been attacked.

  • CincyGal

    The Middlebury incident is very disturbing, as is the fact that it reflects student reactions across the country’s best, at least most expensive, universities. I read the New York Times article interviewing students there at the protested lecture, and one feature totally stood out. These students had no doubt that a lecture, and I presume they mean any lecture, is mainly an opportunity for them to express their views. It was all about them: what they believe, how they feel, what they think should be. So, how does any professor manage to present any lecture to a group mainly focused on themselves? No wonder universities and colleges have lost all hope of discipline. The second aspect of the interviews that stood out clearly was incredibly puritanical self-righteousness. Not only is it all about them, but they are endowed with a transcendent certainty of purpose and purity of thought. At this point, it’s hard not to laugh at the arrogance of youth. But given their proclivity towards violence, laughter is hardly an adequate response. It is my impression that many revolutions start in the universities, probably because the young are untested yet intense. This attitude that seems to have swept through academia looks to be an actual danger to the Republic. At this point, it’s more than freedom of speech that is being threatened. It’s freedom, period.

  • hasanhh

    From my readings on “bell curves” and educational theory, l myself do not adhere to this “smooth” concept. Talents graphically appear in identifiable clusters. So l disagree with Murray there.
    How much genetics vs environment plays a role varies. Personality will ‘enhance’ or ‘make useless’ genetic inheritance.
    As to the Environment, this is always too narrowly defined. It is mostly confined to the “nature vs nurture” diatribes. Currently, personal health is 80% lifestyle and 20% medical -l heard today, yet it is much more. Example, after lead was removed from gasoline, the mental retardation rates of children confined in cities virtually collapsed. The rate around certain industrial areas has remained about the same. Another example is High Fructose Corn Syrup (an industrial formulation) which leads to obesity, diabetes by another route and slightly debilitates brain functions (where 20% of energy is consumed).
    Social intelligence studies are too narrowly focused.

  • John C.

    Horrified, but not in the slightest surprised.
    The brainwashing of the young throughout the educational terrain is to despise all things ‘ non – liberal’ and it continues at pace. This generation of youth and the younger children following are being conditioned to believe their protests are ‘ doing the decent thing’.
    So sad.
    No way back for them ?
    John C.

  • Jimmy

    Positively first rate analysis. What we are witnessing is the implosion of a university education across America. It is and has not been about education for some time now. It is a look into a world of insensibility. A book-burning world. One driven by irrationalism and base emotion.These campuses no longer matter since the curtain is coming down on the whole rotten edifice of education.

  • Obtruder

    As someone who has the educational training to perform IQ tests, it bothers me that there are plenty of critics who do not have even the slightest idea about what they are talking about.
    IQ results should never be used as a stand alone indicator of a person’s potential. There are many personal traits and qualities that standard IQ testing simply can not even hope to measure.

    I suspect that the average member of the protest group at Middlebury would not have sufficient knowledge to provide even a basic explanation of how an IQ test is put together, yet alone how it can be found to be a reliable instrument.

    But my question to this group would not be about their knowledge or lack of knowledge about the testing itself.

    My question to the group would be focused on how they collectively managed to make it to the 13th+ grade level without having a even the trace of a clue about the 1st Amendment right of free speech and why it should be considered to be among the most valued of freedoms within any civilized culture.

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