May 25, 2017

"More than five dozen Middlebury College students were disciplined for their roles in shutting down a speech by the author Charles Murray in March..."

"... the college announced this week. But the students were spared the most serious penalties in the episode, which left a faculty member injured and came to symbolize a lack of tolerance for conservative ideas on some campuses," the NYT reports.
Mr. Murray, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, [said] "The sanctions are a farce,... They will not deter anyone. They’re a statement to students that if you shut down a lecture, nothing will happen to you.”...

Matthew Dickinson, a political science professor at Middlebury, said he believed that while the penalties might satisfy some members of the faculty and the community... [But] “[The students] don’t understand the value of free speech at a college and what free speech really means... I think some people are going to say we should be looking more broadly at the institution and whether we taught these students properly.”

49 comments:

Brent said...

No, Middlebury. You did not teach the students properly.
#LiberalFail

Kevin said...

Aren't the all the students in the entire university going to be subjected to mandatory free speech sensitivity training?

It would only be fair.

rehajm said...

Soon to be ex-faculty member Matthew Dickenson said...

rhhardin said...

They need sane spaces.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

So what day did they reschedule his lecture for? Funny the NYT didn't say.

Michael K said...

Now, U of Chicago students are challenging the president's statements.

It would be a good time for a few expulsions.

MadisonMan said...

The students should be required to be students, and to investigate each claim in the book, and report on its veracity. They could create a blog about it.

AEI and Charles Murray would be the graders.

That would be a very interesting exercise.

Chris N said...

It's a weird symbiotic relationship between Leftist faculty, their victim students, and the parents with real jobs paying for eventual revolution.

In the meantime, verdant social justice and the green lawns of sweet gov't human rights jobs beckon.

Chris N said...

I'm for MadisonMan's suggestion. Much more productive and practical.

Everyone might learn something, including how to think better and differently

Rick said...

“This was a number of individuals in the dark, wearing masks and black clothing, along with a bunch of college students,” [Thomas Hanley - Police Chief] said.

You can see he's internalized the party line. It's revealing University officials and the police each claim both (1) not to know who these people are and (2) that they are not students. Why it almost seems their assertions are based solely on political considerations
with absolutely no regard for the facts.

Kevin said...

“This was a number of individuals in the dark, wearing masks and black clothing, along with a bunch of college students,” [Thomas Hanley - Police Chief] said.

Are you sure it wasn't Chief Wiggum? It sounds like Chief Wiggum.

exiledonmainstreet said...

Slap on the wrist.

However, at least the antifa scumbag who hit Trump supporters over the head with a bike lock in Berkeley has been arrested.

sean said...

I think every professor in America should be looking at how he or she has utterly failed to impart to the students an understanding of the value of free inquiry and free expression. What are the reasons for this failure? What has the academy done wrong over the past 20 years? I don't see a single professor engaging in that kind of soul-searching: smug self-satisfaction is the order of the day.

Martin said...

In a year or two those comments in their records will be expunged... that's teh plan.

Of course, the "students" may file suit claiming denial of due process, even though Middlebury is not a government agency, and get it expunged even quicker.

Murray is right, the message from Middlebury to the rioters is "Do your worst and we have your back."

And, no, Middlebury is doing an atrocious job unless their goal is to raise a new generation of Young Fascists.

Rob said...

No suspensions, no expulsions, no prosecutions. Probation or a notation on a student's "permanent record." Yeah, right.

tcrosse said...

Badk in the 1960's there was a History prof at Madison named Harvey Goldberg, who was among other things a very Great Actress. He packed 'em in for his lectures. It was in one of these I first heard the proposition that Speech is Violence, and Violence Speech. Some of his students who bought this idea must have gone into the Professoriat, and passed it on.

Fernandinande said...

The department’s chief, Thomas Hanley, said ..."It was more of a scrum. There wasn’t any assault per se."

That's why when a cop is injured by hostile rioters, they charge them with "unauthorized rugby" rather than assault.

Tarrou said...

Get their names, sanction them yourself. The police and institutions encourage and abet violence and criminal activities. Time for the people to serve as the backstop to a corrupt system. I'll bet if you hang a dozen of these scum, there will be a lot fewer violent leftists assaulting their political opponents.

Clark said...

In reports about the Middlebury incident, I heard one too many people (who were supposedly supporting the free speech side of things) preface their remarks by saying that they had of course not read that racist book The Bell Curve, but . . . .

I decided it was time to get a copy and read it. I recommend it. It is hard to believe that this carefully written, scholarly work has been so anathematized.

walter said...

Not to diminish the role colleges play, but these mindsets don't get suddenly turned this way without being malformed by primary education paired with complicit parenting.
But yeah..it's funny that such a common sense understatement by Dickinson will likely catch him hell.

Earnest Prole said...

These days we're talking about freedom of speech like it's some kind of "nice to have" and not the most fundamental right guaranteed to each person by the Constitution. It is in fact a federal crime to deprive another of the right to speak freely. The law says:

"If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States . . . They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."

The remedy is simple: prosecute those who deprive others of their civil rights.

Gahrie said...

I heard one of them was actually slapped on the wrist...twice...with a wet noodle.

buwaya puti said...

Follow the money.
The kids are the customers, and antagonizing a large faction of them will mean, probably, fewer applications, lower selectivity, and a reduction in the posted median SAT, and a reduction in demand, etc.
The opposite could happen of course, but for such an expensive private liberal arts college that's unlikely.
The Missouri case showed a different subset of the market fleeing, because their market is different.

rcocean said...

The sanctions serve their purpose. They allow the College President to say they punished the protesters while signaling support for the protesters.

Or as Louie would say "Major Strasser has been shot, round up the usual suspects".

rcocean said...

The Elite is no longer interested in debate.

rcocean said...

As Sontag would've put it : "Middlebury doesn't need free speech, it has liberalism"

n.n said...

Liberalism is unprincipled. Progressivism is monotonic change. Progressive or generational liberalism is divergent. Principles matter.

Bay Area Guy said...

A good start, but not sufficient.

Proposed rule on campus:

Anyone who prevents a speaker from expressing his/her views, is violating the First Amendment Rights of the speaker and will be expelled.

Dissent, Yes. Obstruction and violence, Hell No.

Mr. D said...

Give 'em a modified diploma that lists the institution as "Middlefingerbury." And any transcripts should read the same way.

Michael K said...

The kids are the customers, and antagonizing a large faction of them will mean, probably, fewer applications,

Oh, I think this is key. The parents of these kids probably include a lot of leftists and the kids are the equivalent of red diaper babies in the 60s.

The reputation of the college might be the only pressure point. What kind of jobs do these kids get later ?

Dave from Minnesota said...

It costs $64,000 a year to go there. Administrators hate to lose that kind of income.

Owen said...

The moment that Middlebury cloaked the proceedings in secrecy "because of student confidentiality, you see," I knew this was going nowhere. Same thing happened at Dartmouth after a bunch of BLM thugs rioted in the library, treating their classmates to such sophisticated arguments as "F*** you, white bitch."

Higher Ed is pretty much done.

Titus said...

Middlebury College is considered a "little Ivy" along with some other fabulous schools in the northeast.

You can go anywhere with a Middlebury degree...except of course like the south, gross, who would go there?

David said...

" [But] “[The students] don’t understand the value of free speech at a college and what free speech really means . . . "

Or it could be that they understand perfectly (perhaps instinctively) and that is why they are trying to suppress the speech of those whose views they disagree with.

Gabriel said...

It sounds like Chief Wiggum.

Dispatcher: Be on the lookout for a 1936 maroon Stutz Bearcat.

Wiggim, napping in patrol car, sits up, sees maroon Stutz Bearcat go by.

Wiggim: Eh, that really was more of a burgundy.

reclines, resumes napping

Richard said...

Clark: I decided it was time to get a copy and read it. I recommend it. It is hard to believe that this carefully written, scholarly work has been so anathematized.

Great minds think alike. ☺ I have had the Bell Curve on my bookshelf for 20 years. I avoided reading it until now because of the size and dry nature of the material. After the Middlebury riot I finally sat down and read it. Yes it is long and, if you read all of the footnotes as I did, a slow read. However, it was a very well written book. He used a large number of statistical analyses to validate his point of view. His thesis is that a person’s IQ affects almost all his activities from marriage, to income, to poverty, to out of wedlock births, etc. Low IQ correlates with negative outcomes in all of these areas.

The first half of the book only uses statistics from the white population to prove his thesis. Where the book becomes “problematical” is when he addresses the IQ of blacks (and Hispanics) in chapter 13. The IQ of blacks is one standard deviation (15 IQ points) below that of whites. Thus all of the negative consequences of a low IQ pertain to blacks as a group. That clearly is an unacceptable point of view to the Left. Also, in his closing chapters, where he states what should be the policy positions of the US on the topics addressed in the book, he argues strongly against affirmative action as being counterproductive to the black community. Obviously that is not a position that goes over will with the current generation of SJWs.

Peter said...

Perhaps it's also worth noting that, in "The Bell Curve," Murray refuses to say whether the black-white IQ gap is due to genetics or environment, and to support the "it might be mostly environment" option offers examples of immigrant groups in the USA who once had relatively low IQs (e.g., Poles) relative to the majority, but who no longer do. Yet in the end he remains mostly silent (and totally agnostic) on this nature-vs-nurture issue.

In any case, it seems obvious that even if there are measurable group differences, these differences do not and can not justify treating individuals differently on the basis of their group identities. Yet that in itself seems insufficient to defuse the issue.

The solution from the Left is just, "You can't talk about that." Are there any other, better solutions?

buwaya said...

"The solution from the Left is just, "You can't talk about that." Are there any other, better solutions?"

No, not really. These are blasphemies in the midst of a series of religious wars.
The only real solution, and it will take a very long time to penetrate, is if some foreign country or countries end up deciphering the bulk of the genetic and developmental basis for differences in intelligence, and moreover it is possible to predict outcomes on this basis, and moreover that the differential distribution of these genes in different populations can be shown.

That last is the easiest. The rest isn't.

There is quite a lot going on in identifying the genetic basis for intelligence, or components of intelligence, but it seems to be an extremely complex phenomenon that will probably involve thousands of genes in a multitude of complex combinations.

Owen said...

Buwaya: "thousands of genes." Yes, I'd say so. I frankly don't know how you tease out all (or enough) of the causal arrows. The complexity goes up at least exponentially, never mind feedback loops and our old friend, epigenetics.

But I'm sure if we can put the earth's climate into a computer model, we can unravel intelligence.

James Pawlak said...

Such thugs as in the KKK, Nazi Parties, Jihad waging organization and at that school understand only one thing---Overwhelming and deadly force.

Dr Weevil said...

The Middlebury administration doesn't seem to have thought this through. If I were hiring recent college graduates, I would probably not bother to hire anyone who was at Middlebury this year, for fear of hiring one of the criminal assholes. Refusing to reveal the names of the criminal assholes helps them, but harms the rest of the student body by making them all marginally less employable, when it should be the guilty ones who have no employment opportunities at all except license-plate manufacture and turning big rocks into little rocks.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Oh, the lesson's pretty clear. Nice to know what you can get away with--people tend to remember those lessons, yes sir.

buwaya said...

"The complexity goes up at least exponentially, never mind feedback loops and our old friend, epigenetics. "

This is why empiricism is so valuable in these things, and all life. If you treat the phenomenon like a black box, not seeking to understand the whole of the mechanism, but simply its behavior under certain circumstances, you can derive rules of thumb that can be highly predictive. After all, people bred plants and animals for millennia without knowing the first thing about genetics or even much about what we consider modern biology.

A dirty secret of the modern world is that most of what we consider technology was developed in this way, through empiricism, not "science" at all. Engineers and tinkerers and technicians changed this or that and saw that it worked better, usually without knowing why, but better it got, year after year.
Science is overhyped.

That empiricism works reasonably well with hereditary intelligence, at least statistically. And thats what the plant and animal breeders were working with, even if they didn't have a notion of modern statistics either.

It seems to me that the old eugenicists were correct, it is possible to deliberately breed humans to improve the population - or move it closer to some ideal anyway. And this without a clue as to the deep nature of what is being improved.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I am a Middlebury graduate -- 1971, Geology -- and their "punishment" after the school year is over is pitiable. I stopped donating to them (co-dependent in their dysfunction) twenty years ago. Naively I hope they can get their shit together, but I see no signs of this happening.

It **used** to be a really good school. In the hard sciences and languages it still is. But the rest of it is a dog repeatedly returning to eat its own vomit.

Richard said...

Perhaps it's also worth noting that, in "The Bell Curve," Murray refuses to say whether the black-white IQ gap is due to genetics or environment, and to support the "it might be mostly environment" option offers examples of immigrant groups in the USA who once had relatively low IQs (e.g., Poles) relative to the majority, but who no longer do. Yet in the end he remains mostly silent (and totally agnostic) on this nature-vs-nurture issue.

Actually he does address the issue of whether IQ is heritable. On page 105 where he is discussing White IQ he states: "In fact, IQ is substantially heritable. The state of knowledge does not permit a precise estimate, but half a century of work, now amounting to hundreds of empirical and theoretical studies, permits a broad conclusion that the genetic component of IQ is unlikely to be smaller than 40 percent or higher than 80 percent."

Gahrie said...

It seems to me that the old eugenicists were correct, it is possible to deliberately breed humans to improve the population

Of course it is. The Spartans were doing it thousands of years ago. The problems lie in the methods used, and the goals attempted.

Jupiter said...

"In any case, it seems obvious that even if there are measurable group differences, these differences do not and can not justify treating individuals differently on the basis of their group identities."

But you see, the *denial* of these differences, can be, and is, used to justify treating individuals differently on the basis of their group identities. The anti-science Left claims that any difference in group outcomes must be the result of irrational racial prejudice. Therefore, deliberate racial discrimination is justified in order to "remedy past discrimination".

Jupiter said...

"In any case, it seems obvious that even if there are measurable group differences, these differences do not and can not justify treating individuals differently on the basis of their group identities."

I would suggest, that if a woman is on a subway platform at 2:00 AM, and the train pulls in, and through the windows she sees a lone white guy in one car, and a lone black guy in the other ...

Well, of course, that is racism! Straight up! So let's try it this way. Suppose there is a lone white guy in one, and a lone white woman in the other. Is it now justifiable to treat individuals differently on the basis of their group identities?

Gabriel said...

@buwaya:It seems to me that the old eugenicists were correct, it is possible to deliberately breed humans to improve the population - or move it closer to some ideal anyway.

There may have been a few cranks who claimed that it could not be done, but the controversy was overwhelmingly over "should we", not "can we".

Regarding "some ideal", C. S. Lewis put it best in "The Abolition of Man":

In order to understand fully what Man's power over
Nature, and therefore the power of some men over other men, really means, we
must picture the race extended in time from the date of its emergence to that of its
extinction. Each generation exercises power over its successors: and each, in so far
as it modifies the environment bequeathed to it and rebels against tradition, resists
and limits the power of its predecessors. This modifies the picture which is
sometimes painted of a progressive emancipation from tradition and a progressive
control of natural processes resulting in a continual increase of human power. In
reality, of course, if any one age really attains, by eugenics and scientific education,
the power to make its descendants what it pleases, all men who live after it are the
patients of that power. They are weaker, not stronger: for though we may have put
wonderful machines in their hands we have pre-ordained how they are to use
them. And if, as is almost certain, the age which had thus attained maximum
power over posterity were also the age most emancipated from tradition, it would
be engaged in reducing the power of its predecessors almost as drastically as that
of its successors. And we must also remember that, quite apart from this, the later
a generation comes — the nearer it lives to that date at which the species becomes
extinct — the less power it will have in the forward direction, because its subjects
will be so few. There is therefore no question of a power vested in the race as a
whole steadily growing as long as the race survives. The last men, far from being
the heirs of power, will be of all men most subject to the dead hand of the great
planners and conditioners and will themselves exercise least power upon the
future.

The real picture is that of one dominant age — let us suppose the hundredth
century A.D. — which resists all previous ages most successfully and dominates all
subsequent ages most irresistibly, and thus is the real master of the human species.
But then within this master generation (itself an infinitesimal minority of the
species) the power will be exercised by a minority smaller still. Man's conquest of
Nature, if the dreams of some scientific planners are realized, means the rule of a
few hundreds of men over billions upon billions of men. There neither is nor can
be any simple increase of power on Man's side. Each new power won by man is a
power over man as well. Each advance leaves him weaker as well as stronger. In
every victory, besides being the general who triumphs, he is also the prisoner who
follows the triumphal car.