Steve Sailer noted how the Middlebury Mob Mayhem incident didn’t make it into the NYT’s “This Week in Hate” column, just like the Berkelely Milo violence wasn’t (nor any other violence against conservative speakers). I guess that’s because the weekly column’s Mission Statement, so to speak, is: “The editorial board tracks hate crimes and harassment around the country since the election of Donald Trump.” And that can only mean hate emanating from Der Trumpenfuhrer’s minions.
So, when at the top of today’s NYT.com I saw “Understanding the Angry Mob at Middlebury that Gave Me a Concussion” written by Allison Stranger, the professor sent to the hospital, I perked up. What?! The NYT is giving writing space for someone who will be critical of the SJWs’ fascism?
Well, sorta, but not quite.
Stranger first quickly establishes her progressive bona fides, because nothing disqualifies an argument more than it coming from, say, a Republican:
Though [Charles Murray] is someone with whom I disagree, I welcomed the opportunity to moderate a talk with him on campus on March 2 because several of my students asked me to do so. They know I am a Democrat, but the college courses I teach are nonpartisan.
In the days after the violence, some have spun this story as one about what’s wrong with elite colleges and universities, our coddled youth or intolerant liberalism. Those analyses are incomplete.
Political life and discourse in the United States is at a boiling point, and nowhere is the reaction to that more heightened than on college campuses. Throughout an ugly campaign and into his presidency, President Trump has demonized Muslims as terrorists and dehumanized many groups of marginalized people. He declared the free press an enemy of the people, replaced deliberation with tweeting, and seems bent on dismantling the separation of powers and 230 years of progress this country has made toward a more perfect union. Much of the free speech he has inspired — or has refused to disavow — is ugly, and has already had ugly real-world consequences. College students have seen this, and have taken note: Speech can become action.
Yes, SJWs violently attacking Murray and Stranger is, apparently, ultimately Trump’s fault.
The protesters succeeded in shutting down the lecture. We were forced to move to another site and broadcast our discussion via live stream, while activists who had figured out where we were banged on the windows and set off fire alarms. Afterward, as Dr. Murray and I left the building with Bill Burger, Middlebury’s vice president for communications, a mob charged us.
Most of the hatred was focused on Dr. Murray, but when I took his right arm to shield him and to make sure we stayed together, the crowd turned on me. Someone pulled my hair, while others were shoving me. I feared for my life. Once we got into the car, protesters climbed on it, hitting the windows and rocking the vehicle whenever we stopped to avoid harming them. I am still wearing a neck brace, and spent a week in a dark room to recover from a concussion caused by the whiplash.
You’d think such violent, hysterical, and totalitarian-styled tactics would receive unqualified condemnation from Stranger, who, after all, feared for her life, right? You’d be thinking wrong. There’s always the Big But:
It is obvious that some protesters made dangerous choices. But with time to reflect, I have to say that I hear and understand the righteous anger of many of those who shouted us down. I know that many students felt they were standing up to protect marginalized people who have been demeaned or even threatened under the guise of free speech.
I cracked up at Stranger being shocked that gambling takes place at Rick’s Café:
This past month, as the campus uproar about Dr. Murray’s visit built, I was genuinely surprised and troubled to learn that some of my faculty colleagues had rendered judgment on Dr. Murray’s work and character without ever having read anything he has written. It wasn’t just students: Some professors protested his appearance as well.
Intelligent members of the Middlebury community — including some of my own students and advisees — concluded that Charles Murray was an anti-gay white nationalist from what they were hearing from one another, and what they read on the Southern Poverty Law Center website. Never mind that Dr. Murray supports same-sex marriage and is a member of the courageous “never Trump” wing of the Republican Party…
The Southern Poverty Law Center incorrectly labels Dr. Murray a “white nationalist,” but if we have learned nothing in this election, it is that such claims must be fact-checked, analyzed and assessed.
Again, what does Trump have to do with any of this? Weird.
Using the Left’s own logic, by spreading incorrect information about Charles Murray, the $PLC (along with media outlets like the AP & WaPo, who have also erroneously labeled Murray a ‘white nationalist’) have a mighty big role to play in the violence that ensued at Middlebury. One might even argue that the $PLC in particular is acting here like a ‘hate group’.
Towards the end of her column, Stranger adds another Big But into what first sounds like a straightforward condemnation:
There is no excusing what happened at Middlebury, and those who prevented Charles Murray from speaking must be punished for violating college rules. But what the events at Middlebury made clear is that, regardless of political persuasion, Americans today are deeply susceptible to a renunciation of reason and celebration of ignorance. They know what they know without reading, discussing or engaging those who might disagree with them. People from both sides of the aisle reject calm logic, eager to embrace the alternative news that supports their prejudices.
Note that, to date, none of the students at Middlebury responsible for the violence has been held accountable.
Because, in the end, like Stranger’s Big But #2, ultimately responsibility always seems to hover back to Trump, the Shadow of Trump, and/or his Neanderthal supporters.