Floor Remarks on Violence Silencing Speech , I am truly saddened that I must rise to address what I am afraid is a growing threat to our democracy: the silencing of political debate by totalitarian mob violence on college campuses.
BigNews.Biz - Mar 14,2017 - Floor Remarks on Violence Silencing Speech
Madam President, I am truly saddened that I must rise to address what I am afraid is a growing threat to our democracy: the silencing of political debate by totalitarian mob violence on college campuses.
I was not in Burlington, Vermont, to witness what happened at Middlebury College, but I’d like to read from the accounts of two people who were. They were the targets of the mob’s violence – their names are Allison Stanger, professor of political science at Middlebury College, and Charles Murray, author of several groundbreaking books, including the controversial Bell Curve, and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. America deserves to hear their story.
On Saturday, two days after the incident, Professor Stanger wrote on her Facebook page:
“I agreed to participate in the event with Charles Murray, because several of my students asked me to do so. They are smart and good people, all of them, and this was their big event of the year.
I actually welcomed the opportunity to be involved, because while my students may know I am a Democrat, all of my courses are nonpartisan, and this was a chance to demonstrate publicly my commitment to a free and fair exchange of views in my classroom.
As the campus uproar about his 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, while openly admitting that they had not read anything he had written. With the best of intentions, they offered their leadership to enraged students, and we all now know what the results were.
I want you to know what it feels like to look out at a sea of students yelling obscenities at other members of my beloved community. … I saw some of my faculty colleagues who had publicly acknowledged that they had not read anything Dr. Murray had written, join the effort to shut down the lecture. All of this was deeply unsettling to me.
What alarmed me most, however, was what I saw in student eyes from up on that stage. Those who wanted the event to take place made eye contact with me. Those intent on disrupting it steadfastly refused to do so. It was clear to me that they had effectively dehumanized me. They couldn’t look me in the eye, because if they had, they would have seen another human being. There is a lot to be angry about in America today, but nothing good ever comes from demonizing our brothers and sisters….
When the event ended, and it was time to leave the building, I breathed a sigh of relief. We had made it. I was ready for dinner and conversation with faculty and students in a tranquil setting. What transpired instead felt like a scene from Homeland rather than an evening at an institution of higher learning. We confronted an angry mob as