‘Here’s the reality: A guest lecturer was shouted down. A senior professor, a senior college official, and the guest lecturer were assaulted. The professor was seriously injured. No one was punished. Not one single solitary person.
Now that I’ve vented, the question may reasonably be asked: How do I think Middlebury should have dealt with the situation? I’ve wanted to answer that question since the morning of March 3, but two things have kept me circumspect.’
As posted, the broader issue as I see it: Some students are gathering around a set of political and social doctrines in a pseudo-religious, pseudo-scientific, ideologically motivated fashion. Many of these doctrines share logical foundations which promote revolutionary change on the way towards radical liberation.
The truth and knowledge claims required to implement such changes are supposedly contained within a broad range of texts, as well as in common, collective beliefs which solidify membership and group identity. Action and activism further solidify group loyalty against all presumed injustice, oppression, and morally illegitimate authority (generally, carving up people and the world into groups and ‘-Isms’).
Race is a primary motivator here (the genuine injustice of American racial history and the personal experience of many activists), and can help explain the frenzied and rather ritualistic chanting of James Baldwin’s writings during Murray’s event. As though chanting in unison and earnestly seeking ‘solidarity’ will simply banish unwanted ideas.
Some Middlebury professors, of course, may be surprised (bemused, ashamed?) at the whirlwind being reaped, but in receiving other people’s money to interpret texts, influence young minds, and sit at faculty meetings much of the time, it’s probably not often the feedback is direct (some even took a stand on principle).
Other Middlebury professors, however, well, let’s just say this: While talking with them, don’t be surprised if they keep telling you to shut up and then maybe hit you in the head.
‘The sit-in corresponded with greater efforts from faculty members to seek information from administrators regarding the disciplinary proceedings. Laurie Essig, associate professor of sociology and gender, sexuality, and feminist studies, Linus Owens, associate professor of sociology and Sujata Moorti, professor of gender, sexuality and feminist studies, were among a group of faculty members who reached out to the administration. Initially, they were hoping for more information from the meeting to better understand the disciplinary process and help students who are facing hearings.’
See the previous post.The Intellectual Cowardice Of The Crowd-Charles Murray At Middlebury College