There was no violent mob this time around when Charles Murray spoke at NYU last Friday. Security was beefed up and the student group affiliated with the AEI (American Enterprise Institute) also restricted access to the event in which Charles Murray was to speak. That said, a small crowd showed up to protest Charles Murray’s talk and to shame those that attended as well as the university for hosting Murray.
The protesters numbered in the 20s and were outside the venue with signs such as, “No Eugenics on Campus — Fight Fascism,” and “No Free Speech for Racists.” The protestors also chanted about Murray, calling him a racist and a classist, and had some words for NYU for allowing Murray to visit.
Those that protested, sharply condemned Murray for his supposed view that the poor are where they are because they somehow deserve it. From one protester: “Charles Murray is the latest in a long line of people that have been pushing this sort of eugenics-based poverty myth, where there’s a correlation between intelligence and poverty.” The Faculty of Color Caucus summarized Charles Murray’s book, Coming Apart, as “[blaming] poor whites for their own poverty.” However those that attended his speech say that in Murray’s talk, he reproved the elite for abandoning the white working class and the poor to their fate. In fact, in his writings, Murray has said that those who attend the best colleges and associate exclusively with their own kind, are shutting themselves off from their countrymen; something they were unable to do until now. He told the NYU crowd that they could do what the elites are doing but that they would be “short changing themselves.” It’s obvious that Murray is not someone that hates those that are of a different class than he is and it’s also obvious that he’s not a white supremacist.
Students, however, protesting Murray outside the venue seemed to be quite ignorant about Murray’s views, and didn’t want to have an open dialogue – despite the fact that college campuses are supposed to be all about freedom of speech and the exchange of ideas. One student protester wanted to restrict Murray’s speech because Nazis rose to power due to freedom of speech. Another protestor, however, did not like that some of the protesters were using language against freedom of speech saying that this kind of talk that could be used against the left.
After protesting, the students peaceably left.
It’s really disappointing to see what our college campuses have become. No longer are they a place where students discuss the issues. I believe instead of protesting and acting like third graders, it would do a lot of good for those students to hear what Murray has to say. Murray’s ideas on how to combat what is going on with the white underclass and how the elite need to not shut themselves off would really benefit the students at NYU.