Who Are the Fascists at Middlebury College?
By NBP Editorial Board | March 7, 2017, 7:06 EST
There have been many articles and posts in the last several days on the student mob who prevented Charles Murray from speaking at Middlebury College, the elite Vermont school where tuition runs $61,000 a year. Mr. Murray is a highly distinguished political scientist, sociologist, and author. He is also a Fellow at the influential conservative think tank, American Enterprise Institute. His books enrage many progressives, not the least because they contain reams of data, which make his arguments hard to refute. The extreme left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) condemns Mr. Murray, so we know that he is doing something right. The SPLC calls him a “white nationalist,” which is totally nonsensical as Mr. Murray has multi-racial children.
While the Middlebury mob (and many in the Academy) considered themselves doing the public a service by preventing Mr. Murray from speaking, because he represents the alleged fascists in the current Trump administration, the mob of students are the real fascists. Let us dial back 84 years to Nazi Germany where undesirable books were consigned to the flames.
In April 1933, the main office for Press and Propaganda for the German Student Union proclaimed a nationwide “Action against the Un-German Spirit” which was to climax in a literary purging (“Säuberung”) by fire. A month later, students burned nearly 25,000 volumes of these “Un-German” books. In many university towns and cities, students, faculty, and Nazi party officials marched in torch light parades and gave speeches in joyous book-burning ceremonies. It was the students and administrations of many universities who proudly censored the works of their opponents.
Today many of our young learn their history from movies rather than books; the movie The Book Thief has a powerful scene when the young protagonist, Rudi, is forced to attend a book-burning ceremony. This now notorious campaign to burn Un-German books was just the first step in Nazi Germany, where newspapers, books, and art of all kinds were censored.
Fast forward to American campuses today. At Middlebury College last week a large assembly of students prevented Mr. Murray from speaking to an audience and then later assaulted him and a Middlebury professor who was accompanying him, injuring her to the point where she had to go to the hospital to be fitted for a neck brace. How much difference is there between what happened at Middlebury College last week and what happened in fascist Germany? Or, consider the riot and vandalism at the University of California at Berkeley last month, where a Breitbart news editor was prevented from speaking.
In Germany, they burned the books of their opponents. American college campuses today censor conservative thought by denying libertarian and conservative speakers a platform to speak. University presidents often make it difficult, if not impossible, for conservative student groups to host speakers whom progressive students and faculty consider “deplorable.”
With remarkable magnanimity, Mr. Murray tweeted: “Report from the front: The Middlebury administration was exemplary. The students were seriously scary.”
We will see whether the Middlebury administration is exemplary. Will it actually follow through with disciplinary action towards the students in the mob, especially those who injured Middlebury Professor Allison Stanger?
In our view, presidents and trustees of many U.S. universities and colleges need to reclaim their moral courage, as they have allowed allowing their faculty and students to censor free speech and drive off campus their intellectual enemies. They need to reclaim it by expelling students and firing faculty who deny freedom of speech on campus. Whether it be book burning or mob violence, fascist tactics on campus have no place in our country.
Nazis in America…but are they really Trump supporters, or are they some of the college students on the left?Click the link below for more on this story from NewBostonPostMake sure to LIKE/COMMENT/SHARE.
Posted by Kyle Reyes on Tuesday, March 7, 2017