Who’s To Blame? Injured Middlebury College Professor Names Name (UPDATED)
By Evan Lips | March 13, 2017, 19:02 EDT
This story has been updated (3/15)
The Middlebury College professor who drew the ire — and apparently the hands — of left-wing protesters for merely accommodating a conservative author’s speaking engagement was reportedly diagnosed with a concussion days after the incident, according to a campus-wide email written by her husband.
Political science professor Michael Kraus, whose wife Allison Stanger suffered injuries at the hands of enraged activists as she and American Enterprise Institute fellow Charles Murray tried to escape a campus mob scene, said in his email that he decided to write “to let you know that the reason my wife Allison Stanger cannot be ‘listening and connecting’ with all of you who have written or called is that she had to go back to Porter Hospital ER yesterday afternoon where she was diagnosed with the concussion.”
The email was first reported by The Powerline Blog, a website specializing in conservative commentary.
Krause added that as a result of her injuries, Stanger was forced to cancel her Monday, March 6 classes and office hours. The incident in question occurred the night of Thursday, March 2.
“Allison thanks you for all your notes of support and concern and hopes to respond properly when she is physically able to do so,” Krause wrote. “In the meantime, you can watch her discussion with Dr. [Charles] Murray here.”
Reached Monday, Stanger told New Boston Post she would not be able to immediately comment on the ordeal but noted that she would be free to talk on Tuesday. Additionally, a column — “Understanding the Angry Mob at Middlebury That Gave Me a Concussion” — penned by Stanger appeared in Monday’s edition of the New York Times.
Stanger confirmed her diagnosis of a concussion and added that she suffered from whiplash, forcing her to wear a neck brace and spend a week inside of a dark room.
Meanwhile, public posts Stanger made via her Facebook account appear to lay the blame for the melee not at the feet of violent campus activists, but on the current national political climate.
“To people who wish to spin this story as one about what’s wrong with elite colleges and universities, you are mistaken,” Stanger wrote at one point. “Please instead consider this as a metaphor for what is wrong with our country, and on that, Charles Murray and I would agree.”
Stanger in addition blamed President Donald Trump’s rhetoric for fomenting the riot-like nature of the incident.
“We have got to do better by those who feel they are marginalized,” Stanger wrote. “Our 230-year constitutional democracy depends on it, especially when our current president is blind to the evils he has unleashed.”
Stanger would later expound on these themes in her New York Times column, taking the opportunity to both slam Trump and to try and make sense of college activists, of whom she wrote have seen that “speech can become action.”
She also empathized with students, claiming, “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.”
Stanger also described herself as a Democrat but stressed that “all” of her courses are nonpartisan. Stanger said she agreed to debate with Murray at the behest of her students. She later provided a blow-by-blow account of the speaking event, which saw chair-slamming, screaming, pulled fire alarms, and chanting. Stanger added that she spotted several fellow faculty members participating in the ruckus in order to shut down the event, professors she said “who had publicly acknowledged they had not read anything Dr. Murray had written.”
According to Stanger, a change in venue for Murray’s appearance in order to accommodate a live-stream audience was further hampered by the din of the protesters outside. She recalled feeling “relieved” to have finished the live-stream, but noted that her sense of relief quickly turned to a sense of fear after it became clear that campus activists had assembled outside of the building.
“I was ready for dinner and conversation with faculty and students in a tranquil setting,” Stanger wrote. “What transpired instead felt like a scene from Homeland rather than an evening at an institution of higher learning.”
Stanger recapped the ensuing melee, noting that she and Murray were forced to “confront an angry mob.”
“Most of the hatred was focused on Dr. Murray, but when I took his right arm both to shield him from attack and make sure we stayed together so I could reach the car too, that’s when the hatred turned on me.
“One thug grabbed me by the hair and another shoved me in a different direction. I noticed signs with expletives and my name on them.”
Stanger said she feared for her life and added that the mob scene escalated after she and Murray managed to get into their car.
“That story has already been told well,” she added.
Stanger recalled that she did not feel safe until she and Murray arrived at the college’s alumni center. That feeling of safety was shattered, however, after a Middlebury College administrator alerted her to the fact that the protesters knew the location of the dinner.
“We raced back to the car, driving over the curb and sidewalk to escape quickly,” Stanger added. “It was then that we decided it was probably best to leave town.”
Murray has called on Middlebury College administrators to punish the students involved in the melee, but as of Monday, the school has yet to announce any sort of penalties. Bill Burger, the college’s vice president of communications, claimed in an email to New Boston Post that the persons who initiated the confrontation “were definitely not Middlebury students.”
Burger, who said he witnessed the entire ordeal, pointed the ginger at “the black bloc (also called antifa on occasion) groups that have established presences around the country. Burger disputed an earlier version of this story which indicated that students were behind the confrontations.
“Antifa” groups, according to the organization’s Facebook pages, are committed to anti-fascist causes.
“A group of these individuals was on our campus and they were the people who confronted Allison (Stanger), Charles Murray and me,” Burger added. “Yes, I was there.”
Stanger, however, never mentioned these groups in either her Facebook account or her New York Times entry. Burger in his email wrote that describing the protesters by using the term “campus progressives” “in connection to the assault on Allison (Stanger) is a misrepresentation of the true events.”
To read Stanger’s full entry, click here.