Grim Consequences for Middlebury College Rioters

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If you’re thinking about physically attacking a professor on a college campus at a public event you don’t like, it’s probably best to wear a mask.

That’s the moral from Middlebury College’s “resolution” to the riot on campus March 2 when author Charles Murray tried to speak.

On Tuesday — 82 days after the fact — the central Vermont liberal arts college announced the end of its “sanctioning process” against students who prevented Murray from speaking in public and then harassed and (possibly) injured a Middlebury professor who accompanied Murray. (More on that in a bit.)

It’s jarring enough that a professor was attacked and injured on campus. (By “injured,” by the way, I mean whiplash and a concussion. She spent a week in a dark room to recover.)

But to get the full import, you have to see where she is coming from. Allison Stanger is a professor of international politics and economics who disagrees with Murray and had just debated him — in private, for publication on the Internet, since the thugs in the audience wouldn’t let Murray speak in the appointed room. In a column after the incident, she referred to “flawed assumptions” and “logical shortcomings” in Murray’s thinking.

No matter — just the fact that she was accompanying Murray was enough to attack her.

Here’s her description of the scene amid jeering protesters yelling obscenities as she and Murray tried to walk to a car, get in it, and leave.

“Most of the hatred was focused on Dr. Murray, but when I took his right arm to shield him and to make sure we stayed together, the crowd turned on me. Someone pulled my hair, while others were shoving me. I feared for my life. Once we got into the car, protesters climbed on it, hitting the windows and rocking the vehicle whenever we stopped to avoid harming them.”

 If you’re thinking that pulling someone’s hair and causing a concussion without justification is assault and battery, you’re right. That’s a felony.

If you think that putting someone in fear of her life without justification is aggravated assault, you’re right. That’s a felony.

So who’s getting prosecuted?

No one. 


Police couldn’t identify “any specific individual who hurt Allison Stanger,” according to a written statement from the town of Middlebury police department.

Why not?

The culprit or culprits may have been wearing a mask. Moreover, this was no spontaneous outburst. Here’s the police:

“The police investigation established that as many as eight (8) masked individuals were present using tactics that indicated training in obstruction and intimidation.”

Since we don’t know who these people are, we can’t ask them how they would justify such an assault. So let’s ask someone else.

Yvette Felarca, a middle school teacher and organizer of a group called By Any Means Necessary, participated in violence to stop Milo Yiannopoulos from speaking at the University of California at Berkeley on February 1. She appeared on Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News on February 13. She didn’t deny using violence — there’s videotape of it. Nor did she apologize for it. Instead, she was proud of it, because Yiannopoulos, in her view, is a “fascist.” Carlson asked Felarca if Yiannopoulos should be allowed to speak in public. Here’s her answer:

“He should not be allowed to speak in public to spread his racist and misogynistic and homophobic lies. No, he does not have the right to do that. When he’s using his speech to whip up attacks on people, no, he doesn’t have the right to do that. And to spread lies about our humanity? No, he doesn’t.”

If the Middlebury rioters follow this logic, then the attack on Professor Stanger a couple of weeks later starts to make sense. Being against Murray not only wasn’t enough to save Stanger from abuse by the mob, it was irrelevant. Just talking with Murray in a civil debate and accompanying him as he walked out of a building was enough to justify attacking her, because she was in some sense an enabler. As an accomplice in Murray’s spreading of “lies,” Stanger was nearly as guilty as he was.

For those who don’t live in this particular neighborhood of Left Wing Land, however, you might be thinking that disrupting a public event and abusing a guest and injuring a member of the faculty would have consequences for students who participated.

Even if they didn’t attack Professor Stanger physically — or if that can’t be proved, let’s say — surely the students who caused this riot will be held to account by Middlebury College?


Here’s an excerpt from the college’s statement released Tuesday:

“In total, the College disciplined 67 students with sanctions ranging from probation to official College discipline, which places a permanent record in the student’s file.”

It takes some extrapolation from the official statement, but it appears that 41 of the students got probation.

Ooooh, spooky. Is that anything like double secret probation?

Does that mean if they disrupt another public event or attack another professor that something will be done to them?

Apparently. And what is that something?

Look no farther than the other 26 students who got “more serious consequences,” which appears to refer to a permanent record. Not a police record, mind you, but a permanent record at Middlebury College.

But since their names are secret, they can’t be Googled. Federal privacy laws and all that.

Still, their biographers a hundred years from now are going to have a field day.

But that’s not fair, you say. There are other consequences to having a permanent disciplinary record at the college you went to, right?

Yes, that’s correct. Here’s the Middlebury statement:

“Some graduate schools and employers require individuals to disclose official college discipline in their applications.”

Ever applied to an employer who inquired about your disciplinary record in college?  That ever come up during a job interview?

Let’s see, Jones. You’re perfect for us. But … what was your disciplinary record in college like?

As for graduate schools, it’s going to add a full half-hour to the search for these poor Middlebury students to find the ones that don’t ask the question.

Hint:  Try the University of California at Berkeley.


Matt McDonald is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of New Boston Post.  See other columns by him here.