An Open Letter From Charles Murray to the Students of Azusa Pacific University — Peter Robinson


Because Charles says it all, I post this — this brilliant and biting and sad letter — without comment:

I was scheduled to speak to you tomorrow. I was going to talk about my new book, “The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead,” and was looking forward to it. But it has been “postponed.” Why? An email from your president, Jon Wallace, to my employer, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), said “Given the lateness of the semester and the full record of Dr. Murray’s scholarship, I realized we needed more time to prepare for a visit and postponed Wednesday’s conversation.” This, about an appearance that has been planned for months. I also understand from another faculty member that he and the provost were afraid of “hurting our faculty and students of color.”

You’re at college, right? Being at college is supposed to mean thinking for yourselves, right? Okay, then do it. Don’t be satisfied with links to websites that specialize in libeling people. Lose the secondary sources. Explore for yourself the “full range” of my scholarship and find out what it is that I’ve written or said that would hurt your faculty or students of color. It’s not hard. In fact, you can do it without moving from your chair if you’re in front of your computer.

You don’t have to buy my books. Instead, go to my web page at AEI. There you will find the full texts of dozens of articles I’ve written for the last quarter-century. Browse through them. Will you find anything that is controversial? That people disagree with? Yes, because (hang on to your hats) scholarship usually means writing about things on which people disagree.

The task of the scholar is to present a case for his or her position based on evidence and logic. Another task of the scholar is to do so in a way that invites everybody into the discussion rather than demonize those who disagree. Try to find anything under my name that is not written in that spirit. Try to find even a paragraph that is written in anger, takes a cheap shot, or attacks women, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, or anyone else.

But there’s another way to decide whether you would have been safe in my hands if I had spoken at Azusa Pacific. Go to YouTube and search “Charles Murray.” You will get links to dozens of lectures, panel discussions, and television interviews. You can watch Q&A sessions in which I field questions from students like you, including extremely hostile ones. Watch even for a few minutes. Ask yourself if I insult them or lash out. If I do anything except take their questions seriously and answer them accordingly. Ask yourself if I’m anything more dangerous than an earnest and nerdy old guy.

Azusa Pacific’s administration wants to protect you from earnest and nerdy old guys who have opinions that some of your faculty do not share. Ask if this is why you’re getting a college education.


Charles Murray

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  1. Misthiocracy Member


    • #1
  2. user_959530 Member

    If invitation is the highest form of flattery, then disinvitation is the highest form of disdain.

    Those who spearhead these disinvitations don’t just disagree with conservatives, they disdain conservatives. Hopefully, university leaders will stop capitulating at some point and turn the tide to allow free and open debate.

    • #2
  3. raycon and lindacon Inactive
    raycon and lindacon

    Another formerly great Christian college has succumbed to the paralysis of political correctness. 

    Back in the late ’60’s we went to Biola College, just down the road from Azusa-Pacific.  Our administration held out for a while, and then jumped in hook-line-and sinker.  The school went into a death spiral for over 10 years, and then a former missionary, and our missions prof., Clyde Cook rescued it from ignominy.  It is again among the great Christian Colleges.

    Who will rescue Azusa-Pacific?

    • #3
  4. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M

    That is very disappointing coming from Azusa.  I have a childhood friend (who I see very rarely, now) who is a professor at Azusa, and I was under the impression that it was a good institution.  This sort of thing gives me second thoughts.

    • #4
  5. Israel P. Inactive
    Israel P.

    The only thing I know about Azusa Pacific is from their ad on Hugh Hewitt.  It is very badly written. The first sentence is enough to get them crossed off my list – if I had a need for a list.

    • #5
  6. Ryan M Member
    Ryan M

    raycon and lindacon:

    Another formerly great Christian college has succumbed to the paralysis of political correctness.

    Who will rescue Azusa-Pacific?

     Speaking of “formerly great Christian colleges,” take a look at the recent controversy surrounding George Fox University (my wife’s alma mater, and I attended for 2 years).  Really sickening, if you ask me.  It’s pathetic that leftest havens abound, free from any semblance of conservative thought.  They tout themselves as open-minded institutions of tolerance and free thought, and they are everything but.  Even mildly conservative colleges find themselves constantly under the fiercest of attack.

    Personally, I’ve attended both private and public, both Christian and secular schools.  The most tolerant, most open-minded, most diverse school I ever attended was the very Christian Regent University School of Law.  Excellent education, wonderful faculty – I’d pick it over Harvard or Yale any day when it comes to actual education received.  But I was unemployed for 3 years before landing as a public defender.  Nonsensical elitism prevails, and in my opinion, our higher education system is broken beyond repair.

    • #6
  7. Susan in Seattle Member
    Susan in Seattle

    I have nothing other than “wow. Simply gobsmacking.”

    • #7
  8. Fricosis Guy Listener
    Fricosis Guy

    Now that’s a firm, but loving, rebuke. 

    And let’s see if Hugh Hewitt continues to run Azuza’s ads.

    • #8
  9. user_517406 Inactive

    Bucky Boz:

    If invitation is the highest form of flattery, then disinvitation is the highest form of disdain.

    Those who spearhead these disinvitations don’t just disagree with conservatives, they disdain conservatives. Hopefully, university leaders will stop capitulating at some point and turn the tide to allow free and open debate.

     These days it’s becoming a badge of honor.  It means you’re really smart, courageous and telling the truth.  

    • #9
  10. captainpower Member

    Here is the letter on the AEI web site. At present, it has 63 comments.

    • #10
  11. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens

    speaking truth to power now means not speaking at a graduation.

    • #11
  12. user_75648 Thatcher

    Most scathing. And this letter has to hurt worse because it voices blameless indignation at Azusa’s  pretense of being a principled, intellectual institution when it is actually a Lefty talking shop trafficking in convictions so delicate that they can only be exposed to non-threatening ideas.  

    If I had to predict, I’d guess that Azusa will not be able to climb down from their disinvite.  That said, I believe the true value of this letter is that the next university president will be much more resistant to withdrawing any invitation to Charles Murray so as not to attract their own public spanking.

    • #12
  13. tabula rasa Member
    tabula rasa

    It’s sad.  Assuming places like Azusa Pacific, the University of Minnesota, and Brandeis really are interested in educating their students (I know: it’s a giant leap of faith), they need Charles Murray, Condi Rice, and Ayaan Hirsi Ali more than Murray, Rice, and Ali need Azusa Pacific, UM, and Brandeis.

    • #13
  14. user_86050 Inactive

    You’d think that all that education would have prepared the faculty to rebut Charles Murray’s arguments, swiftly and definitively.

    Instead, they chose the weasel-excuse, “don’t have time to prepare.” 

    • #14
  15. user_407430 Contributor

    I’ve had my students read Murray’s stuff, which at first had me a little worried because I was afraid they’d start complaining about how they’d heard that he was sexist, racist etc etc. But of course I quickly realized that there was no cause for concern; none of them had heard of him.

    • #15
  16. Roberto Member

    Jeffrey Lord over at The American Spectator has compiled a list, incomplete,  of these efforts to suppress  the participation of conservatives in civil society:

    The New American Fascism

    The accumulated attempts are rather daunting in their quantity and scope.

    • #16
  17. user_78404 Inactive

    This is the kind of  “intellectual” thinking that goes on at our universities today. Example: Dartmouth University students took over the president’s office demanding among other things “gender neutral” bathrooms. The university did nothing to these students.

    • #17
  18. captainpower Member

    • #18

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