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Attention Middlebury Students: Meet Dr. Charles Murray
As you may have heard, Professor Charles Murray ran into some rather misguided students the other night when he attempted to speak (after he was invited) at Middlebury College in Vermont (who represents Vermont in the U.S. Senate, again? We can’t remember…). So, as a public service to the students at that august academic institution (current yearly tuition: $61,046), we present this interview with Dr. Murray and Peter Robinson taped in 2012 in Washington D.C.
Snowflake Warning: the video below may include views and opinions you MAY disagree with, even though they are presented in a cogent, reasoned, and calmly persuasive manner.
Published in General
I met Dr. Murray after he gave a talk in the 90s when The Bell Curve came out. He is a very soft-spoken, intelligent, and even-keeled man. These people who shut down speech they don’t like by shouting them down and destroying property, then call Trump a fascist! The lack of self-awareness is stunning.
In Washington early last week, I ran into Dr. Murray one evening. (We were both attending a Hoover meeting.) Of all the interviews he did on his 2013 book Coming Apart, Charles told me, he was happiest with this one.
He couldn’t have made me happier if he’d presented me with a medal.
I agree with him. You’re very good at what you do.
These “protests” are even more of an outrage, since it becomes clear quickly from reading the accounts of it that these boneheads have never actually read or heard anything produced by Charles Murray. Even the NYT says this in the linked article:
Now, I haven’t even yet read “The Bell Curve” and I know this isn’t remotely accurate. (I have read “Coming Apart” and “Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing American Schools Back to Reality”, as well as listened to a bunch of his talks, though.) Murray and Herrnstein argue that different ethnic groups at different times may vary by IQ in ways that can and may perhaps explain some of the achievement differences by those groups. And also–and take note of this, both doofus protestors and the NYT–whites as a group are not at the top of the heap.
Sadly but unsurprisingly, morons extrapolated from this that Murray and Herrnstein were therefore arguing that blacks were “inferior”, that their problems were therefore self-caused, and that nothing should be done to help them. That impression, apparently persists to this day, as one of the aforementioned doofuses is holding up a “no eugenics” sign.
@archiecampbell, you are exactly right. Worse, the invitation was protested by many faculty members, who, according to Allison Stanger, the professor who was assaulted, had also never read anything by Murray. The Weekly Standard reported that there was a letter circulated by these faculty members about a week before Murray’s arrival. In addition, a group of alumni (most very recent) also sent a letter in protest. Both letters cited the Southern Poverty Law Center’s opinion as evidence of Murray’s racism. There was no substantive criticism of his work anywhere.
Meanwhile, as far as I have heard, no arrests have been made, no students have been expelled. The president, Laurie Patton, sent out a letter to express her “disappointment” and suggested we need to focus on building bridges. As my mother said, we do not build bridges from the civilized to the uncivilized. Throw ’em out.
[edited for idiotic mistake in elementary Latin]
I have read it. Out of 700 or 800 pages, ONE chapter discusses race, and the conclusions are rational and based on research, and not at all hysterical or racist.
I suggest that all students that took part in the protest be required to read the book. Then, to prove that they have actually read it, they will have to take an exam on it.
Just listened to this, and I don’t understand why the protests. Isn’t he just explaining why the rich get the gravy and the poor get the blame?
Exactly! That is what is astounding to me. If you feel like the Man is ripping you off, Charles Murray has a very reasonable argument for why you may be on to something. They should be co-opting his book not protesting it and him. Fish-towners Unite!
They are gonna be so embarrassed if they ever do read it.
The problem with Charles Murray is that his entire oeuvre is telling liberals their plan is not working. In fact it is making things worse.
Liberals have two options. They can read, learn, and inwardly digest Murray’s settled science. Or they can demonize him.
Never underestimate the liberal arts student’s inability to comprehend even the simplest ideas.
@liz, this is kinda ironic…Murray is saying that rich kids are smarter, much smarter, now, because the smart, professional parents all married other smart professionals–and those kids are the ones who get SAT scores of 750 & up, and get into the good colleges. So why is it, do you think, that they’re so obtuse?
Also, I saw an earlier post of yours today about how the kids in your very wealthy school district can’t read and write. That was fascinating to me as a longtime adult literacy tutor. Our literacy organization used to say,” 1 in 5 can’t read”, but our students came mostly from the working class ( this was near Philadelphia on the Main Line).
Put these 2 posts together and you get, what:
a picture of rich kids who may be very smart and will do well on SATs, but aren’t being taught grammar, phonics, and reading comprehension skills?
Do you think Murray is right that the rich are getting smarter, or not?
And about literacy: adults who can’t read no longer seem to feel the shame and the need to conceal their inability, like my students did 25 years ago. Is that good, just means everyone is more enlightened about dyslexia (which in my experience was usually the students’ problem) ? Or is it just that the general level of literacy is lower so people who can’t read don’t stand out as much?
@hypatia, those are tough questions. I can tell you that one reason these wealthy, white children are illiterate is that they are no longer taught basic grammar and spelling. My 5th graders tell me that they don’t have spelling tests after the 3rd grade (I went through the same district, and we had them up ’til high school). They are taught almost no grammar. Some kids are able to tell me what a noun is. Almost none know much about verbs, or what adjectives and adverbs are. In fact, many have never heard of adverbs.
If they read, they read graphic novels. They all have Chromebooks or iPads (paid for by the good citizens of this town) and it is a constant battle to keep them off of YouTube or video games. A white first grader I had a few weeks ago spent the entire day whining that he couldn’t work, and that he wanted to play video games. That sounds like exaggeration, but it is not; it was quite a feat of lamentation.
Of course, I am subbing in a wealthy town in the public schools. Lots of parents here send their kids to private schools, and I expect that the situation is altogether different in those institutions. In other words, I can’t tell you that Murray is wrong about the children of elites. I can tell you that the public schools where I am are total failure.
We sat feet from him years ago – he’d been invited to the University of Toledo to engage a woman of color ( PhD in women’s studies) in a discussion at about the time “The Bell Curve” was creating controversy. It was a nightmare. Her goal was simply to humiliate him. At one point she commented that men looked at women as black holes that they wanted to put their white balls in.
The man has courage.
He’s unflappable. In the question period after his talk, he fielded some hostile and sarcastic questions (it was at a university) with poise and kindness. In the book he says that Asians have the highest IQs, and it was clear he meant what we used to call Orientals. A student from India stood up and first said “Thank you for saying we have the highest IQs BUT…” and proceeded to lambaste him. I wanted to shout “He didn’t mean you!”
Those snowflakes are educated beyond their intelligence.