Monday, January 22, 2018
Education

Middlebury College professor injured by protester after demonstration against guest speaker

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. — A libertarian author who has been called a white nationalist said college students who protested his guest lecture this week were "scary."

Middlebury College said a professor was injured by a protester following a demonstration against guest speaker Charles Murray on Thursday.

The Southern Poverty Law Center considers Murray a white nationalist who uses "racist pseudoscience and misleading statistics to argue that social inequality is caused by the genetic inferiority of the black and Latino communities, women and the poor." Protests of Murray's lecture forced the college to move it to another room.

The college said Murray and professor Allison Stanger were surrounded by a group of protesters who became violent after the talk and a protester pulled Stanger's hair, twisting her neck. It said the group climbed onto the hood of a car carrying Murray and Stanger and threw a traffic sign in front of it.

The college's public safety officials cleared a path for the car to leave campus.

Stanger was treated at a hospital and was released. Murray, who wrote The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life and Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, tweeted that the Middlebury College administration "was exemplary."

"The students," he tweeted, "were seriously scary."

College president Laurie L. Patton said she was "deeply disappointed" by the events she witnessed and said members of the college community had "failed to live up to our core values." She said she believed many of the protesters were "outside agitators" but there were indications Middlebury students also were involved.

She apologized to people who attended the lecture in good faith, to Murray and to Stanger "for the way they were treated during the event and, especially, afterward."

"Today," she wrote in a letter to the college community, "our community begins the process of addressing the deep and troubling divisions that were on display last night."

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