I’ve written about how our current Cowardocracy destroys curiosity, science, and learning at the Public High School level. It is also an acid that eats away at our colleges and universities, even at ostensibly Christian institutions that should not be ruled by fear.
I used to be a fan of Charles Murray. I read his book Losing Ground back when I was a freshman in college. It was amazing. I wasn’t so happy when his The Bell Curve came out, but I haven’t read that one, so I can’t really say much about it. It made claims about Race/IQ associations. But even if I found the thesis wrong (from second hand since, again, I haven’t read the book and thus can’t have an informed opinion about it), I noticed that Thomas Sowell (who has also done research in race and IQ) was happy, even eager to interact with Murray, both to appreciate and to challenge some aspects of his work.
I can understand why a student might be disposed to disagree with Charles Murray. But, of course, they can’t really disagree with a man if they have never heard or read him in any real detail. And that is exactly what is so base and cowardly about his sudden disinvitation to Azusa Pacific University.
As John Haward wrote in Human Events about how, “Charles Murray runs into the heckler’s veto,”
This is reminiscent of what happened to Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Brandeis, where someone supposedly noticed controversial writings she penned a decade ago, days before she was scheduled to receive an honorary degree. If nothing else, these extremely expensive university administrations are doing a shockingly poor job of vetting their speakers. I guess none of the six-figure staffers at these august institutions knows how to use Google.
But that’s all just a smokescreen for what’s really going on here. The university administrators make these embarrassing public statements, implying they had no idea the blacklisted speaker ever said anything controversial, but what’s really going on is that some little gang of malcontents threatens to pitch a fit, and the administrators capitulate. Charles Murray has an extensive body of scholarship and has written several very popular books; almost all of it is proudly “controversial.” The idea that the president of Azusa Pacific University suddenly realized, a couple of days before the speech, that he might need more time to “prepare for the visit” is risible.
Risible and cowardly and intellectually crippling.
You can read Charles Murray’s open letter to the Azusa Pacific students here.
Azusa Pacific is an Evangelical private college. That means parents are spending a huge amount of money so that their children can be… not educated and not permitted to interact with ideas from a wide spectrum.
If anyone deserves to be “disinvited” to the college, that honor belongs to the professors who lobbied against Charles Murray. They are against education.