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Harvard Editorial: Charles Murray Lecture ‘Threatens the Lives’ of Students

A group of students at Harvard University penned an op-ed for the Harvard Crimson on Wednesday arguing that a lecture by Charles Murray on campus “threatens the lives” of “marginalized” students.

Three students from the Harvard Black Caucus penned an op-ed for the Crimson on Wednesday ahead of a lecture by Charles Murray that took place on campus Wednesday evening. Murray, a Harvard alumnus, tweeted on Tuesday that he would not be able to walk across Harvard Yard without a police escort, due to the rising tensions on campus over his appearance.

The students argued that Murry’s invitation equated to dehumanizing marginalized people and suggested that Murray is a part of an ideological tradition that made the tragedy of Charlottesville possible.

For the Open Campus Initiative to invite Murray to campus and give him an unchecked platform from which he can participate in and legitimize a tradition of dehumanization of marginalized people — the same tradition that is responsible for the tragedy of Charlottesville (and America’s entire history of racial trauma) — is fundamentally at odds with who we should be as a College. We believe that this event is misguided, and urge Open Campus Initiative to cancel it.

The students baselessly accuse Murray of embracing white nationalism, citing a designation made by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that has come under fire for labeling Islamic reformists such as Maajid Nawaz and Aayan Hirsi Ali as “anti-Muslim extremists.”

Murray’s ideology is white nationalism and has always been white nationalism. He has never rejected the claims he makes in “The Bell Curve.” Open Campus Initiative invited a white nationalist to campus, and they cannot control what he choose to bring up in his talk. To assume that race, gender, and class will not ground everything that is discussed during this event is to forget who Charles Murray is. His entire ideology is tainted by white nationalism.

The students suggest that Murray’s lecture “fundamentally threatens their lives and freedoms” due to the beliefs he holds. “How can we begin to foster a sense of belonging and inclusion for these groups on this campus while inviting people who call into question their intelligence, worth, and humanity?” they add.

 

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