Middlebury Professor on Charles Murray Riots: ‘This Was the Saddest Day of My Life’

AP/Lisa Rathke
AP/Lisa Rathke

Professor Allison Stanger, who was injured and sent to the hospital during a riot that occurred at an event last week at Middlebury College featuring Charles Murray, recently took to Facebook to express thoughts on the incident.

Stanger, a Democrat, claims that she welcomed the opportunity to be involved in the event featuring American Enterprise Institute Scholar Charle Murray after several students asked her to moderate. In a Facebook post from March 4, she wrote, “while my students may know I am a Democrat, all of my courses are nonpartisan, and this was a chance to demonstrate publicly my commitment to a free and fair exchange of views in my classroom.”

She claims that most of her faculty colleagues that expressed concern over the event had admitted that they had never read anything that Murray had written. Despite this admission, Stanger claims that these faculty not only rendered judgments about Murray’s work and personal character, but they also participated in the protests that shut down the event.

I saw some of my faculty colleagues who had publicly acknowledged that they had not read anything Dr. Murray had written join the effort to shut down the lecture. All of this was deeply unsettling to me. What alarmed me most, however, was what I saw in student eyes from up on that stage.  Those who wanted the event to take place made eye contact with me.  Those intent on disrupting it steadfastly refused to do so. It was clear to me that they had effectively dehumanized me. They couldn’t look me in the eye, because if they had, they would have seen another human being. There is a lot to be angry about in America today, but nothing good ever comes from demonizing our brothers and sisters.

After the event was moved to a private location where Murray continued his lecture via an online live-stream, protesters banged on the windows and set off the fire alarm in a desperate attempt to shut down the proceedings.

When it was time to leave the building, Stanger escorted Murray to a car which was to take them to a nearby restaurant for dinner and conversation with students and faculty. As soon as the exited the building, they were swarmed by protesters. Stanger describes the scene as feeling more “like a Baghdad scene from Homeland rather than an evening at an institution of higher learning.”

As Stanger shielded Murray from the protesters, she claims that she “feared for [her] life.”

“For those of you who marched in Washington the day after the inauguration, imagine being in a crowd like that, only being surrounded by hatred rather than love,” she wrote.

Stanger sustained neck injuries and was ushered to a nearby hospital by her husband before being joined by Middlebury President Laurie Patton.

Stanger concluded by arguing that the riots at Middlebury College aren’t just reflective of a problem in higher education, but of a greater problem that is brewing around the nation.

To people who wish to spin this story as one about what’s wrong with elite colleges and universities, you are mistaken. Please instead consider this as a metaphor for what is wrong with our country, and on that, Charles Murray and I would agree. This was the saddest day of my life.

Tom Ciccotta is a libertarian who writes about education and social justice for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @tciccotta or email him at tciccotta@breitbart.com


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