Professor Allison Stanger, injured by a mob at Middlebury College who were angry that scholar Charles Murray was allowed to speak, was one of the first to sign on to the Princeton Declaration on Free Speech co-authored by Professors Robert George and Cornel West, from the right and left. But she was far from the last. Here’s a late-breaking update I received from Prof. George: My wonderful staff at Princeton has been working feverishly since the statement was released, but we can’t keep up with the inflow of signatures, media inquiries, etc. We’re working on updating the list of signatories.
Two Christian Princeton professors, Robert George and Cornel West, men of the right and left respectively, have come together in the wake of the Middlebury mob’s physical assault on two scholars to issue a ringing Princeton declaration in favor of free speech: Our willingness to listen to and respectfully engage those with whom we disagree (especially about matters of profound importance) contributes vitally to the maintenance of a milieu in which people feel free to speak their minds, consider unpopular positions, and explore lines of argument that may undercut established ways of thinking. Such an ethos protects us against dogmatism
Last Thursday, American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray attempted to give a talk at Middlebury College. A disorderly crowd shouted him down for 40 minutes, whereupon he and his interlocutor Prof. Allison Stanger moved to a back room and did a livestreamed event. As they left the building, a mob of masked students and non-students tried to physically manhandle Murray and Stanger (who was holding his arm). Stanger ended up in the hospital and a neck brace. In many ways, Middlebury has responded admirably. Laurie Patton, Middlebury’s president, came to the event and spoke for the principles of free speech.