We are parents of a Middlebury College student and are disturbed by Charles Murray’s recent visit to Middlebury and the Globe’s coverage of the event (“Middlebury College reels after attack on speaker,” Page A1, March 5).
The Globe portrays Murray as a victim of extremists rather than highlighting up front his assertions, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has called “white nationalist.” The center has described his views, which have been widely denounced and discredited, as claiming white men to be intellectually and morally superior and citing differences in intelligence based on ethnicity.
We are angry that Middlebury invited a speaker whose views deny the full humanity of many of its students and staff. We are proud of the hundreds of students who used their voices and peacefully stood up against hate. We also condemn the reported violence, which involved a small number of people.
In considering freedom of speech on college campuses, it is critical to differentiate between conservatism and hate speech.
If colleges want to fulfill their aspiration to engage diverse ideas and promote dialogue across viewpoints, they can host conservative thought leaders who don’t dehumanize and demean their students.