SPACE RENDERED UNSAFE

The appearance on campus of an old white man elicits leftist victim-speak from a student: “I personally felt as if my community was sending the message that I did not belong as a woman and as a person colour.”

She was not alone, hundreds of Middlebury College’s privileged punks – tuition US$60,000+ – invaded the auditorium where Charles Murray was scheduled to speak and successfully shouted him down.

A former Middlebury professor comments on the college’s students:

I remember two salient traits of the majority of students in those days. One was their extraordinary intellectual laziness and lack of curiosity, especially infuriating because so many were such intelligent kids. The other was their immense privilege. Shiny new BMWs filled the student parking lot, each fitted with racks holding the most technologically advanced skis for whizzing down the slopes. There were battered Volvos, too. They belonged to us teachers …

But their very privilege should make these students want to pay close attention to what Murray has to say, since his most recent book, Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010, has much to report about them and the part they played in a presidential election that may change the American political landscape for a long time to come. White Americans have fractured into two distinct classes, Murray argues. There are the Middlebury kids and their ilk: moneyed, well-credentialed (if ill-educated), and brought up by parents who arranged their playdates, soccer games, SAT tutors, summer “enrichment” travel programs, and résumé-building community “service” activities. These kids belong to a culture that values career, hard work at your job (if not much creativity at it), finding a mate with the same background and staying married to her or him, and bringing up your children with equal care. By contrast, there are the high-school grads or dropouts, whose low-skilled jobs have vanished, who either never marry or get divorced—producing carelessly brought-up broods of children in either case—who have gotten hooked by the millions on prescription pain-killers, whose health is poor, and whose lives are short.

This latter group forms a significant portion of the Trump electorate. And one of the things they voted against is the smug self-righteousness of the Middlebury grads and their Ivy League-bred cousins. Never Trumpers like to talk about the insufferable tone of the man from Queens: his barroom crudity, his Twitter-brief utterances, his personal vituperation, his contempt for the mainstream press, his hyperbole and boastfulness, his exaggeration, his anti-globalism, his ignorance. How divisive! say the critics. But how do you think the group of less-privileged white Americans whom Murray identifies would hear the self-cherishing, Ivy League snobbery of a Barack Obama, with his contempt for those benighted Americans pathetically clinging to their God and their guns, as the arc of history sweeps them away? And how do you think they feel about the politically correct shibboleths that make the Middlebury kids and their ilk feel they don’t have to listen to anything that doesn’t allow them to revel in their moral superiority to the unenlightened multitudes—and that justifies their privilege?

Troubled by the apparent shift in political power, the privileged support mob rule:

“[Murray’s] invitation to campus, then, is not an educational opportunity, but a threat,” the alumni letter said. “It is a message to every woman, every person of color, every first-generation student, every poor and working-class person, every disabled person and every queer person that not only their acceptance to and presence at Middlebury, but also their safety, their agency, their humanity and even their very right to exist are all up for ‘debate.'”

In the past month, leftists have rioted to prevent Milo Yiannopoulos speaking at Berkley and there were 11 arrests and a near riot in relation to a talk at New York University by conservative Canadian Gavin McInnes.

The shutting down of free speech is not a sign of strength; it’s a clear indication of the left’s weakness.

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