Charles Murray, recipient of American Enterprise Institute’s highest honor, the Irving Kristol Award (let that sink in for a moment; that’s always-wrong Bill Kristol’s dad) and the author of Reagan-era racist agitprop The Bell Curve, which is probably the nastiest bit of writing since, oh, Josef Mengele looked into genetics, is upset that Azusa Pacific, an evangelical Xristian Xrazie College in California, has decided not to let him address the campus.
(It should be noted that Murray is not a professor anywhere, nor has he ever taught anywhere. His claim of scholarship is subject to debate, as are his fellow luminaries at Koch Brothers-funded AEI: former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton, now an AEI senior fellow; former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities Lynne Cheney, a longtime AEI senior fellow; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, now an AEI senior fellow; and former deputy secretary of defense Paul Wolfowitz, now an AEI visiting scholar.)
Murray writes an open letter at the American Enterprise Institute to express his dismay at being uninvited to address the students:
I was scheduled to speak to you tomorrow. I was going to talk about my new book, “The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Getting Ahead,” and was looking forward to it. But it has been “postponed.” Why? An email from your president, Jon Wallace, to my employer, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), said “Given the lateness of the semester and the full record of Dr. Murray’s scholarship, I realized we needed more time to prepare for a visit and postponed Wednesday’s conversation.” This, about an appearance that has been planned for months. I also understand from another faculty member that he and the provost were afraid of “hurting our faculty and students of color.”
For a good reason, Chuckie. In your seminal work you state very clearly that the dusky people are, well, genetically, mentally inferior. I think that might make anyone a little concerned, Sparky. Do continue.
The task of the scholar is to present a case for his or her position based on evidence and logic. Another task of the scholar is to do so in a way that invites everybody into the discussion rather than demonize those who disagree. Try to find anything under my name that is not written in that spirit. Try to find even a paragraph that is written in anger, takes a cheap shot, or attacks women, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, or anyone else.
Um, actually, I think that the scholar studies a topic and reaches a conclusion that is supported by the evidence, and then writes about what he has learned, and backs it up. A scholar does not try to find evidence that only supports his given point of view: that is called advocacy, if not agitprop. When the only peer review you need is from the Imperial Wizard, I think you’ve left scholarship way behind.
I should state this very clearly: I have no idea if Murray is a racist; his work however is cited by racists and people who try to divide us against each other.
But there’s another way to decide whether you would have been safe in my hands if I had spoken at Azusa Pacific. Go to YouTube and search “Charles Murray.” You will get links to dozens of lectures, panel discussions, and television interviews. You can watch Q&A sessions in which I field questions from students like you, including extremely hostile ones. Watch even for a few minutes. Ask yourself if I insult them or lash out. If I do anything except take their questions seriously and answer them accordingly. Ask yourself if I’m anything more dangerous than an earnest and nerdy old guy.
Your behavior is not the same thing as your research. I’m sure you are as charming as the snake handing the apple to Eve.
(American Enterprise Institute — Full disclosure: much to my chagrin and shame, I have family members who work at AEI.)