Notre Dame hosts Charles Murray, braces for protests


The controversial author Charles Murray is scheduled to speak at the University of Notre Dame on Tuesday and despite the growing calls for protests from a number of students and teachers, organizers stand behind the invitation.

The event comes weeks after violent protests erupted at Middlebury College, where Murray was set to speak.

The 74-year-old author of “Coming Apart: The State of White America” was invited to the Catholic university as a part of a lecture for constitutional law and politics class.


Kate Hardiman, a senior who is organizing the event, told “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday morning, it was “a pity” that the students have vowed to protest against Murray.

“I think that the majority of Notre Dame students his commitment to free speech and open dialogue on campus, and that these protests are driven by a vocal minority who try to disrupt the event,” she said. “This is part of a larger trend of students who want to shut down ideas that they find unpleasant. The irony is that ‘tolerance’ is the motto on the campuses of these days, but only certain ideas are apparently worthy of being tolerated.”


The calls to protest at Notre Dame came a few weeks after the violent protests erupted in Middlebury, a small liberal arts college in Vermont, where Murray was also set to speak. Protesters interrupted Murray’s speech and the event was forced to be canceled after the protests turned violent, sending a professor to the hospital.

In a letter to alumni from the last week, college President Laurie L. Patton condemned the violence and reiterated the college’s commitment to free speech and the dialogue.

“A 21st-century education must embrace an uncompromising dedication to both free expression and open dialogue, and that creates a more inclusive public sphere,” she wrote, according to VermontBiz. “Free speech must be defended on all sides, and only by this principle, will we reach the work of creating more inclusive society.”

Vincent Phillip Muñoz, the Notre Dame professor who invited Murray to speak, stood behind the invitation, says in an op-ed on Real Clear Politics that dissolution would “communicate that violence works.”

Notre Dame prof: Why I invited Charles Murray to speak

“I want my conservative students to read smart, persuasive, liberal thinkers, and I want my liberal students to read thoughtful conservatives,” he wrote. “Well educated citizens can be the reasons for their beliefs and defend intellectual positions that they hold. That requires that we understand and articulate the views with which we disagree.”

He has said that he appreciates the concern for the welfare of students, he believes that “what is most harmful for the students – and, to speak candidly, most of the games – is to “protect” our students from hearing the arguments and ideas that they supposedly can’t handle.”

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