Campus Free Speech

U. Miami Will Cover Security Costs of Student-Organized Charles Murray Debate on Free Speech

Very glad to see that there won't be a heckler's tax on the student group's invitation.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

I just learned earlier today (I write this late Wednesday Pacific time) that there will indeed be a debate on free speech on March 21 between political scientist Charles Murray and University of Miami law professor Mary Anne Franks: The University of Miami VP of Student Affairs Office, the Office of the Provost, and the University of Miami School of Law have agreed to cover the security fees for the debate.

I'm very glad that the University authorities (including the law school authorities) agreed to do this. As I understand from my past conversation with the Dean of the law school, the University policy for controversial student-invited speakers is to require the student group to raise the funds for security costs, but to let the students seek the funds from, among others, University authorities themselves, which can in their discretion provide some or all of the funds. I'm not wild about such discretionary schemes, since they tend to deter student groups from inviting controversial speakers. But in this instance the University has done what is needed to let the event go forward, and it deserves credit for that.

The Dean told me that the Federalist Society paid for part of the costs of the event; but the student chapter of the Federalist Society, which is organizing the event, tells me that the Federalist Society is not covering any part of the security fees. I infer that what's happening is that the Society is covering Murray's transportation costs, honorarium, and the like, as is usual for Federalist Society speakers, and the University is covering the security fees.

For more on the controversy about the debate, see this post.

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  1. Well, good. Now we just have to see if the protection the university is paying for is worth anything, or it’s just the usual, doing nothing about the violent protesters, but arresting the conservatives if they defend themselves.

    1. They might consider the possibility that, if disruptors are expelled or locked in prison, it may reduce the likelihood of future disruptions at the campus.

      I suspect that one reason these disruptions occur is that they have a sense of impunity, a sense which on some campuses is justified.

      Without that sense of impunity, maybe the incidents will become less frequent.

      1. What we’ll do is arrest MLK, and then the civil rights movement will stop.

        1. He disrupted speeches by his opponents?

          The so-called mainstream histories cover this up. /sarc

          1. He was accused and arrested on a lot worse than disrupting his opponents’ speeches.

            1. Then I’m not sure I get your point.

            2. Citation, please?

              MLK was arrested 29 times. Not all of them are well documented but none that I’ve been able to find describe behavior that matches “disrupting his opponents’ speeches”, must less anything that seems “a lot worse”.

              Of the incidents I can find, he was arrested for:
              – being a spokesperson for a bus boycott that started after the Rosa Parks arrest (1956 Jan)
              – participating at a sit-in while waiting to be served at a restaurant (1960 Oct)
              – obstructing a sidewalk and parading without a permit (1961 Dec)
              – leading the same parade (1962 Jun)
              – holding a prayer vigil (1962 Jul)
              – demonstrating without a permit (1963 Apr)
              – protesting in FL (1964 Jun)
              – voting rights demonstration (1965 Feb)

              The only march or protest that MLK led where the protesters turned violent (that I can find, anyway) was the 1968 Mar 28 event (in Memphis if I remember correctly). But as far as I can tell, he was not arrested in connection with that event and he was vocal in his opposition to the violence.

              I can find no instances of MLK attempting to suppress the free speech rights of his opponents. On the contrary, he seemed to be a strong advocate of the ‘counter bad speech with more speech’ approach.

              1. Inciting violence by the Alabama clergymen. An FBI agent anonymously accused him of being a “complete fraud and a great liability to all of us Negroes”, “abnormal moral imbecile,” sexual orgies, etc. I notice that you think he was being arrested merely for sit-ins, but Walker v. MLK sets out underlying threats like: “conduct . . . ‘calculated to provoke breaches of the peace,’ ‘threaten(ed) the safety, peace and tranquility of the City,’ and placed ‘an undue burden and strain upon the manpower of the Police Department” that “would ‘lead to further imminent danger to the lives, safety, peace, tranquility, and general welfare of the people of the City of Birmingham[.]” (Sound familiar?)

                Surely you understand that even in the South in the 50s and 60s, “prayer vigils” were not illegal? A prayer vigil is the act, but there was a pretext and a law in place that included more serious allegations.

        2. I’d be much more worried about these proto-fascist kids if I thought they would keep to their beliefs in the fact of a little jail time.

        3. NToJ makes a good point – the soft gloves are pretty clearly strategic to mitigate how hot these stories go nationally.

          1. Sorry if I misunderstand, do you mean the point about MLK is a good one, or some other point?

            1. I like the analogy to MLK, and that universities are reluctant to crack down, fearing an amplification of the students’ radical message just as cracking down only amplified MLK’s message.

              1. One key difference is that the civil rights demonstrators pretty much knew they’d be going to prison – they were under no illusion about the authorities being on their side.

                And the thing is people get arrested all the time – the civil rights demonstrators combined nonviolent tactics with a cause with which much of the public was (at least in general terms) in sympathy, and they let rough or brutal police tactics do the rest.

                I’m sure the antifas would love to be brutalized by police, which is a good argument for police restraint – by restraint I mean making arrests only of the guilty and using arrest techniques which publicly put the burden of noncompliance on the offenders.

                If the cops arrest people, say, merely for booing, without evidence of intent to stop the event altogether – or if they beat suspects bloody – then sure, the antifas will try to make hay out of it.

                But the simple act of arresting obvious wrongdoers probably wouldn’t cause a backlash by itself.

                1. If the cops arrest people, say, merely for booing, without evidence of intent to stop the event altogether

                  Mere booing, if done persistently, will effectively stop the event altogether. Why not get thirty people together and boo your way through the performance of a play, a music recital, or a court proceeding. See how long the cops will hold off for fear that arresting people will “amplify the protesters message.”

                  1. This is exactly the challenge, and why universities keep falling on their face.

                  2. “Why not get thirty people together and boo your way through the performance of a play, a music recital, or a court proceeding.”

                    That seems to be a example of “evidence of intent to stop the event altogether,” which I gave as a cause for arrest.

                2. “…the civil rights demonstrators combined nonviolent tactics with a cause with which much of the public was (at least in general terms) in sympathy, and they let rough or brutal police tactics do the rest.”

                  This just isn’t true. MLK was unpopular (nationally) until his death. But the brutal police tactics made him a martyr for his support base, which galvanized them and they eventually won the day.

                  Don’t turn antifas into martyrs by demanding their arrest. If your problem is with “obvious wrongdoers” focus on who those people are (i.e. violent people). If you go arresting every “disruptor” and putting them “in prison”, it isn’t going to decrease the number of disruptors.

                  1. Was there something in my phrase “making arrests only of the guilty” which was unclear?

                    1. Guilty of what, though? Public sentiment doesn’t follow legal formalities.
                      ===============
                      NToJ, what are your thoughts about expelling after the fact? I think it causes the same martyrdom problem, and is also underinclusive since oftentimes these are not actually students.

                    2. “Guilty of what, though? Public sentiment doesn’t follow legal formalities.”

                      Well, if we’re dealing with a bunch of snowflaky would-be antifa martyrs, then presumably they’d be willing to sue for false arrest if they’re arrested without “legal formalities,” so if nothing else, that’s an argument for *following* the legal formalities a spelled out in local laws.

                    3. It’s an argument the legal formalities are the floor. It also argues using discretion to maybe go beyond that floor and play as nice as possible without letting them shut down speech.

                    4. I think the floor I refer to consists of the laws against assault, breach of peace and riot – laws whose which violent leftists violate in order to shut down speech.

                      There would be a bit of an equal protection issue, IMHO, if the cops begin using discretion in deciding how much they’ll enforce the laws protecting speech.

                    5. Though to be fair, it could be as much the colleges as the cops in these situations.

                    6. “NToJ, what are your thoughts about expelling after the fact?”

                      Violent people should be expelled after the fact. You can’t expel non-students. I think the bar for “Violent people” should be very high to avoid the martyr problem. The better solution is for the administration to show solidarity in support of free speech by providing the speakers with sufficient detail to secure not just safety but the message, as well. Just my .2 cents, I’m not dogmatic about any of this, except free speech.

                      Arresting “disruptors” is stupid, as is expelling them. You remove them in real time like you would a normal trespasser, and then move on.

                  2. NToJ: “Don’t turn antifas into martyrs by demanding their arrest.”

                    Don’t much need to use the CJ system, I think, except to remove the unruly from the venue (except for those who actually do get violent). I’d think some judicious expelling of students would set good examples, along with strong free-speech statements by presidents. Let them see that there are consequences uncivil disobedience. At this time even that doesn’t seem likely to happen. Administrators are crumbling like they did in the late 60’s.

                    I’m not too concerned about their “martyrdom.” Right now they must seem so cool and strong to a lot on “their” side. One mustn’t let that image stand uncorrected.

          2. “the soft gloves are pretty clearly strategic to mitigate how hot these stories go nationally”

            Nonsense. The soft gloves are deployed because the university authorities do not think stopping conservatives speaking is something that ought to be discouraged. As careless points out, actual gloves, hard or soft, are not required at all. The university could simply expel disrupters if it actually disapproved of what they were up to. But as Middlebury showed, they don’t disapprove. They are simply going through the motions.

            However, I’m pleased to see that contrary to my expectations EV’s attempt to shame them appears to have been successful.

            1. ‘Nonsense, they are acting in bad faith!’

              Whatever, dude.

              Just because a university doesn’t resort to expulsion doesn’t mean it hates free speech.

              1. I’m pleased to see that contrary to my expectations EV’s attempt to shame them appears to have been successful.

                No change of policy; EV actually had it wrong, if you read the previous post on this.

                1. They wanted the students to pay, now they are paying.

                  Who cares if the “policy” stays the same, its the results that matter.

              2. If you could correct that to: “Just because a university doesn’t resort to any meaningful consequence for infringing on others’ civil rights…”, you’d be closer to facts. As it is, you seem to be arguing strawmen, and a different one each time.

                1. Seems to me you are excluding the middle if you believe expulsion is the only meaningful punishment a university can levy.

                  Plus what to do about the non-students?

                  1. Sarcastr0: “Plus what to do about the non-students?”

                    Yes, there’s that. One may /have/ to call on the local constabulary.

            2. However, I’m pleased to see that contrary to my expectations EV’s attempt to shame them appears to have been successful.

              The record indicates Prof. Volokh was not attempting to shame Miami administrators. He was attempting to disparage them (because they are part of the liberal-libertarian mainstream) and to lather up a mob of predictable right-wing rubes.

              The lathering worked; the disparagement faltered when his account was demonstrated to be substandard.

          3. “NToJ makes a good point – the soft gloves are pretty clearly strategic to mitigate how hot these stories go nationally.”

            Deciding whether he “soft gloves” is a good approach requires weighing the desire to avoid bad publicity from arresting or expelling students for disrupting speakers against the ability of the federalist society and other groups to invite speakers and have them be heard. We can see where many groups stand.

        4. wow so you’re basically accusing/equating MLK to bike lock beatings, arson, destruction of property, and countless other acts of violence and intimidation and the threat of such to shut down opposing views? Prog opinion of MLK must have plummeted these past few years.

          1. And you accuse me of strawmanning?!

            1. above post compared ANTIFA to MLK presumably in an attempt to excuse ANTIFA.

            2. If the straw fits, dude. That seems to be your entire shtick (or stick/sticks?).

              But maybe, now that you see the problem, you can fix it. We believe in you.

              1. If you think I or NToJ are in any way morally equating antifa to MLK, let me assure you that you are mistaken.

                1. ‘presumably in an attempt to excuse antifa…’ see that presumably is doing far too much work.

                  When people accuse me of strawmanning, I notice they almost always revise their previous comment. On the other hand, I see no need to since what AA thinks he sees is mostly in his own presumptions about me and my motives.

                  1. Pointing out how stupid your comment is does not count as revising their previous comment.

      2. The sense of impunity is justified, because at most of these universities, what they’re considering is that, if the disruptors are allowed to attack with impunity, it may reduce the likelihood of future conservative speakers.

        The people doing the disrupting are the covert allies of the administration.

        1. As was pointed out above coming down on heckler’s veto-style could pretty easily be counterproductive in the long-term.

          Shame works; I disagree with Careless, though – cracking heads and jailing radicalizes. Maybe not everyone, but enough.

          1. In theory, the cops shouldn’t have to crack heads in order to arrest some scrawny little antifas.

            But jailing would be a legitimate response to, say, assault (as with a prior Murray appearance) or disorderly conduct in *deliberately* trying to stop a scheduled university event.

          2. Sarcastro: you really think these kids are fanatical enough about suppressing speech that they’d sacrifice their academic careers and job prospects?

            1. I do think youth can get pretty passionate and short-sighted, yeah.
              Kids get expelled for partying too much all the time, add in a bit of righteousness (which youth has no shortage of) and that’s pretty easy to see, no?

              Plus the optics of arrests without violence could end up radicalizing more…in a free society, it’s not an easy call at the very least.

              1. Well, you get expelled for one minor act, you’ll get into school somewhere and won’t be unemployable. But you’re talking about that radicalizing them, so they’d be moving on to felonies after that,

              2. Not to mention, Sarcast0, the optics of arrests with violence. I sense that many commenting on both sides here are too young to have first-hand memories of Vietnam War demonstrations. Plenty of violence in some of those. Once violence starts, and however it starts, the party with greater resources to create violence gets the blame?and the agenda of its opposition advances. We live in a society which recognizes?accurately I think?that government power unleashing force against speech?even unruly, intrusive, and illegitimate speech?is worse than enduring the disruptions.

            2. This assumes the “kids” in question are students at the university, which so far they don’t appear to be.

        2. Yup. Just last week Christina Hoff Summers was ordered by the “Dean of Diversity” to cut short her talk because the protesters were getting “antsy”.

        3. Brett,

          Your apparent notion that the objective of university administrations is to promote liberal ideas and stifle conservative expression is, to be blunt, completely paranoid.

          What are you thinking? Where do you get this stuff? Fox? Gateway Pundit? Breitbart? Where?

          1. Do you start each day completely oblivious to everything you may have learnt the day before? There are a number of medical conditions that have that as symptoms, some of which can actually be helped. I’d suggest getting help.

          2. bernard11: “Where do you get this stuff?”

            How about op-eds by college presidents themselves? We’ve gone over this in the past, where a group of college presidents from the Higher Education Council of San Antonio, said they were opposed to free speech on their campuses, if it could be characterized as “disingenuous misrepresentation of free speech.” It includes “inappropriate messages.” Here’s a good, long quote:

            “As members of the Higher Education Council of San Antonio, we ? the presidents of colleges and universities throughout this community, and supporters ? feel it is important to speak out and make a distinction between diversity of thought and disingenuous misrepresentation of free speech. We further attest that hate speech has no place at our colleges and universities. Inappropriate messages, such as banners and flyers that are meant to provoke, spread hate or create animosity and hostility, are not welcome or accepted.”

            Find the story here

            Here’s a story about the president of Northwestern likening “offensive” speech to assault:

            Right here

            How much documentation do you want?

            1. Thanks for this note. It may be important to remember that the Higher Education Council of San Antonio represents 23 institutions, of which many are conservative religious colleges and seminaries. The statement by the presidents focused on ‘hate speech,’ and they were very much concerned about leftist criticism of religious conservatives, just as the presidents of the more ‘liberal’ institutions were concerned about conservative criticism of leftists. Consequently, I’m not sure that this is a good example of the promotion of liberal ideas over conservative ideas. However, it may be a good example of efforts to suppress all kinds of political speech that offends anyone, liberal or conservative.

              1. Good point.

    2. No good deed goes unpunished.

      1. Funny how a certain sort is eternally victimized, most often by proxy.

        1. Funnier yet, the Eternally Aggrieved Leftist was a common trope of conservatives as recently as the 1980’s. But then along came Newt and his Contract On America, and all the crazy that’s followed, and before you could say “Civil Rights Act,” the roles reversed.

          1. It predates Newt by a lot.

            I’d say Nixon, myself.
            Hippies do nothing but steal and molest us common folk. When will we return to Law and Order??

            1. So you’d say Nixon, is that because of the Southern Option? The option that flipped one whole seat until the late 1990s? Wow… what a turn of events.

              1. So you hear Nixon, and you hear Southern Strategy?

                Haha, the libs have got into your head but good!

                1. So you have no actual argument, you just yell Nixon. Got it.

                  1. Read my comment again if you think I just tossed off a random off-topic Nixon remark.

                    Bringing up the Southern Strategy randomly when you hear Nixon shows how narrow and partisan your view is.

                    Not everything is about calling you racist.

            2. Sarcastr0: “It predates Newt by a lot.”

              Yes, assault on free speech is an equal opportunity action. Left and right are complicit.

              A good WaPo op-ed on this

          2. Funnier yet, the Eternally Aggrieved Leftist was a common trope of conservatives as recently as the 1980’s.

            Huh? As recently as right now

            1. I mean, it’s only getting stronger these days

    3. Quit whimpering, Brett.

      The conservatives have conducted themselves shabbily throughout this situation.

      First, the fledgling right-wingers at Miami whined about ostensible but largely illusory mistreatment in a misleading letter. A conservative mouthpiece, the Volokh Conspiracy, swallowed and regurgitated the misleading, partisan information. When inconvenient information discredited the Miami Federalists and the Conspiracy report, the Conspiracy issued a relatively lame correction. In particular, the Conspiracy questioned the university’s conduct prematurely but never criticized the Federalists, even after information revealed that the Conspiracy’s original account had been substandard.

      Just another day in right-wing advocacy, which means it is time for a birther to question the university’s conduct before it occurs.

      Carry on, clingers.

      1. Unlike certain commenters, Professor Volokh corrects himself if he’s wrong.

        It turns out that the Federalists were wrong – the University’s policy (as described by the dean) allows the option of the University paying security fees – and I suppose, in extremis, this might include calling in the aid of real-world cops.

        Let’s stipulate that the Federalists are evil – but as you say, even bigoted clinger meanies have rights.

        Of course, since any violent disruptions would be targeted at the University itself as well as against the evil Federalists, let’s not pretend the University would be an indifferent spectator if (a) one of its campus events got violently disrupted by left-wing violence or (b) a campus event was cancelled simply because of the threat of left-wing violence. Either scenario would reflect badly on the University – so if they act to prevent disruption it will be a good investment, not simply a unilateral favor to Federalist poopyheads.

        1. So I’d argue that for the university simply to keep the *option* of paying security fees doesn’t provide sufficient disincentive to left-wing disruptors. The lefties need to be advised ahead of time that their tactics won’t work – they won’t be able to get an event cancelled simply by threats, and they won’t be able to disrupt a scheduled event.

          It’s colleges’ vagueness on this subject which emboldens the lefties.

          1. And the way the cops don’t actually, you know, arrest the disrupters.

            1. That doesn’t help either.

              Let’s see if Florida cops are given a chance to show their stuff.

        2. Unlike certain commenters, Professor Volokh corrects himself if he’s wrong.

          Sort of. He must be careful about maintaining conservative credibility, though, which makes his reporting, and corrections . . . interesting.

          1. That’s human nature in general, and not just a failing of Prof. Volokh. And while men can be like this too, when was the last time you had a wife/girlfriend/sister/mother apologize for being wrong, even when it can be proven a plain as day? Instead, they will boomerang it back at you as somehow.

        3. He corrected himself?

          Sort of, but it was one of the lamest self-corrections in history. No criticism t all of his lying buddies in the Federalist Society, no acknowledgment that the school had been willing to pay for security before various complications, etc.

          1. You have no idea of how lame self-corrections can get. This was a gem of groveling compared to your average newspaper correction.

            1. OK. It wasn’t the lamest ever.

              But it was very lame.

              EV basically riled up the masses with a bunch of incomplete information, and never bothered to say, “My bad,” when it turned out there was more to the story than he had reported. Yes, he reported the rest – good – but did not, so far as I can tell, concede that maybe he shouldn’t have been so quick on the trigger.

            2. Continued.

              Nor could he bring himself to admit that the Federalist Society – his ideological allies – did not exactly cover themselves with glory in the episode.

    4. Where might I get a copy of Brett’s Own Personal History of the World? I’ve only read various excerpts, but it sounds like a fascinating read.

  2. Wow!

    A Free Speech debate where the sponsor of one of the participants doesn’t have to pay for the exercise of free speech. What a concept.

    1. Are you paying for the next one?

      1. If he’s a taxpayer, he may already have paid, if they have to call in outside cops, or for that matter maybe we can count federal aid to education.

        1. If they call in “outside cops” to pay for them, taxpayers aren’t paying. Federal grants don’t fund security for controversial speakers. Someone has to pay, and in this instance it’s the private University, which can recoup its investment through tuition.

          1. The cops won’t come on campus unless the university pays them?

            1. Most universities have their own police forces. Even a lot of smaller ones.

              Certainly the University of Miami has a police department: https://umpd.miami.edu/

  3. The Administration is the cause of the security costs because they will not punish those students who violate the rights of the speakers and the other students.
    A few expulsions and this problem goes away.

    Universities should not allow Klan and brownshirt tactics to be used in this day and age.

    1. Do you object when Trump endorses this tactics?

      1. Trump once endorsed it, therefore free reign for liberals! You have a very low threshold for acceptable behavior.

        1. No, Jesse.

          Not free rein (not “reign”).

          But there is a bit of selective outrage here.

          And Trump endorsed it more than once. Remember all those “fine people” in Charlottesville?

  4. Part of the security for these things should be stationing sentries with M4s to patrol the area, with the understanding that any protester who gets violent and out of line will be shot.

    1. There’s no libertarian like a faux, right-wing libertarian.

      1. I don’t claim to be a libertarian. I’m a conservative with slightly fascist tendencies when necessary to counter the liberal menace.

        1. Not every commenter is representative of the commentariat as a whole.

          1. Right. For instance, not everyone is a pathetic troll like Kirkland.

          2. So there are individual commenters who are representative of the commentariat as a whole?

            1. Now that you mention it, no.

      2. There is no libertarian like a misanthropic socialist pretending to be libertarian.

  5. I don’t know about the standards for law schools in particular, but the University of Miami belongs to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which requires (p. 14) that an institution’s board of trustees “protects the institution from undue influence by external persons or bodies.”

    Thus, if (God forbid) the University were in any way to allow itself to be influenced by violent disruption or threats of violent disruption by outside parties, then that would be contrary to accreditation standards.

    Specifically, the choice of outside speakers cannot be farmed out to the local rioters.

    Unless, I suppose the rioters are from inside the university itself, in which case they might not be “external,” but this scenario is impossible because a liberal/libertarian, enlightened institution would never have students or faculty who engaged in such behavior.

    1. But check out p. 18 of the link above, which requires that “The institution publishes and implements appropriate policies and procedures for preserving and protecting academic freedom.”

      1. Academic freedom for the faculty is implicated at the very least because “University of Miami law professor Mary Anne Franks” is scheduled to be on the platform to debate Murray.

  6. A complete cave. Excellent.

    Bet it no longer costs $7500 either.

    1. Not a cave, Bob.

      Only a cave if you take Eugene’s original account at face value, when it plainly left out highly relevant facts.

      1. Not a cave only if you take the dean’s original account at face value.

        Bottom line, no cost to the students for security.

        So, a complete victory.

        1. Except for the part about the fledgling Federalists being revealed to be disingenuous jerks, and part at which the Volokh Conspiracy was revealed to be a partisan hackrag . . . total victory!

        2. Which I do, having no reason not to.

          What, other than unwillingness to do so, causes you not to?

          I took Eugene’s account at face value also, until he reported more facts that suggested it was incomplete.

          1. What, other than unwillingness to do so, causes you not to?

            The fact that EV has staked out specific intellectual territory, the boundaries of which mostly define which advocacy he publishes in this blog. He ranges wider, but most of his advocacy is about 1A and 2A cases. But within that area of concentration, EV consistently avoids creating advocacy opportunities for opponents, by not introducing topics related to occurrences which tend to embarrass his preferred viewpoints.

            That is the opposite of forthright. It has taught me to be cautious about the content of EV’s advocacy when he does publish it. I can never know what points (and especially which relevant occurrences) he may be leaving out. I get that that is the way lawyers often do things. It isn’t how forthright journalists who base commentary on news coverage?as this blog so often does?tend to do them. And it’s even less like how historians proceed.

            But of course, an ever-increasing proportion of journalists are becoming more-and-more like the lawyers. Educators remark how hard it has become to teach students principles for distinguishing reliable information sources from the others. I have been trying to figure out what the educators could say, without making much progress.

  7. Why are they getting Charles Murray as the person to debate free speech? That is not his area of expertise or what he his famous for. Would I ask for Eugene Volokh to debate race, biology, and intelligence? No.

    Now, maybe Charles Murray, due to the experiences the left has put him through since The Bell Curve came out is now an expert on free speech matters, I don’t know, but the situation is like assuming a victim of a crime is an expert on criminality.

    1. Yes, I’d say he became a free-speech expert of sorts and has probably developed interesting views on the meaning of academic freedom.

      Yes, I’d say a crime victim also has at least *some* expertise on crime – they generally know more than the average non-crime-victim about the effects of crime, police and prosecutorial responsiveness, etc., etc.

      But if Murray tries to teach error, there’s a bona fide law professor to debate him and show him where he’s wrong.

      1. Another key factor – if someone’s message is unwelcome to violent thugs, that may mean his message has value – maybe he knows things that non-thugs might benefit from knowing.

        And in any case, having him give more speeches after the attempt of violent thugs to censor him should sent a message to violent thugs everywhere.

        1. I’d say it’s at least 50-50 the message they’ll receive is, “We weren’t being violent enough.”

        2. I’d say it’s at least 50-50 the message they’ll receive is, “We weren’t being violent enough.”

          1. It bears repeating.

            At least Murray doesn’t have to worry about being dosed with a nerve agent. I think.

    2. Why are they getting Charles Murray as the person to debate free speech? That is not his area of expertise or what he his famous for. Would I ask for Eugene Volokh to debate race, biology, and intelligence? No.

      I don’t think he’s there to debate the legal issues; he’s there to debate the policy issues.

      1. That makes more sense, as Murray is a political scientist, but he’s coming in to a gunfight, with say a revolver (not a knife, if I may defend political science), when he’s debating a law professor, if they get into legal issues.

        1. Now I’m interested in watching the YouTube video.

          If there is one.

          1. Eidde: “If there is one.”

            I’m sure the disruptors’ videos will go viral. They have before.

    3. The experiences the left has put him through?

      You mean, like pointing out that the majority of his sources are nonsense?

      The man has done a great deal of harm. Doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be allowed to speak, but if you think he is a hero voicing unpopular truths you should be a touch more skeptical.

      1. “You mean, like pointing out that the majority of his sources are nonsense?”

        For which book? Or all of them?

        Or his sources on free speech, the apparent topic of the debate?

        1. The Bell Curve definitely. I’m not familiar with the others.

          See, for example, this for some information on this point.

          As to what harm, I’d say propagating poorly researched ides about racial inferiority does a great deal of harm.

          1. He hasn’t been promoting that book lately, he’s been promoting a book about social dysfunction in *white* communities, which ideally ought to give him a more receptive audience in academia and among Rev. Kirkland types.

            I don’t know if his book on white dysfunction is open to as many criticisms as the Bell Curve, but I don’t think that giving offense to white people is something out of the ordinary in academia, so I can’t see it doing harm beyond what academics have already done (if harm is defined as broadly as we’re using the term here).

            Yet they disrupted him at Middlebury for a proposed speech which wasn’t even about the Bell Curve, and his speech at U Miami will be about free expression.

            Imagine that a guy was speaking about his research on oceanography and they tried to drown him out because he signed a petition to impeach Trump, or to boycott Israel?

          2. You’re not familiar with The Bell Curve either. Don’t pretend you read it.

          3. Oh my god, Lane is dumb enough to attack them for using Jensen as a source. I guess you could get away with that pre-internet.

            1. Richard Lynn?

              And did you read the description of the actual “studies” Murray relied on?

          4. bernard11 — Your link leads to a a “New York review of Books” review by the journalist Charles Lane, who has written a lot I agree with. In this case, he spends considerable space misrepresenting “The Bell Curve.”

            His opening sentence is instructive: “For all the shock value of its assertion that blacks are intractably, and probably biologically, inferior in intelligence to whites and Asians …”

            It is instructive because Charles Murray nowhere in /all/ his work ever says that!

            “The Bell Curve” focuses on social effects of white’s differences in cognitive ability. They get to ethnic differences — which they could hardly avoid entirely — in a couple of later chapters. They describe ethnic differences using well-known and well-established findings. They say they are agnostic about the genetic versus environmental causes of the differences. These positions are almost indistinguishable from those of the American Psychological Association (see its page 97).

            Lane’s misrepresentations continue throughout his piece. He is, though, actually accurate in stating that Murray and Herrnstein cite seventeen people associated with “Mankind Quarterly.” Of course. Those people have done a great deal of research on the topic — which most people will not, given that intelligence testing holds data that dare not speak their name.

            (continued)

            1. (continued)

              But what else does the book cite?

              I can’t go through all of it here because there are 109 pages of notes. The bibliography adds another 58 pages — roughly 1,000 sources. They cite everyone. They spend a lot of time thoughtfully presenting arguments and findings by people who are adamant that ethnic differences are unimportant or temporary. They explore contrasting findings. It’s quite a good book — much better than almost everything written by their detractors, including Charles Lane.

              Your link continues the misrepresentation that has been going on for almost a quarter century now.

      2. “The man has done a great deal of harm.”

        What harm?

        1. By publicizing that the black achievement gap is due to their much lower average IQ and not white racism. The left hates anything that destroys their narratives.

          1. By publicizing that the black achievement gap is due to their much lower average IQ and not white racism. The left hates anything that destroys their narratives.

            But IQ test results can be influenced by cultural conditions, including racism. Read Thomas Sowell on the history of the Irish and Jews in this country. These groups both scored well below normal in intelligence tests in this country when they first immigrated. The Irish in particular also showed profound social pathology making them very poor employees. But both groups made tremendous gains, including scoring much higher on intelligence tests than before, under circumstances that can’t be accounted for genetically. For example, during the period of this change the Jews had very little intermarriage outside the faith.

        2. See, e.g., the claptrap below.

          1. Are you referring to what I wrote? And if so, what is “claptrap” about it.

            1. No worries, not you m_k.
              ActualRightWingPatriot, who to the credit of the comentariat here, is getting roundly rinsed. But nevertheless shows the kind of cover Murray & co. give to a certain segment.

          2. “See, e.g., the claptrap below.”

            “claptrap” is not “harm”

            For instance Hillary C. in India spouted much “claptrap” about the election but no one one was “harmed”.

            Bernard has alleged “harm”. Examples would be nice.

            1. Validating (or originating) white supremacy is indeed harm.
              Not harm worth allowing censorship, but harm indeed.

              Or do you think words don’t matter?

              If you’re going to insist on direct causal connection to specific violent or antisocial acts, you’re being obtuse.

              1. Validating (or originating) white supremacy is indeed harm.

                In these parts, it’s just a natural part of the landscape.

              2. “Or do you think words don’t matter?”

                Sticks and stones etc.

                “If you’re going to insist on direct causal connection to specific violent or antisocial acts, you’re being obtuse.”

                Insults are always the last refuge of those without evidence.

                He made an assertion, you supported it, but neither of you can point to a single injury Murray has caused.

                1. He made an assertion, you supported it, but neither of you can point to a single injury Murray has caused.

                  They accuse Murray of couching racism in academic-speak so abstruse that it is beyond the ability of most people to unravel and contest. The harm, then, would be deceiving people into accepting his conclusions. This is apparently what bernard11 is saying. Otherwise he would point to a specific error in something that Murray has written. But he should be able to find an academic peer of Murray’s who can provide the concrete examples.

                  1. There are plenty of Jew haters around. Most have not caused harm. We can point to Al Sharpton who actually led a pogrom as a Jew hater who caused harm.

                    Assuming Murray is in fact a racist, if Murray has caused some actual injury, it ought to be easy to point out one of them.

                    “a specific error” and “abstruse” are not harm

                    Errors and bad writing are not harm.

                    1. Murray doesn’t need to be a racist to do injury with unfounded conclusions. Here’s a criticism of Murray by black economist Thomas Sowell in his review of Murray’s book. Sowell accepts Murray’s conclusion that IQ tests are valid and are not culturally biased. However, he rejects Murray’s conclusion of a genetic basis for differences.

                      Perhaps the strongest evidence against a genetic basis for intergroup differences in IQ is that the average level of mental test performance has changed very significantly for whole populations over time and, moreover, particular ethnic groups within the population have changed their relative positions during a period when there was very little intermarriage to change the genetic makeup of these groups. ?

                      Strangely, Herrnstein and Murray refer to “folklore” that “Jews and other immigrant groups were thought to be below average in intelligence.” It was neither folklore nor anything as subjective as thoughts. It was based on hard data, as hard as any data in The Bell Curve. These groups repeatedly tested below average on the mental tests of the World War I era, both in the army and in civilian life. For Jews, it is clear that later tests showed radically different results-during an era when there was very little intermarriage to change the genetic makeup of American Jews.

                    2. Uh oh, I think Bob just acquitted a bunch of Nazis.

                  2. wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bell_Curve#Criticisms

                    1. Read The_Bell_Curve#Criticisms. Not one harm or injury alleged.

                      Just criticisms of the methodology and conclusions. [Which for what its worth Murray refutes.]

                      Being wrong is not causing harm.

                    2. “Murray refutes” should be Murray attempts to refute.

                    3. Sarcastr0:

                      wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Bell_Curve#Criticisms

                      As to the argument that IQ tests don’t test anything that is important see the review by black economist Thomas Sowell in which he said:

                      In these chapters, Herrnstein and Murray establish their basic case that intelligence test scores are highly correlated with important social phenomena from academic success to infant mortality, which is far higher among babies whose mothers are in the bottom quarter of the IQ distribution.

                      As to the argument that the tests are culturally biased:

                      ?Herrnstein and Murray do an excellent job of exposing the flaws in the argument that tests are culturally biased by showing that the greatest black-white differences are not on the questions which presuppose middle-class vocabulary or experiences, but on abstract questions such as spatial perceptual ability?

                      In short, groups outside the cultural mainstream of contemporary Western society tend to do their worst on abstract questions, whatever their race might be. But to call this cultural “bias” is misleading?

                      Some people disagree with Sowell. What places the discussion outside the bounds of legitimate inquiry?

                  3. swood1000,

                    See the link I provide above, for starters.

                    I don’t think he necessarily intentionally deceived people. I do think his work in the area is extremely shoddy.

                2. Our Constitution is words. Many have died for it.
                  Our flag is expression. Many have been inspired to fight and kill under it.

                  Not sticks and stones. Until it is.
                  ———————-
                  I didn’t say you were obtuse, I was saying you would be obtuse if you insist on a standard that sociologically ridiculous.

              3. Murray has /nowhere/ espoused white supremacy, even indirectly.

                Tell you what — go to the SPLC treatment of Murray, and then read the rejoinder that Murray has written. Better yet, just read “The Bell Curve.”

                Then revisit the issue of “harm”

                1. Validated, Pox. Not espoused.

            2. “Validating (or originating) white supremacy is indeed harm.”

              In some sense anything that might be inaccurate is harmful, and even information that might be accurate. But it makes it very difficult to study a topic if you take this attitude.

              1. The falseness of the argument is part of the harm there, yeah. Sorry if I begged the question that whites are not supreme…

                But I’d also judge someone working to study the superiority of the white race in all good faith looking for truth. Would you?

                1. Validating (or originating) white supremacy is indeed harm.

                  What do you mean by “white supremacy”?

                  See this article by black Columbia University professor John McWhorter in which he says that with respect to the question of race and IQ, “The data are not all in?” but he sees no value in the discussion.

                  So that’s how I hope the issue of race and IQ works. But I cannot allow myself to fall into the sadly common pattern in which people’s insistence that something is true is founded as much on their wanting it to be true as on actual evidence. My hunches and predilections do not qualify as conduits to truth. I can responsibly claim neither on my gut sense nor on what I have seen of the research that it has been proven that there is no genetically based racial gap in IQ.

                  Does the refusal of McWhorter to place this question out of bounds along with defending slavery or genocide make him a white supremacist?

              2. TIP,

                This is true.

                But first, Murray “studied” the topic only in the sense that he compiled information from a lot of sources. The main criticism is that he was careless, at best, in not digging deeper into the validity of those sources.

      3. Indeed I am skeptical…of his claims about racial disparities in intelligence. I think it’s more environmental that biological, but I’m no expert on the matter, which is why I’d prefer to hear him speak about that rather than free speech. But racial disparities in intelligence is verboten most good meaning folks….by the left because they don’t believe it’s true, and by the right because it would undermine the idea that we should treat all people equally regardless of race if indeed one race is smarter (on average) than another due to biology.

        1. (Not claptrap, but I do disagree)

          part of the reason why we don’t much care about generalizations based on race is because it’s hard to isolate based on race, and because such generalization is not super useful in an individualistic society that does not care to pre-judge.

          1. Oh, I agree. Best to judge on an individual level, even though we by all by experience and natural inclination, think tribally.

            The issue is that if it was definitely shown that one race was not equal in intelligence to another, then it would mean that no matter how much affirmative action there was to make up for decades, if not centuries, of discriminatory practices by the race that propagated it, that nothing would ever change. Further, it would mean that the discrimination had a legitimate basis. Bad juju all around, and which is why nobody wants to talk about it.

            1. You aren’t wrong that such a concern is part of the reason no one wants to go into it. But it’s hardly the only reason, or even the only reason on the left.

              I doubt social science will ever be able to separate race from all the conflating and correlated factors.
              I myself wouldn’t weep were affirmative action to be replaced with a more obviously mutable indicia, like class.

              1. I’d prefer to replace it with something more functional, like meritocracy.

                1. Once we get a perfect merit measuring device, Brett, I’ll agree with you.

                  In the meantime, I’ll note some people start out life with a headwind that belies their talents.

                  1. We don’t need a perfect merit measuring device, for meritocracy to be better than deliberately promoting something else ahead of merit.

                    And a meritocracy would try to take that “headwind” off them, but not tow them across the finish line.

                    1. Those are not the two alternatives, though.

                      Recognizing the potential of those that the current attempt at merit assessments neglect.

                      Like, for instance, how we ignored half our population for quite a while. Even if they are statistically not as good, there are bound to be a bunch of female Einsteins we have neglected.

              2. “I myself wouldn’t weep were affirmative action to be replaced with a more obviously mutable indicia, like class.”

                So, something like means-tested financial aid? Interesting idea. I wonder if we’ll ever try it.

                1. Financial aid is necessary, but I think you know I’m talking about admissions, TIP.

                2. 12-inch: “something like means-tested financial aid?”

                  Charles Murray is an advocate for a universal, guaranteed, minimum income. Look it up.

              3. It may not be the only reason, but it is the primary reason.

                The problem with your thinking here, is that social science is always shadows on the cave wall, but just because we can’t see the actual object and just its shadow, should that preclude making decisions (both personal and political) with the best data available?

                1. IMO, we should avoid making decisions based on sociological tendencies whenever we can. Because those are collective truths, not individual ones.

                  1. Sarcastr0: “we should avoid making decisions based on sociological tendencies whenever we can”

                    No argument on that here. And I’m a sociologist.

            2. Except… No one rationally argues that even if population level differences exist between races, it says anything meaningful about individuals belonging to those races. Yes, it would argue against naive affirmative action, but a particular individual can still fall anywhere along the curve, so prejudging them based on population characteristics would still be wrong. As Murray argues. He also argues, at least in his recent book, that we’ve made society overly dependent on credentials that correcspond to IQ, and that we’d be better served if we had paths to middle class and success that didn’t require such credentials.

              1. People ain’t rational. There are plenty of folks around that essentialize race. Hell, we all do somewhat; humans are pattern-finders even where none exist.

              2. Rigelsen:

                Except… No one rationally argues that even if population level differences exist between races, it says anything meaningful about individuals belonging to those races.

                Is Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics, irrational? In his New York Times bestseller Thinking, Fast and Slow he wrote:

                “In sensitive social contexts, we do not want to draw possibly erroneous conclusions about the individual from the statistics of the group. We consider it morally desirable for base rates to be treated as statistical facts about the group rather than as presumptive facts about individuals. In other words, we reject causal base rates. The social norm against stereotyping, including the opposition to profiling, has been highly beneficial in creating a more civilized and more equal society. It is useful to remember, however, that neglecting valid stereotypes inevitably results in suboptimal judgments. Resistance to stereotyping is a laudable moral position, but the simplistic idea that the resistance is costless is wrong. The costs are worth paying to achieve a better society, but denying that the costs exist, while satisfying to the soul and politically correct, is not scientifically defensible.”

          2. Sarcastr0:

            part of the reason why we don’t much care about generalizations based on race is because it’s hard to isolate based on race, and because such generalization is not super useful in an individualistic society that does not care to pre-judge.

            In his New York Times bestseller Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics, made the following observation:

            “In sensitive social contexts, we do not want to draw possibly erroneous conclusions about the individual from the statistics of the group. We consider it morally desirable for base rates to be treated as statistical facts about the group rather than as presumptive facts about individuals. In other words, we reject causal base rates. The social norm against stereotyping, including the opposition to profiling, has been highly beneficial in creating a more civilized and more equal society. It is useful to remember, however, that neglecting valid stereotypes inevitably results in suboptimal judgments. Resistance to stereotyping is a laudable moral position, but the simplistic idea that the resistance is costless is wrong. The costs are worth paying to achieve a better society, but denying that the costs exist, while satisfying to the soul and politically correct, is not scientifically defensible.”

            Comments? Disagreement?

            1. Of course I agree – one of my main biases is to note that there are costs and benefits to dang near everything.
              So I find it almost trivially true that stereotypes, even full-on racism, have both benefits and costs.

              But 1) utilitarian cost-benefit is hardly how we operate around here, and 2) it’s pretty clear how that cost-benefit analysis comes down.

              1. part of the reason why we don’t much care about generalizations based on race is because it’s hard to isolate based on race, and because such generalization is not super useful in an individualistic society that does not care to pre-judge.

                What did you mean that we don’t much care about generalizations based on race? Generalizations can relate either to biological or to cultural characteristics.

                1. Our identity includes a whole social narrative about how over time we managed to (partially) triumph over prejudice, which is exactly relying on generalizations based on race.

                  1. Sarcastr0:

                    Our identity includes a whole social narrative about how over time we managed to (partially) triumph over prejudice, which is exactly relying on generalizations based on race.

                    Do you distinguish between generalizations based on biological race and generalizations based on the subculture of a racial group?

                    Jesse Jackson said:

                    “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps… then turn around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

                    Was Jackson’s reaction entirely without rational justification? If racial group A commits crime at three times the rate of racial group B, and you have a choice of walking alone at night through a group A neighborhood or a group B neighborhood would you just flip a coin?

                    1. Yes, it was without rational justification. The differential in danger between strangers of different races is marginal. It’s there, but it’s being exaggerated beyond rationality and certainly beyond utility.

                      3 times the rate doesn’t actually tell you much about the odds of a particular individual.

                      But more than that who cares? We should not be making policy based around individual emotional reactions.

              2. There are appropriate contexts for acting based on statistical generalizations, and inappropriate contexts. The latter, obviously, are where you have individualized information, or it’s easily obtainable.

                The problems come in when you insist on using false statistical generalizations, or treat such generalizations as telling you something about specific individuals.

                That’s my complaint about the widespread use of “disparate impact” as proof of discrimination. It usually falls into the category of insisting on using false statistical generalizations, ignoring that groups aren’t actually similarly situated.

                1. When group-related trends unrelated to the attributes of the group itself occur based on what are supposed to be separate individualized events, I don’t think scrutinizing that process is generalizing.

                  I also believe disparate impact requires the groups compared be analogous. What are you thinking about?

                  1. When group-related trends unrelated to the attributes of the group itself occur based on what are supposed to be separate individualized events, I don’t think scrutinizing that process is generalizing.

                    Can you give an example of this?

                    1. Housing and employment are what I was thinking of.

          3. Check your white privilege at the door with all of that blather about our supposedly individualistic society that does not care to pre-judge!

            1. The concept is that white privileged exists only because we fail to live up to that individualistic ideal – that society has a bunch of race-based generalizations baked into it that favor whites.

              1. The concept is that white privileged exists only because we fail to live up to that individualistic ideal – that society has a bunch of race-based generalizations baked into it that favor whites.

                What is the usefulness of the concept? I only see it used to accuse and bludgeon the other side but how is that productive? Is that a tactic designed to improve the situation? How will it have that effect? Person A says that Person B is privileged. Person B doesn’t see it. Then what?

                1. Person B doesn’t see it.

                  Or Person B sees it to some degree but disagrees that this accounts for all of the problem. He, along with Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Shelby Steele, Larry Elder, John McWhorter, Glenn Loury, Jason Riley and others believes that part of the solution has to be in blacks rehabilitating their own subculture, and he is made irritated by constant accusations that he is a villain. What’s he supposed to do? It seems counterproductive in that it creates animosity without a justifying benefit.

                  1. What if person B does see it? I’m a white hetero male, and I notice all the time how things are a little easier for me. I don’t get pulled over nearly as much as my black co-workers.

                    My female friends need to figure out logistics when traveling at night to make sure they aren’t alone. I don’t need to.

                    Most of the square-jawed heroes I get to enjoy look a lot like me, which is nice. And possibly helpful for my self esteem.
                    =================
                    I am a bit shook by your point about privilege being used as an excuse for blacks not to look to their own house. Not because I think it means privilege is wrong or counterproductive to examine, but because it reminds me of how I ding the right for always looking at Dems and not at their own house.

                    The solution is the same – if you’re gonna be tribal, look at your own tribe. Whites, be aware of your privilege, blacks look to your house. Both, make policies that address past and present racial problems.

                    1. I am a bit shook by your point about privilege being used as an excuse for blacks not to look to their own house.

                      I’m just quoting the aforementioned black commentators. For example, see this short article by Thomas Sowell.

                      That vision is nowhere more clearly expressed than in attempts to automatically depict whatever social problems exist in ghetto communities as being caused by the sins or negligence of whites, whether racism in general or a “legacy of slavery” in particular. Like most emotionally powerful visions, it is seldom, if ever, subjected to the test of evidence.

                      The “legacy of slavery” argument is not just an excuse for inexcusable behavior in the ghettos. In a larger sense, it is an evasion of responsibility for the disastrous consequences of the prevailing social vision of our times, and the political policies based on that vision, over the past half century.

                      Your argument seems to be that if group A has a problem for which I believe I am receiving inappropriate blame, I should not suggest solution X if that solution can only be performed by the members of group A.

                    2. Fine, though Sowell is essentializing quite a bit.

                      It’s not like black communities are inactive and just wallow in resentment – there’s plenty of self improvement that goes on.
                      =============
                      I think one should be careful as an outsider to a community suggesting how they can best improve themselves. Full context is very hard to get. And their blaming you doesn’t give you special standing to speak to their problems better than they do.

                      Note that this kind of false consciousness narrative is as much a problem on the left as the right, though I feel like the left is dealing with it more than the right at the moment. Probably just through incentives – the right doesn’t really need to worry about the group they’re talking to voting in their primaries

                      …for now.

                    3. Sarcastr0:

                      I think one should be careful as an outsider to a community suggesting how they can best improve themselves.

                      Such suggestions are often deemed out of bounds and worthy of punishment. Isn’t that what all the controversy over the Amy Wax article was all about? She referred to certain norms:

                      Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.

                      These are things children are taught in kindergarten, yet when she suggested that a subculture without these norms would improve itself by adopting them this was met with incredulous outrage.

                    4. Hadn’t tracked that particular controversy, but I do find that paragraph balderdash. Not offensive…more naiive.

                      These platitudes are taken as causal of success axiomatically. You can spot correlations with some, but causality is harder. Marriage, for instance – successful marriage is correlated with wealth. I’m skeptical that it’s the marriage causing the wealth, and not vice-versa. But it does feed a narrative…

                      The ‘work super hard and you will be noticed’ betrays a chidlike faith in the meritocracy that really doesn’t seem to apply to everyone. And not just women or minorities – I’ll take charisma over industriousness any day in America.

                      Virtue expecting material gain is setting yourself up for bitter disappointment. But virtue for virtue’s sake is great. However, this is also a luxury.

                      being a bit more fanciful and less charitable, that excerpt kinda reminds me of some of those old-style fairy tails where virtuous peasants got to marry princesses. Good luck with that, guys, but thanks for maintaining the status quo your betters desire of you!

                      I would also note the atrocious divorce rate in the military means the ideal isn’t even very coherent.

                    5. Sarcastr0:

                      but I do find that paragraph balderdash

                      I don’t believe you. If you had a child you would not advise him or her to “Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness”?

                      You think that getting married before having children and striving to stay married for their sake has no relevance to the quality of the child’s life or to the prosperity of the family? According to Thomas Sowell:

                      One key fact that keeps getting ignored is that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits every year since 1994. Behavior matters and facts matter, more than the prevailing social visions or political empires built on those visions.

                      Is he just imagining things?

                    6. Just because something would work for me doesn’t mean I’m going to assume it works for everyone.

                      Marriage before children is something that’ll work well for me and mine, but the scolding of blacks for not doing so is just moral grandstanding cloaked in some dodgy statistics. I’m not saying blacks don’t have their share of problems, but diagnosing them like they were all urbane white people is not the way to improve either them or white people’s relations wit them.

                      Sowell isn’t imagining things, he’s mixing up correlation with causation when it serves his narrative.

                    7. Sarcastr0:

                      Just because something would work for me doesn’t mean I’m going to assume it works for everyone.

                      When she says “Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness,” she is not saying that it will work for everyone or that it is the magic bullet that will counteract any opposing influence. She is saying that people who equip themselves with marketable skills and work hard are more likely to prosper financially than those who don’t. Is this balderdash?

              2. The concept goes beyond that. Plenty of academicians assert that liberal individualism is racist (and all of the other intersectional ‘isms’) to its very theoretical core (e.g., because ideologies are inherently power games), not merely that whites are hypocrites who fail to live up to it, and therefore should be totally abandoned.

                1. I don’t think you’re reading the nuance correct. They’re saying what appears to be an individual approach has a bunch of assumptions baked in that favor whitey. Being colorblind is racist (or has a racially unfair outcome) because the playing board is tilted and we took all the best starting spaces.

                  Thus, as they argue, affirmative action corrects for the failures in our current attempts to measure future success (and thus merit).

                  If you mean Communism, you’ve misapprehended mainstream liberalism in the current juncture. If you’re going more for like Slavoj ?i?ek, that’s not liberal – it’s not coherent enough to put into an ideological box.

                  1. That’s a whitewashing (pun intended) of its more radical theoretical roots. Many academicians categorically deny as a theoretical matter that there is such a thing as a stable individual “I” (as posited by liberal theory) that can be abstracted from its socially constructed context and that the socially constructed context is invariably a power game of one sort or another. Hence liberal individualism necessarily serves the agenda of a particular group, who in this case are white guys, and there’s no such thing as individualism without that historical racial dynamic.

                    1. I mean, if you’re arguing that there are radical professors out there saying the cure for racism is no more capitalism and democracy, I won’t disagree.

                      If you’re going to argue that the core of critical theory is tearing down society, that’s incorrect.

                      Realizing that hermeneutics are a thing and that there is a racial lense through which we
                      see the world and cannot avoid doesn’t require that everything be relative, and it certainly doesn’t require that we become some sort of hive mind.

                    2. To sum up, I think your diagnosis of the privilege baked into individualism isn’t wrong, but the cure you infer isn’t something I’ve seen.

                      Of course, my finger is not exactly on the pulse of racial philosophical academia, but I like to think I have a sense of the mainstream trends.

                      Now, speaking of diversity of viewpoint, I’m off to play D&D with a bunch of black guys from the military. See y’all tomorrow!

        2. Indeed I am skeptical…of his claims about racial disparities in intelligence. I think it’s more environmental that biological

          And you’re familiar with his claims how, exactly? I can’t imagine how annoying it must be for Murray himself to get people making these comments all the time every day without having a clue what was in the book.

          1. We read an excerpt in my 2014 class on science policy in the US. It was an example of how if you’re going to publish something with such implications for policy and values, you’d better get your research buttoned the heck up.
            Stem Cells and Vaccines were mentioned as well.

            1. “t was an example of how if you’re going to publish something with such implications for policy and values, you’d better get your research buttoned the heck up.”

              That depends on what the implications are. If the implications are advantageous for people who are in a position to make a difference, they don’t care if the research isn’t “buttoned up”.

              1. Well, the thesis of the section was to scrutinize ANYthing that implies a substantial change in any direction.

            2. Murray’s claims about racial differences are identical to those of the APA. And he does not claim that the differences are inborn. Please go beyond some excerpt. Just read the two chapters in “The Bell Curve” on ethnic differences, and make the most of them. I think you’ll find them much less doctrinaire, and more nuanced, than commentators would like everyone to believe.

          2. I can’t claim to have read The Bell Curve, but trust me, there are lots of sources that cover the same material, as this is a topic for regular discussion on VDARE or Unz.com, not to mention the videos on this subject by Stefan Molyneux on race and IQ.

            But really, anybody that knows about the Flynn Effect knows that it undercuts the main argument of the book, as well as some of the data about Caribbean blacks of West African descent not having the same issues once in a Western culture as their ancestors across the pond seem to have.

            1. mad_kalak: “The Flynn effect … undercuts the main argument of the book,”

              Not if you get the real argument of the book. You’ll also find that Murray and Herrnstein cover the Flynn effect in detail.

              You’ll also find that the term “the Flynn Effect” was /coined/ by Murray and Herrnstein!

              Please read the damned thing. People here are so sure they know what it’s about, and they /don’t/! Am I the only one here who has actually read it? Is everyone else here relying on second- and third-hand slanders?

  8. The problem is that the anti-free speech protesters recognize that often people accept their beliefs uncritically, typically because those beliefs are the dominant ones in the group they want to be a member of. Free speech advocates assume that the correct idea will win on the intellectual battlefield but many people don’t arrive at all of their opinions only after carefully evaluating all competing ideas. In fact, most people are impervious to considering an idea if accepting it as true will result in their being shunned by the group of people with whom they identify. Furthermore, people can be tricked into believing falsehoods.

    So those in favor of restricting free speech figure that the only sure way of preventing the spread of opinions with which they disagree is to ban and demonize that kind of expression.

    1. So those in favor of restricting free speech figure that the only sure way of preventing the spread of opinions with which they disagree is to ban and demonize that kind of expression.

      Furthermore, banning and demonizing is a lot easier than refuting, and eliminates exposure to the embarrassment of being bested in debate. It’s a lot simpler to just deny the legitimacy of the opponent’s argument, to a chorus of loud support from one’s own group. Also, refuting some arguments, even though possible, requires more debating skill than many people possess, especially when one’s opponent is skilled in the use of fallacious reasoning.

      1. those in favor of restricting free speech figure that the only sure way of preventing the spread of opinions with which they disagree is to ban and demonize that kind of expression.

        Thing is – this is correct.

        The reason to be so fundamentalist against censorship is precisely because it is too powerful a weapon.
        That’s why NewSpeak was a form of thought control in 1984.
        ==========
        Some use censorship instead of argument, but I don’t think this is the most common reason. It’s not cowardice or venality, it’s righteousness that is what you need to watch out for.

        1. it’s righteousness that is what you need to watch out for.

          Sometimes it is the quasi-religious certainty of the unerring truth of the propositions held sacred by one’s group, and the corresponding inability/refusal to debate such truth with the unwashed, whose motivations in any event are not respectable but rather depraved.

          1. Interesting. No argument – we were in tribes as a species before we could talk.

            IMO it’s the second part – the ability to dehumanize and ignore the other – that is the more active ingredient in righteousness-based tyranny.

            But you and I may be overintellectualizing – when I lurk on antifa-sympathetic forums, there is also a strong thread of just frustration and a desire to take it out via violence. Nazis are the bad tribe is all the rationalization needed. Shutting down bad speech isn’t even a part of it.

            1. when I lurk on antifa-sympathetic forums, there is also a strong thread of just frustration and a desire to take it out via violence. Nazis are the bad tribe is all the rationalization needed. Shutting down bad speech isn’t even a part of it.

              This type of approach is probably characteristic of much of the rank and file of most movements. They are motivated viscerally and rely on their leaders to understand the ultimate rationale for their tactics. The one thing they know for sure is that they need to stick it to the enemy.

              As for the Antifa rank and file, their tactics are modeled after the heroic class struggles of the past. Given the fun involved for kids that age who want some adventure, this supplies all the rationale needed to see their actions as righteous, overcome their inhibitions, and vent their frustrations.

            2. Wow, you’re actually capable of thoughtfully contributing to a discussion without dumping a series of strawmen. My commendations, though worth exactly zero. Please keep it up.

              1. Kudos appreciated.

                Not to be ungrateful, but I can’t help but notice your compliments align with saying stuff you agree with.

                Maybe I’ve been awesome this whole time but you only see it when it aligns with your beliefs.
                Of course, I always think I’m awesome but that’s because whatever I say automatically aligns with my own beliefs. ?\_(?)_/?

                1. I miss the “Like” button from WaPo.

    2. “anti-free speech protesters”

      I’m trying to unpack that gordian knot and wondering if you mean to say people protesting a particular person’s ideas rather than “free speech” in general? Your construct makes it seem like they’re protesting “anti-free speech” which is even more bizarre since that would be favoring free speech itself.

      Recent studies on free speech show that the college educated liberals (small L) are gaining in acceptance of free speech, even from normally objectionable sources, at a greater rate than conservatives. With, that is, two exceptions–racism and anti-American Muslim clerics. If that’s true, then these protesters are more likely anti-racist rather than anti-free speech.

      I know there are people, especially in this small niche blog hosted by Reason, who could in good faith say that they have no issues with overtly racist speech being given a podium at a university as a matter of policy. But it isn’t lost on me that quite a few of the commenters are trying to frame the protesters as targeting “free speech” rather than targeting “racism.” While their actions do collide with our concepts of free speech, that is merely collateral damage and not their goal.

      These are anti-racism activists who are willing to trod on the free speech of others in the pursuit of their ideals.

  9. There isn’t a tax on the student group perhaps, but my concern is that the heckler has a fairly simple playbook of imposing substantial costs on institutions to engage in free speech activities. Eventually, picking up the tab will not make economic sense and those interested in engaging in “controversial” ideas will suffer.

    1. Perhaps a greater tab should be placed on intentional disruption of free speech.

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