Allison Stanger doesn’t like the president. In fact, the Middlebury College professor thinks Donald Trump is “blind to the evils he has unleashed.”
But Stanger isn’t exactly a fan of her professorial colleagues, either.
In a Facebook post about the surreal and violent scene Thursday that greeted her and libertarian scholar Charles Murray – and sent her to the ER with a neck injury – Stanger marvels that other Middlebury professors were protesting someone they didn’t have the slightest clue about:
I actually welcomed the opportunity to be involved, because while my students may know I am a Democrat, all of my courses are nonpartisan, and this was a chance to demonstrate publicly my commitment to a free and fair exchange of views in my classroom. As the campus uproar about his visit built, I was genuinely surprised and troubled to learn that some of my faculty colleagues had rendered judgement on Dr. Murray’s work and character, while openly admitting that they had not read anything he had written. With the best of intentions, they offered their leadership to enraged students, and we all now know what the results were. …
I saw some of my faculty colleagues who had publicly acknowledged that they had not read anything Dr. Murray had written join the effort to shut down the lecture.
She makes a trenchant observation about the student protesters:
What alarmed me most, however, was what I saw in student eyes from up on that stage. Those who wanted the event to take place made eye contact with me. Those intent on disrupting it steadfastly refused to do so. It was clear to me that they had effectively dehumanized me. They couldn’t look me in the eye, because if they had, they would have seen another human being.
Stanger describes her palpable fear of the protesters, who were definitely not simply exercising their right to free speech, comparing her and Murray’s exit to a scene from the terrorism thriller Homeland:
We confronted an angry mob as we tried to exit the building. Most of the hatred was focused on Dr. Murray, but when I took his right arm both to shield him from attack and to make sure we stayed together so I could reach the car too, that’s when the hatred turned on me. One thug grabbed me by the hair and another shoved me in a different direction. I noticed signs with expletives and my name on them.
They got to dinner via “a decoy route” – but it didn’t last long:
I told a colleague in my department that I felt proud of myself for not having slugged someone. Then [VP of Communications] Bill Burger charged back into the room (he is my hero) and told Dr. Murray and I to get our coats and leave—NOW. The protestors knew where the dinner was. We raced back to the car, driving over the curb and sidewalk to escape quickly. It was then we decided that it was probably best to leave town.