Charles Murray watched from the windows of Coutelyou Commons, as a crowd emerged protesting his speech at DePaul University. Murray called the scene of nearly 100 students stirring in the November rain a devotion to opinions.
The DePaul College Republicans invited the Libertarian to campus, where Murray discussed upper class and identity politics. But the event was met with opposition by many who call Murray a white supremacist.
“Black lives matter. I’m not trying to have some racist come in here to my school that I pay $50,000 a year to go say that I am lesser than a white man for some fake science facts,” said DePaul student Fae Robertson.
Murray has drawn his sharpest criticism from his 1994 book, “The Bell Curve.” In it, he suggests that blacks and Hispanics are genetically disposed to have lower IQs than whites or Asians. Last month his lecture at the University of Michigan was interrupted by students upset over his presence on campus. And earlier this year at Middlebury College in Vermont, demonstrators heckled Murray, resulting in one faculty member being injured.
The Chairman of DePaul’s College Republicans, John Minster says the University made the right decision in allowing Murray to come to campus.
“If people wanna get antsy and wanna protest, that’s perfect but I encourage them to come inside and listen.”
Only members of the DePaul community were permitted inside the event and the use of cameras were prohibited. The university said in a campus-wide email that the speaker review board found no reason to deny Murray’s speech and, “Mr. Murray’s views are not endorsed by the university, nor do they reflect our values as a Catholic Vincentian university.”
Inside the event, when Murray approached the podium to begin his lecture a group of students stood up denouncing him and his beliefs. They called on others to join them as they walked out.
Meanwhile, outside, the demonstrators continued.
Some gathered at Courtelyou Commons and others headed to a counter event at the Richardson Library, going on at the same time.
There, they chose to protest Murray and the debate over free speech another way. At DePaul’s monthly flash murmurs, students can express themselves through literature, writing workshops and group discussions.
“When we have speakers who come or things that make us uncomfortable it’s good to make it into a way where we’re productive,” said Medinah Furqan, a DePaul student who regularly attends the Flash Murmurs.
Still, other students like Sam P feel demonstrations are the most effective method.
“There are hundreds of people out tonight to show that we will stand up against white supremacist and for justice and against inequality. We are the majority and you should join us and fight and if their goal is to intimidate us, we won’t let them do that.”
Despite the criticism, Murray is not slowing down any time soon. He plans to continue his scheduled events at college campuses across the country and in the future.