National Security , Newsline

Middlebury College Canceled His Speech. Then, a Few Students Redeemed the Situation.

Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2019
by Outside Contributor
Middlebury Colllege

Prior to two weeks ago, Middlebury College in Vermont had become just another poster child for the war on free speech on American college and university campuses.

Back in March 2017, administrators at the small liberal arts college disinvited conservative sociologist Charles Murray under threat of violence and protesting students.

The week before last, however, professor Matthew Dickinson and the students in his philosophy class saved the college from yet another free-speech embarrassment ,giving hope that the spirit of intellectual inquiry has not gone entirely extinct in American academia.

Good for them.

The controversy this time was precipitated by an invitation to Polish politician and political philosopher Ryszard Legutko by the college’s Alexander Hamilton Forum. The forum was founded by the political science department after the Murray debacle to promote free speech on campus and encourage unfettered debate.

Legutko is an interesting choice of speaker. An anti-communist dissident who fought against Poland’s Cold War oppressors, he served in the administration of now-deceased President Lech Kaczynski.

Today, Legutko represents Poland in the European Parliament. He has also become an astute commentator on the current state of Western democracy and a critic of the European Union.

His book “The Demon in Democracy: Totalitarian Temptations in Free Societies” warns of precisely the kind of political correctness-imposed conformity that met the announcement of his speaking engagement at Middlebury.

The script for what followed has become all too familiar. Students protested his appearance and accused Legutko of criticizing multiculturalism and gay marriage. They falsely claimed he “has built his career off of homophobic, xenophobic, racist, misogynistic discourse.”

Organization of a campus protest was launched and demands made for the cancellation of his appearance.

Predictably, college administrators caved, canceling the speech just three hours before it was meant to take place, citing “potential security and safety risks for both the lecture and the event students had planned in response.”

But this time, the story has a different ending. An enterprising student in Dickinson’s nine-student philosophy seminar proposed they invite Legutko to address the class as a guest speaker.

Dickinson, a Harvard-trained presidential historian, struck a blow for freedom of inquiry by agreeing, if his students agreed—which they did.

As word got out, 45 students attended Legutko’s speech, as well as the question-and-answer session.

Not surprisingly, college administrators later said they would have discouraged even this modest interaction, had they known, “for security reasons.”

Thanks to Dickinson and his students, Middlebury may now become a symbol of the budding rebellion against campus intolerance and for diversity of opinion and free debate.

Hopefully, other academic institutions will be inspired to follow their example.

Share this article:
Notify of
1 Comment
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Bill on the Hill
Bill on the Hill
2 years ago

Until Middlebury College gets rid of the WOKE professors that are actively engaged in teaching their young students the ropes on all things liberal to the extreme & actually participating with the students bad behavior, including protesting anything even remotely conservative, Middlebury will continue to be exactly what they represent, all things WOKE…
Unfortunately, the deplorable attitudes in Middlebury & numerous other higher learning centers around VT, is emblematic of the state’s political posture, all the way to the RINO governor, Phil Scott himself…Vermont is every bit as Pro- Socialists in it’s entire governmental structure, owned & operated by leftwing Democrats, both Houses… Many if not most Republicans in VT ” go along to get along “… The same people get reelected year after year after year in VT, the socialistic bent in VT is never ending & they literally drown out the 1/3 minority of voters, i.e. conservative Republicans across the state…For those interested, Vermont will be MAILING out all ballots in their upcoming elections as I can’t imagine why that will be, considering how successful mail in ballots worked around this nation in getting JRB fraudulently elected as well as all those down ballots…
I think it is safe to say, once again, the small state of VT has it in the bag & socialism will continue on in my home state with the mail in ballots all but guaranteeing it & then there is Senator Bernie Sanders with his ( 2 ) major accomplishments since going to Washington, DC, i.e. the renaming of ( 2 ) Post Offices…
Bill on the Hill… :~)

An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
AMAC’s Medicare Advisory Service
The knowledge, guidance, and choices of coverage you’re looking for. The exceptional service you deserve.
The AMAC App on 3 different iPhone
Download the AMAC App
The AMAC App is the place to go for insightful news wherever you are and whenever you want.
Demonstration for stop the persecution Falun Gong in China. New York, USA - September 23, 2014:Stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China in 47 street and 1st Ave.
Ronald Reagan makes a dapper picture with a boutonniere in his lapel. The occasion was Reagan`s address before the Chicago Council on Foreign Relations on St. Patrick`s Day, March 17, 1980. At the time, the former movie actor and two-term California governor was running for the Republican Party nomination for president.
Usa and Venezuela Realistic Half Flags Together

Stay informed! Subscribe to our Daily Newsletter.

"*" indicates required fields

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Subscribe to AMAC Daily News and Games