Allison Stanger is the distinguished Middlebury professor who was physically assaulted for escorting conservative political scientist Charles Murray to an event on the Middlebury campus. Stanger, a Democrat, had agreed to moderate a session with Murray because she is committed to the robust exchange of views.
An angry mob charged the car carrying Stanger and Murray. Someone pulled her hair. Others shoved her. The car was rocked. Initial reports were that she sustained injuries to her neck.
It appears that this was not all. Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen writes:
From time to time, I email Allison Stanger. She answers always, but says she is not yet healthy enough to talk. . .Stanger is still suffering from a concussion.
The attack occurred on March 3. It’s not clear when, exactly, Cohen last communicated with Prof. Stanger. But Cohen’s report, if true, shows that her injury was severe and lingering.
After the attack, Murray said that Middlebury’s free speech stance so far “has been exemplary,” but that it’s what the college does next with the protesters that’s most important. What Middlebury eventually did with the protesters was to put some on probation and give others some sort of disciplinary note. None was expelled or even suspended.
Middlebury’s excuse for not suspending attackers was that it couldn’t identify which students, if any, were involved. I can’t help but suspect that the college, which was under pressure from faculty members to be lenient, didn’t make a serious effort to identify the attackers (same with the police).
Suspicion isn’t proof, however. It would be worthwhile, I think, if someone investigated the extent of efforts by the police and the college to identify students who participated in or encouraged the assault on Murray and Stanger.
BY THE WAY: The internet edition of Cohen’s column bears the title: “Protesters at Middlebury College demonstrate ‘cultural appropriation’ — of fascism.” The title is apt.