Students and faculty walked out in protest of a lecture by the American Enterprise Institute’s Charles Murray last week, accusing the social scientist of promoting “racism and classism” in his research. The walk-out, organized by Princeton’s Anthropology Department chair Carolyn Rouse, was supplemented with fliers passed out to every student at the start of the event, encouraging students to walk out with her.
Rouse is known for her research on African American women and Sunni Islam and social justice activism.
“Join us in a silent protest against the normalization of racism and classism in academia,” the flyer instructs. “We are choosing to walk out of today’s lecture after the speaker’s bio is read.”
A video provided by one of the event’s attendees shows dozens of students and faculty members, who were sitting in the already-packed lecture hall, move toward the room’s exits as soon as Murray was introduced and walked up to the podium. Most of the protesters seemed to be older and female, and classic hippie hairstyles visibly stuck out among them, such as half-shaved heads and blue hair. A woman wearing a burka walked out with the protesters as well.
Murray, a self-described libertarian and a W.H. Brady Scholar at AEI, is known for his work in welfare reform and promoting limited government intervention.
In the flyers, the protesters accuse Murray of promoting “pseudoscience” and accuse him of being an “armchair demagogue who argues that blacks and the poor are intellectually and morally inferior, as the cause of social inequality in America.”
“Murray’s work is unworthy of our attention- and even our anger,” Rouse, who spent quite the effort meticulously organizing and marketing the demonstration, as well as gathering protesters, wrote in the letter.
“It was clear that she hadn’t read his work,” an attendee commented.
Murray seemed unfazed and even slightly amused by his protesters, making no complaints to The Daily Wire or other publications by their presence at his lecture.
“Free attraction: Protesters,” he humorously tweeted Thursday afternoon. “I’d feel neglected without them.”
Follow Pardes Seleh on Twitter.