Central Student Government condemns Murray on campus

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - 7:52pm

Central Student Government released its first official statement of the year regarding bias incidents on campus, addressing white nationalist and author Charles Murray’s appearance on Wednesday night campus. Murray is known for his book, “The Bell Curve,” on linking race and IQ, a theory widely debunked. The event was sponsored by the University of Michigan’s chapter of College Republicans and the American Enterprise Institute University of Michigan Executive Council, a public policy think tank where Murray serves as the W.H. Brady Scholar.

Signed by CSG President Anushka Sarkar, an LSA senior, and CSG Vice President Nadine Jawad, a Public Policy senior, the letter condemns the Murray event.

“There is a massive and crucial difference between opening our minds in order to consider new and different ideas, and allowing pseudo-academics to portray racism as ‘new ideas,’” it reads.

LSA senior Ben Decatur, co-chair of the AEI Executive Council at the University, introduced Murray that evening and spoke on the importance of free speech. He went on to discuss the potential for protest and invited any protesters to engage with the speaker instead of attempting to prevent Murray from speaking.

“If the hosts of tonight’s program, in collaboration with University representatives, believe that the protesters are interfering unduly with the speaker’s freedom of expression, those protestors will be warned by a University administrator,” Decatur said. “If warnings are not heeded and interference continues, the individuals responsible may be removed from the building.”

The CSG letter points out that while the First Amendment gives Murray the right to speak his mind, Sarkar and Jawad also had the right to rebuttal.

“We encourage community members who also condemn his views to do so in a way that does not elevate his bigotry,” the statement emphasized.

The letter also touched upon the controversy of the C.C. Little Science Building, named after a former University president who was a eugenicist.

“People, like Murray and Little, who shout from the rooftop that racism exists because certain people are inherently inferior do not deserve glorification,” it concluded, adding a link to a petition to rename the building.

Last night, CSG joined other student governments on campus in the discussion of C.C. Little's renaming. The resolution was brought to the assembly by LSA Student Government President Nicholas Fadanelli, an LSA senior, and other CSG representatives. 

“We would love to have CSG on board, not only to support the policy, but also release a statement so that campus knows this is an important issue for all of us,” he said.

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