Students Walk out of Murray Talk

Georgia Parke, Duke Chronicle, October 29, 2013

Students staged a walkout in protest of a talk by libertarian political scientist Charles Murray at the Sanford School of Public Policy Monday night.

The American Enterprise Institute—a right-wing think tank based in Washington D.C.—arranged and paid for Murray to speak at Duke and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Duke event, which was sponsored by the campus chapter of AEI, began with an initial audience of about 60 people.

As Murray began to speak about his new book, titled “Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010,” approximately half of the attendees stood up and left the room silently. The Students for a Democratic Society facilitated the process of organizing a walkout and were supported by representatives from the Black Student Alliance, the campus chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and Duke Student Government, senior Prashanth Kamalakanthan said.

The walkout was initiated by an opinion column published in The Chronicle by Kamalakanthan, who encouraged students to leave the Murray event on the grounds of his controversial publications on wealth and intelligence in America. The five-member student executive board of the Duke AEI chapter responded to Kamalakanthan through a letter to the editor, encouraging him to stay through the event and engage in discourse with Murray. Jonathan Anomaly, visiting assistant professor of political science, also responded in opposition to Kamalakanthan’s proposal of a walkout with a letter to the editor.

Kamalakanthan noted that he does not take issue with Murray personally but rather with the impact Murray’s research has had on policy. He said Murray has a history of influencing officials such as former Presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton as well as businessman Bill Koch, some of whose actions have negatively affected minorities.

“He might be a sweet dude and totally not racist,” Kamalakanthan said. “But that’s not really at issue. What is at issue is the policy that he sets in motion which is uncontroversially racist. . . . Basically anybody who’s not white, straight and male in society is disproportionately affected by the policies he not only advocates but sets in motion.”

Events on Monday night unfolded as Kamalakanthan planned and the lecture hall was half-empty less than five minutes into Murray’s speech. After the students walked out, Murray jokingly quipped about how he has experienced similar reactions at prior speaking events.


Murray went on to address some of the topics explored in his book, including the divergence of a new upper class and a new lower class over the past 50 years. He attributed this to behaviors that promote increased interaction within rather than between class groups. For example, upper-class, well-educated Americans tend to marry and reproduce with each other and raise children who go to top universities, have highly successful careers and continue the cycle.


{snip} “The Bell Curve,” Murray’s highly controversial book about intelligence quotas in relation to race, was mentioned in passing by Murray during the speech but was not the main topic of conversation.


Sophomore Luke Maier, a member of the AEI executive council, noted that the students who walked out did not use the speech as an opportunity to engage in dialogue.

“I was just disappointed that the people who disagreed with him gave up the oppportunity of debating,” he said. “He opened up the floor for dialogue and debate. . . . I wanted to hear the other side.”

Kamalakanthan noted, however, that the format of the event was problematic and not conducive to open discourse between Murray and those who disagreed with him.

“The whole obsession with this idea of discourse is sort of a smokescreen for the oppression that is unfolding day by day,” Kamalakanthan said. “The walkout is sort of an attempt to turn back the relations in power that Charles Murray exerts over our bodies by using our bodies as a symbol of protest.”

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  • Erasmus

    AEI: A right wing think tank? When are they going to start calling the $PLC a left-wing think tank.

    So much for academic freedom and wanting to get both sides of an argument.

    Face it, kiddies. The truth hurts. Time and further studies will prove Charles Murray right, and you’ll be in the ranks of those who supported burning witches and the geocentric theory of the solar system.

    • 48224

      One day in the future people will look back on this time of political correctness and shake their heads. The PC policies such as affirmative action will be looked upon like the Salem witch trials.

      • Defoe

        “The PC policies such as affirmative action will be looked upon like the Salem witch trials.”

        Many of us look at those policies now that way.

        Perfect opportunity to call those Duke organizations and use the derision weapon! Try it. It’s fun.

    • MrGJG

      “Time and further studies will prove Charles Murray right…”

      Are more studies really necessary? The ruins of Detroit and so many other major U.S. cities as well as the state of Africa and Haiti. The need for affirmative action and quota’s. The lowering of test scores.

      People have been strapped to a gurney with less evidence.

      • Alfred the Great

        You’re right. The data are what they are.

      • JohnEngelman

        Let’s not forget about the failure of Head Start and No Child Left Behind.

      • 48224

        When the brainless outnumber the brained….and the brainless finally kill the host organism, things will change quick and it won’t be pretty.

      • Charles W.

        Detroit, Flint, Gary, Chicago, Cleveland, Oakland, Camden, Philadelphia, Newark, Baltimore, D.C., Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, New Orleans, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Uganda, South Africa.

        I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that no one in power is interested in “evidence” of any real sort.

        • Webspin

          It’s in the nature of those that wish to govern others to deny evidence. It’s how big government and the church survive.

          You need more hope, less evidence.

          • Charles W.

            The Church of yesteryear would have had no problem denying the sort of evidence I listed above.

          • Pelagian

            Good job throwing “the church” under the bus on the grounds of lack of rationality, since there’s obviously nothing irrational going on out there today in these enlightened, nonreligious times.

    • Pro_Whitey

      Amen. Note the continual, repetitive descriptive statements . . . right-wing . . . extreme . . . . And the lack of similar descriptions when they are even more apt for the left. The race realist “right” is actually pretty close the center, at least among whites, and coloreds share similar modes of thought and observations about racial realities, just that their anti-white bias causes them to discard truths and make up fictions to fill their place.

    • SFLBIB

      “So much for academic freedom and wanting to get both sides of an argument.”

      Well, after all, he did get to speak. A lot of conservative speakers are just shouted down and run out, and that’s if they get invited in the first place.

  • Did he use HBCUs as an anecdote?

  • I find this whole story ironic.

    He was speaking there to tout his book that peddles the silly notion that white people are about to turn into ghetto black people, mainly the book was sort of political penance on his part for the “sin” of co-authoring The Bell Curve.

    Yet, all the left wingers weren’t impressed.

    There’s something about Charles Murray that leaves me unimpressed. I just can’t put my finger on it.

    • Andy

      I thought his prediction was probably accurate. Our high-IQ people are hardly having any kids at all. I know a fair number of “ghetto-ish” white people. They do drugs, cheat the welfare system, and the men take no responsibility for their children. The thought of them becoming the majority of the race is sad. As a group, we can support a certain percentage of them (and with appropriate social pressures give them the kinds of lives most whites live), but they can not be a majority. We have very few that are really equivalent to ghetto blacks, but an epidemic of single mothers with no job and children by different men is not good for our people.

      • Problems? Yes.

        Better off not doing these things? Yes.

        But will it result in white America becoming East St. Louis writ large? No.

        • willbest

          You say that now. What happens when those same whites are 2-3 generations removed from being civilized.

        • Gereng

          What will stop the process? Once dysgenics take hold and the minority culture becomes the dominant political force, as it is doing with the Democrats- there is nothing a superior, but declining group can do but…leave the ship–taking with them their intellectual assets.

      • Erasmus

        Because of his movie “Idiocracy,” Mike Judge will one day be hailed as a prophet.

    • The Final Solution

      Ever heard of Insane Clown Posse? Those kind of people are no different than blacks in my mind and they will receive the worst fate when judgment day comes. Too many whites have adopted this black ‘culture’ probably because the expression of white culture has been all but outlawed. But it will be no excuse.

      • Insane Clown Posse is the thing which brought the axiom front and center to my head: What you see, you can never un-see.

        That said, I’m still waiting for someone to point out the white analogue to East St. Louis.

    • Pro_Whitey

      Murray is basically a Kennedy-Johnson liberal and would-be leftist who has the handicap of thinking that leftism is all on the level and that they should observe facts and seek truth.

    • JohnEngelman

      It is probably because he tells you things you do not want to believe.

      • When I asked elsewhere in this thread for someone to provide me the white equivalent to East St. Louis, I wasn’t just asking those particular commenters to whom I was responding, that was for everyone, including you.


  • Jesse James

    College age children are extremely easy to influence and manipulate by leftist agitators. If one of those community organizer types talked to them a bit they could talk them into walking out from a speaker who claimed the earth was round and orbits around the sun.

  • Spartacus

    “…Black Student Alliance…”


    They should be honest to themselves and re-name their little group “The Affirmative Action Squad” .

  • D.B. Cooper

    Here is Prashanth Kamalakanthan . You tell me, you mother loving tell ME that this is NOT a racist! How many racists have you ever met? ME? I’ve met so many, I can’t even count how many I’ve met. Many BLACK racists I’ve met have resembled our subject,

    Here is the first sentence on his opinion piece: A man is stealing your home, poisoning your food and burning the forests around you, all the while explaining why you should thank him.
    Look up his name, and you can find his articles, AND you can leave your comments.

    • John_HD

      “The whole obsession with this idea of discourse is sort of a smokescreen for the oppression that is unfolding day by day,” Kamalakanthan said.

      He obviously hates white people. He just spouts nonsensical buzzwords like “oppression”. What utter rot. Minorities are favored over whites in everything involved with school, the government, etc, etc. The only oppression going on is the oppression of any sort of racial pride and racial consciousness for whites; things that are encouraged among the swarthy races. There’s such a massive transferal of wealth from the white tax base to non-whites it’s ridiculous. This is simply more biting the hand that feeds him. He probably gets a totally free ride in school.

      We pay for everything, and they bitch about oppression. Man, I hope there is a massive white awakening and push back against this insanity in my lifetime.

      The truly bizarre thing is that so many young whites go along with the thinking of this repulsive creature. A truly pathetic state of affairs.

    • Andy

      Well then, WHAT IS HE DOING IN OUR COUNTRY? Why doesn’t he head somewhere where he doesn’t have to deal with evil racist whites?

  • libertarian1234

    “……….encouraged students to leave the Murray event on the grounds of his controversial publications on wealth and intelligence in America. ”

    What else could he do?

    The truth will destroy him, his kind, and their agenda.

    Multiculturalism has been a total disaster, and integration has been an abysmal failure.

    Diversity is not only dumb it’s a recipe for constant chaos and disharmony.

  • Luca

    “I was just disappointed that the people who disagreed with him gave up the opportunity of debating,” ….

    Obviously, this is the liberal tactic of desperation. If you are going to be completely humiliated in spite of shouting, lying, evading questions, chanting slogans and name calling, you had better walk out.

    • Franklin_Ryckaert

      Walk out is the “argument” of the dumb.

      • Major

        And symbolic of their incompetence and impotence.

        • Franklin_Ryckaert

          If only they would “walk out” of all the seats of power they now occupy, we could applaud their act.

  • bigone4u

    Universities are not bastions of free speech. I should know because I worked for one for decades. In fact, universities are bastions of politically correct speech. Anyone not PC is risking his safety, so let’s give Murray credit for courage.

  • NorthernWind

    “We don’t like that Murray had to say but we have no way to refute him, so instead of staying around and attempting to debate we will simply leave. By doing so we can show how self-righteous we are without looking like ignorant fools.”

    Whenever egalitarians say that they won’t debate us based on some supposed moral ground we can safely assume that what they really mean is that they cannot debate us.

    • Major

      Better that they didn’t open their pie wholes and remove all doubt as to their IQ.

    • SFLBIB

      Liberals reject morality until someone does something or says something to offend them. Then all of a sudden they are talking about morality. Liberals are hypocrites.

      If morality is relative as they say, how can there be a moral high ground that they claim they have?

  • joesolargenius

    The liberals don’t debate people who are smarter than them , this is why they resort to name calling. Mr.Kamalakanthan wishes to be thought of as an intelligent leader and therefore can not risk losing an argument to the enemy on his home turf. I contribute this to the drive by shooting mentality of not engaging in a gunfight with an armed adversary.

  • MekongDelta69

    So, let them walk out. That’s the only thing leftists are capable of doing. They’re not smart enough to use common sense, reason, rationale, logic and those oh-so annoying things called facts to debate, so they cover their ears and go, “la la la la la.”

    • Major

      Thats also why Obullcrap has earned his 2 out of 3 possible monkeys: see no, hear no but he speaks evil very well.

  • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

    To watch a superlative 48-minute interview with Charles Murray (conducted by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institute) on Murray’s new book Coming Apart, Google “Coming Apart” and “Peter Robinson”.

    • rowingfool

      I just watched it today. It’s a mystery to me why these guys walked out. Murray talks about the contemporary segregation of the intellectual elite and the concomitant decline of the sense of community in the working class. The result is a loss of social well being and he’s not pleased about it. One would think that these people would sorta agree with what he has to say.

  • TheCogitator

    This proves you can be smart and stupid at the same time.

  • So CAL Snowman

    I have to ask, if Prashanth Kamalakanthan (a classic American name to be sure) is so against White Male superiority, what is he doing at a school founded and built by White males?

    • OhWow

      As with anything else, minorities and liberals love to use the technology and genius of white men, but they condemn them at every corner. This is why minorities follow us around our neighborhoods. They hate us, but they can’t live without us.

    • Charles W.

      At the end of the day, no matter what they say, they know what side their bread is buttered on. Always.

      Every bit of whining they do can simply be translated as: “You must let us live among you.”

    • “what is he doing at a school founded and built by White males?”

      Probably getting a free education?

  • OhWow

    It’s always hysterical seeing geniuses like Murray and Taylor speak at schools and get into debates with white liberals and minorities. They always come away looking retarded. Maybe that’s why this time they waved the white flag. Liberals can’t debate…they can only name call. That makes it obvious who is correct and who isn’t.

    • Major

      What “liberals” always do best…

  • sbuffalonative

    The five-member student executive board of the Duke AEI chapter responded to Kamalakanthan through a letter to the editor, encouraging him to stay through the event and engage in discourse with Murray.

    Whenever the left tells you ‘we need an honest discussion’, know that they’re lying on both accounts. They want neither a discussion or to be honest.

    • hanfeedback

      Couldn’t have put it better myself.

  • Rick Brooks

    What’s a “Prashanth Kamalakanthan”

    I’m guessing it’s the name of some Hindu who’s now living here thanks to the Immigration Act of 1965.
    Meanwhile, the GOP establishment would like you to believe that (dot) Indians can quickly be turned into good little conservatives just as long as we engage them through more outreach and have more Nikki Haleys and Bobby Jindals to brag about. In reality this group has the most left-wing voting record in the country when you exclude blacks. They are largely on board with the continued race-replacement of white Americans via continued immigration from the Third World.

    • Brian

      Probably a Buddhist, and almost certainly from Sri Lanka. He’s also a white-hating dumbass who nevertheless continues to live in America to be further oppressed.

  • Sick of it

    Liberals prefer to listen to a foreigner over an American on every issue. What’s new?

    • Major

      Who did Obullcrap make his very first speech to?

      • Sick of it

        The Democratic National Convention in 2004. When pushing for high office anyway.

        • Major

          Don’t be obtuse…you know what I mean…

          • Sick of it

            Unless you’re referring to his meeting with the Bilderbergers, I have no idea. The earliest speech the ever wonderful Google trolls up is a 2002 anti-war speech.

          • Major

            He gave it as POTUS to Al Jazzera, friend. And that is essentially to his MB brothers which set off that vaunted, Arab Spring( springboard into anarchy and total islamization of the ME).

            Egypt and Libya as the most unsuccessful victims of his “policies”.

          • Sick of it

            His brother is in the Muslim Brotherhood, so that’s not a surprise.

    • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

      French novelist Jean Raspail, author of The Camp of the Saints, has a memorable term for foreigner worship: “sacralizing the other,” as in:

      ” . . . stop sacralising the Other and rediscover your neighbour, that means those next to you. Which means that we stop giving a damn sometime about these ‘Christian ideas gone mad’, as Chesterton said, or these depraved human rights, and that we take the indispensable measures to distance ourselves, without appeal, to avoid the dissolution of our country into a general métissage [literally race-mixing but used as a sort of equivalent of the English diversity]. . .”

      • Sick of it

        Gnostics and atheists who despise our faith aren’t exactly good Christian material. In other words, these liberals aren’t Christians, not even when they play pretend in a church. How do I know? Because I know fornication, murder, adultery, lying, blaspheming God, homosexual behavior, etc. are all sins. They don’t.

  • Rusty Shackelford

    Anybody surprised? These kids have been raised to believe they know everything, so being challenged by thoughts contrary to their own scares them.

    • NorthernWind

      “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”

      -William F. Buckley Jr.

  • Charles W.

    The mere fact alone that someone named “Prashanth Kamalakanthan” has any say whatsoever about what white people discuss in a white country shows just how out of hand the problem has gotten.

    • Pro_Whitey

      Note the subcontinental taking the side of the “people of color” when it suits his interests. He’ll as likely emphasize his relative whiteness in another context when it is of some advantage then. They are not to be trusted.

  • JohnEngelman

    How can there be a dialogue on race when so many liberals refuse to listen?

  • Pelagian

    “The whole obsession with this idea of discourse is sort of a smokescreen for the oppression that is unfolding day by day,” Kamalakanthan said.

    Darnit! They discovered that smokescreen we have been working on since whitey Plato. Oh well, it was a good 2400 year run.

  • dd121

    Good little Marxists won’t even listen to other points of view, much less debate the facts.

    • Epiminondas

      Marxists? Probably a bunch of clueless do-gooder progressives.

  • MBlanc46

    What a perceptive and intelligent response to Murray’s ideas.

  • Franklin_Ryckaert

    I don’t think any Marxist regime anywhere in the world was ever established by “honest debate” in fair elections. In the democratic West the cultural Marxist regime hasn’t been installed by “honest debate” either. Sadly intolerance and dishonesty pays.

    • Epiminondas

      It helps to have a compliant news media and entertainment industry on your side.

      • Kenner

        More complicit than compliant.

  • I am surprised he was allowed to speak at all.

  • Randall Ward

    In most of the world, having a mind that is “made up” is considered to be a mind that is grown up and mature. We can’t be children all of our lives; at some point we must decide on the larger issues confronting us.
    It is the universities that teach you to “always keep an open mind”, because the university wants to change you and remake you into the “proper” person.

  • Randall Ward

    Just as well they left. To have strong opinions is to have strong opposition. Get ready for the strong opposition and keep on rolling. Do you think the walkouts could have changed the speakers mind? No, he is a grown man with a made up mind.

  • Major

    But they have good LaCrosse players and know how to hire the best strippers for their frats, right?

  • Alexandra1973

    You know what cracks me up is these “anti-racists” pointing the finger at others for being “narrow-minded.”

    My high school science teacher had a saying: Point the finger and you have three fingers pointing back at you!

  • Andy

    The “them” I was referring to was actually poorly-behaved whites. In general I think societies are better off mostly homogenous, and think there should be a black American homeland.

  • Alfred the Great

    Prime Minister Thatcher said that facts are conservative. And she’s right. Libtards hate facts because they can’t push their wares. That’s why we will never when them over by giving the facts. Voters for obama could care less about the facts; they didn’t vote for him based on facts, well, except for maybe one.

  • JohnEngelman

    Secular liberals use the theory of evolution as a stick to beat Protestant Fundamentalists with. Then they ignore the obviously evolutionary implications of books like The Bell Curve.

    What matters for evolution are not acquired differences, but innate differences.

  • Steven Bannister

    In the future: When idiots like Prashanth Kamalakanthan try to arrange a “walk out” on a speaker like Charles Murray or Jared Taylor, other students should arrange a WALK-IN to replace the students who walk out. As soon as the “anti” students leave the auditorium, have an equal number of “pro” students walk right in and take their seats.

    Someone should plan this!

  • Actually reading Murray’s & Herrnstein’s “The Bell Curve: Intelligence & Class Structure in American Society” is what led me to question white guilt and years later to look for info like AmRen. Note that the book uses a lot of statistics and if you’re uncomfortable with a lot of math then it could be difficult to get thru.

  • RyanP

    I am glad they walked out rather than shouting and disrupting the talk. That seems to be an all to common left wing tactic when they don’t like what someone has to say.

  • JohnEngelman

    The implications of what Charles Murray is talking about are harmful to the chances of ever achieving a society without poverty and racial equality. Those who derogate Charles Murray act as if he is responsible for the facts he describes.

  • Brian

    I’m an atheist, but I have no problem with my white Christian brothers and sisters. Let’s get our white nation, or at least something better than we have now, and let the religious differences slide. Personally, I’d rather live in a white Christian theocracy than this salad bowl mess we have now, no matter how atheist-friendly it became.

    We don’t have to go to church, but Christianity is a cornerstone of Western Civ.

  • Brian

    I’m sure Murray would have welcomed the opportunity to address PK’s questions head on.