One consistent public policy fact in Idaho, as in many other states, is that a big performance gap exists, as noted by school test scores, between white and non-white students. This is a fact. This does not mean non-white kids are dumber than their peers. What it means: There is a gap. It has persisted for years. Policymakers are working to address this problem, but their first step is to acknowledge that there is one.
Such is the plight of Dr. Charles Murray, a scholar at the center-right American Enterprise Institute. More than 20 years ago, Murray researched the role intelligence plays in socio-economic achievement. Out of hundreds of pages of research material that Murray released in his book, “The Bell Curve,” Leftist extremists focused their ire on a single paragraph in order to build a case that Murray is a racist. The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is the lead purveyor of this nonsense. SPLC of late panders to the Left with pseudo-science “hate maps” designed to appeal to unsophisticated “reporters” in the legacy media. The group has charged that Murray is a white nationalist. Hardly. But the allegation persists, and Murray has literally been driven off of college campuses where he has been invited to speak.
Murray, addressing the criticism as an academic, copy-edited his own biography on the SPLC’s webpage. The scholar’s revisions are a hoot, and you should read it. It will give you a great understanding of Murray and his response to the overwrought outrage from the Left and their house-of-cards argument. As Murray pointed out, other researchers reached the same conclusion as he, around the same time, but it is he who is the focus of the Left’s odium.
All of this brings us to today. Murray is the invited keynote speaker at an event hosted by my organization, the Idaho Freedom Foundation. The decision to bring Murray to the Gem State was easy. He, as we, want to improve people’s lives regardless of their race, religion, gender, nationality or any other factors.
Yet the Left, unhappy that someone with whom they disagree would dare to step foot in this state, has been on a virtual campaign to stomp out our event, and focused their attention on our chosen venue. That venue, the Riverside Hotel in Garden City (where IFF has previously hosted other events and speakers such as Andrew Napolitano, Stephen Moore and Matt Kibbe), canceled our six-month-old reservation just 11 days ahead of Murray’s appearance.
Even in Idaho, the Left is successfully bullying businesses, badgering, trolling and harassing anyone who dares to contradict their progressive worldview. We are but the latest victim of their bogus outrage.
Fortunately, IFF secured a new, even better venue, the breathtakingly beautiful Château des Fleurs in Eagle, Idaho. And, the Left has continued its attack, hassling that business with phone messages for having the temerity to host the event, and attacking me and my staff for hosting Murray. On Facebook, liberal commenters have heckled me as a racist.
To show how Kafka-like this manufactured drama has become, on Friday The Associated Press called each of the political candidates who plan to attend our August 26 event. The reporter asked whether they agree with the fictionalized version of Murray’s comments, which asserts that non-whites are “genetically inferior.” As a Jewish person in a family comprised of people of all sorts of races, and as a former journalist, I find such a question as outrageous as it is offensive. It’s a close cousin to asking the candidates, does Murray still beat his wife?
Racism is evil, and deserves to be called out. But so is intimidation—cloaked as "activism"—that seeks to shut down free speech and marginalize and malign anyone with the slightest divergence of opinion. Just because a person is white and talks about or studies race doesn't make him or her racist or a white nationalist.
What the Left is doing, unfortunately to great effect, is also evil and deserves to be called out. The bullying and harassment against individuals and organizations that don’t adhere to a progressive ideology should be labeled for what it is: pure bigotry and intolerance, little different from the object of the Left’s obsession.