Letter to the Editor: Students correct in opposing ‘hateful propaganda’

I begin by locating myself as both an outsider to your Middlebury College community and a neighbor. Unequivocally the violence that erupted after the protests you did not plan and collectively we all mourn. Thank you for your thoughtful resistance to Charles Murray’s hateful ideologies.
Thank you for reminding our entire community that there is no academic or free speech value in giving a powerful platform to dangerous ideologies. No individual who profits from perpetuating violent words and policies should be granted a respectful silent audience. After numerous requests to the administration to level the playing field by uninviting Murray and removing the endorsement of his ideas through a Presidential introduction, I believe you had few non-disruptive tools to ensure equality and justice for all. 
From where I stand, it was your responsibility to refuse to sit silently for 45 minutes while hateful propaganda was discussed. No hard questions asked by students or a facilitator could ever level the playing field. Instead you courageously choose actions that reorganize the discussion and shifted the distribution of power enmeshed in “air time” and silence.
It is my hope that Middlebury College administrators reimagine your acts of non-violent disruption in the face of hate as warranting gratitude rather then suspensions. To the Black, Latina, bi-racial, financially less secure and white ally students, I hope you never have to engage in a conversation about your human dignity again. Thank you for asserting your dignity through well organized civil disobedience.
The opposite of apathy is activism. Your actions of dissent demonstrated a fierce love of Middlebury College and our beloved American community.
Deirdre Kelly

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