Low turnout at controversial speaker protest

Low turnout at controversial speaker protest

Controversial political scientist Charles Murray, known for his book “The Bell Curve,” spoke at a University of Wisconsin-Madison event Wednesday night. His visit sparked criticism with a small group of protesters gather outside of The Madison Club.

Murray has spoken at several colleges this Spring with some of his visits ending in violent protests.

Most notably, at Middlebury College in Vermont a professor ended up with a concussion.

The protest in Madison looked very different with only a handful of people in attendance.

The protest organized by several student and non-student groups began around 6:30 p.m. and lasted about an hour and a half. According to the protest’s Facebook page, about 100 people were interested in going to the event. Less than 20 showed up. The people who did protest felt very strongly against Murray’s presence near campus.

“He’s a straight up white nationalist for one and then he also just espouses really racist, sexists, homophobic, transphobic, classless ideals that really have no place at this university,” said Kelly Ward, a UW-Madison student and protest organizer.

One man dressed in a “Make America Great Again” hat stood across the street from the protesters supporting Murray’s right to speak.

Murray was a featured speaker at the UW-Madison Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy’s “Disinvited Dinner,” which is meant to host controversial speakers.

Like any Madison protest there were several police present in case anything turned ugly, but things remained very peaceful.