Ardmore, Pa. (WTXF)
Protesters at Villanova University disrupted a speech Thursday by controversial social scientist Charles Murray before being escorted from the campus lecture room.
Murray, an invited guest of the school, had barely begun his talk "What does Trumpism mean for liberty in the Long Run?" when a pair of protesters-- Villanova faculty members--interrupted holding a large banner decrying what they called "hate speech."
A school official tore the banner from their hands but the standoff delayed Murray's speech by about 10 minutes until the demonstrators were escorted from the room.
"What are we doing supporting these types of views?" asked philosophy professor Gabriel Rockhill of several dozen students outside Garry Hall.
Rockhill said Villanova had legitimated Murray's views, which he said have been widely de-bunked.
"There are ideas that are worth discussion like concerning how the earth is round," said Rockhill. "There are ideas such as the earth is flat that are not worthy of discussion."
Murray's writings on race, gender and socioeconomic status, put forth in his controversial 1994 bestseller "The Bell Curve," have generated heated debate wherever he goes and Villanova was clearly no exception.
Some protesters chanted, "Anti-worker, anti-poor, Charles Murray, no more!" some wondered whether all of Murray's detractors have read his writings.
"It's just tough for me to hear people make these claims without actually having read to his work. And I'm also someone who hasn't read his work so I'm not trying to stand above anyone else. I'm really just trying to listen-- just trying to learn," said 'Nova junior Evan McVail.
Murray promised those looking for headlines in his largely political speech would be disappointed.
Attendees told us there were no outrageous statements.
"He does have controversial statements about women and whether or not they've contributed anything to the great philosophies that we've seen in history," said grad student Christopher Quintana .
So did he hear any of that in Thursday night' speech?
"No. I think he was smart enough to avoid that."
Murray was not available for comment after his speech. Earlier this month, violent protests shut down his talk at Middleberry College in Vermont.