College Republicans announced author Charles Murray and Forbes Media editor-in-chief Steve Forbes as their fall speakers on Thursday night. Murray, who authored controversial book The Bell Curve, will speak on Wednesday, Nov. 1, and Forbes, who was a Republican presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000, will speak on Monday, Nov. 6.
Murray's The Bell Curve, which was published over twenty years ago, received a lot of criticism for its contention that Black people score lower on average on IQ tests than white people (and consequent implication that people can infer someone's intelligence based on their race). While the book's primary argument is that American society is becoming stratified according to class differences, its work on analysis on race data was its most prominently discussed aspect. Murray has written several books since, including New York Times bestseller "Coming Apart" in 2012. He is also a W.H. Brady Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C. dedicated to "defending human dignity, expanding human potential, and building a freer and safer world."
While the controversy surrounding Murray primarily occurred at The Bell Curve's original time of publication, the libertarian author was the subject of more controversy recently when scheduled to speak at other college campuses, including the University of Michigan and Harvard. Murray advocates against many popular policies such as welfare, affirmative action and the Department of Education because he argues that governmental policies cannot outweigh the innate differences that cause social and educational inequalities. Three students from Harvard published an op-ed in The Harvard Crimson titled "Charles Murray Doesn't Belong Here," and student activists at Michigan protested during his speech with chants such as "Charles Murray, go away. Sexist, racist, KKK."
Forbes, the second fall speaker, ran for president twice, largely campaigning on the premise of a flat income tax, a new social security system, term limits and a strong national defense, according to a College Republicans press release. He also writes editorials for Forbes and is the only writer to have won the Crystal Owl Award for writing four terms. President Ronald Reagan named Forbes Chairman of the Board for International Broadcasting (BIB) in 1985.
Murray will speak at 1:30 p.m. in the Parkes Hall Great Room, while Forbes will speak a few days later at 7 p.m. in the Fisk Hall auditorium. Murray will discuss President Trump's relationship with the working class, and Forbes' speech is titled "Business, Media & Politics in 2017." Tickets will be available starting Monday, Oct. 30 at 9 a.m. on the Norris Box Office website.