Johnson’s Speaker Provokes Complaints of Racism and Sexism
MADISON — According to a new report in U.S. Senate Candidate Ron Johnson’s hometown newspaper, the Oshkosh Northwestern, Johnson led an effort to bring extremist education “expert” Charles Murray to speak to education and business leaders in Oshkosh – leading the community to demand an apology for Murray’s elitist, offensive theories.
Murray has made a career trying to “resume some of the most poisonous battles of the late 1960s and '70s,” by making the case that some groups and ethnicities are more superior to others for biological or genetic reasons.
Johnson told the Northwestern that “he was not familiar” with Murray’s controversial views.
But the paper reported that as the board member of a community group, Johnson played a “key role” in bringing Charles Murray as the keynote speaker for the event in March over the objections of other members who questioned Murray’s credibility because he wrote that “Too many students go to college, and America’s future depends on the truly gifted.” Johnson suggested Murray despite the objections of others, “Because he had read some of his writings and felt it was a good fit,” one council member told the Northwestern.
In addition, according to the newspaper’s report, Murray told a member of the audience after his speech that, “East Asians have more of the visual-spatial abilities associated with engineering than whites or any other ethnic group.”
"It’s simply not credible for Johnson to claim he was not familiar with Murray’s divisive past, he is not shooting straight with voters,” said Mike Tate, Chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. "The fact is Johnson embraces the sort of elite extremism that Murray spews and now that he is a candidate for U.S. Senate, Ron Johnson is trying fool people and distance himself from himself.”
In 1994, Bob Herbert, columnist for the New York Times wrote:
“Mr. Murray gets his kicks by thinking up ways to drape the cloak of respectability over the obscene and long-discredited views of the world's most rabid racists.”
Johnson’s invited guest Charles Murray has a long history of glorifying elitism and intolerance. Among his writings:
In April 2005 he asked, “Where are the female Einsteins?” — an article that sought biological and genetic explanations to justify “why men and women differ at the highest levels of accomplishment.” National Post, Nov. 22, 2005
“The educational system is living a lie. The lie is that every child can be anything he or she wants to be.” Wall Street Journal, Aug. 22, 2008
“Only a small minority of high-school graduates have the intelligence to succeed in college.” National Affairs Magazine, Oct. 1, 2009
Murray described the Bush Administration’s No Child Left Behind Act: “It's an idiotic goal that refuses to accept that many children just aren't smart enough to become proficient in reading and math.” Sept. 10, 2008