Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson criticized college students for clampdowns on free speech this week, as racial tensions remained high on campuses.
Carson told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly Wednesday night that if university officials do not regain control, “we will move much closer to anarchy. He called for more of an “open discussion” on the issue. “
“This is just raw emotion and people just being manipulated, I think in many of these cases, by outside forces who wish to create disturbances,” he said.
Protests have spread to a handful of other schools in the past week. The Claremont McKenna College dean of students resigned Thursday after protesters decried what they felt were insufficient administrative responses to acts of racism on campus.
Carson claimed intolerance among students was not as pronounced when he was a Yale undergraduate student. He and Kelly alluded to an incident on Halloween weekend of this yearduring which Erika Christakis, who holds the title of “associate master” of one of Yale’s residential colleges, emailed students at the college to suggest that they engage in discussions or look away if they saw potentially offensive Halloween costumes.
The email angered many students, who protested and verbally attacked faculty members. Carson said he views this as a “dangerous trend.” “To deprive you of rights because I don’t know what you’re doing, that really goes against the grain of our constitutional rights,” he said.
Kelly asked Carson what he makes of a new initiative at the University of Missouri asking students to call campus police when they hear something they find insulting.
“We’re being a little too tolerant, accepting infantile behavior,” Carson said. “To say that I have a right to violate your civil rights because you’re offending me is un-American. It is unconstitutional.”
Carson fears that if university officials do not regain control of the situation, “we will move much closer to anarchy.”
Donald Trump, Carson’s chief rival for the Republican presidential nomination, called protests at Mizzou “disgusting” and referred to the school’s president, who has resigned, and the chancellor, who announced his plans to resign, as “weak, ineffective people.”