Greg Abbott has been under fire for citing Charles Murray in his education plan. Murray is a controversial libertarian thinker who believes women's brains are smaller than men's and that “women have played a proportionally tiny part in the history of the arts and sciences.”
Charles Murray came to speak at the University of Texas last night, where he was greeted by a protest by the University Democrats. During his speech he doubled down on the same racist, misogynistic rhetoric he has been criticized for in the last weeks.
Murray was there to speak about his new book “Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010.” He addressed a small but full room hosted by the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank for which Murray is a “scholar.”
Murray began his speech with references to the controversy surrounding Greg Abbott and his “footnote.” Murray said he was sorry he had caused him grief but curmudgeonly joked that he wished Abbott would have used more of his ideas, indicating he wasn't very fond of Abbott's plan overall. Murray ended his comments on the subject by saying he'd rather just stay out of it altogether, but let's just say he didn't do Abbott any favors.
Listen to the audio of Murray's comments about women below the jump.Abbott hasn't exactly figured out how to deal with his women problems. He has so far avoided talking about the gender pay gap in his Attorney General's office and a video by the Wendy Davis Campaign suggests he abruptly canceled an April 7th press conference to avoid questions about his education plan in which Murray is cited.
Abbott used Murray's work to present his plan for Texas to lead the country in education outcomes. Murray describes himself as “a libertarian, and libertarians don't do solutions. We're not good at them.” Murray then proceeded to tell this room full of college students that a “mediocre” k- 12 education at “a mediocre school” was “not that bad.”
Murray's AEI believes the pay gap is a “myth” and says making it a political issue will discourage the hiring of women. They also say the gap is a results of “many women prefer[ing]to stay home with their children,” and that “women often choose fields of study, such as sociology, liberal arts or psychology, that pay less in the labor market.” Ultimately they say that, “once education, marital status and occupations are considered, the 'gender wage gap' all but disappears.”
Of course the real conversation about equal pay has always been predicated on equal work, which AEI seems to imply women must not be doing.
The main topic of discussion though was Murray's new book “Coming Apart: The State of White America 1960-2010.” He said he only used white males between 30-49 as his data set to prove that class and not race was the main factor in America's cultural decline. He believes it started in the 60's of course, right about the time of the Civil Rights movement that was being celebrated just across campus at the LBJ Library.
Murray happened to be speaking on campus during the Civil Rights Summit, which is — to say the least — ironic. He has been identified as a “White Nationalist” by the Southern Poverty Law Center for his views on race and gender. He opened by saying that he “had a different view of equality” and that by the definition of some he was indeed a “racist and a sexist,” and said probably “any other 'ist'” that is out there.
To prove that point when asked by a young woman in the audience about his statement that “no woman has been a significant original thinker in any of the world's great philosophical traditions,” he said, “…until somebody gives me evidence to the contrary, yea I'll stick with that statement.”
You can hear the audio here:
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