Dartmouth College has distanced itself from comments made by one of its professors on NBC's "Meet the Press" over the weekend that appeared to defend violence from the "antifa" movement.
NBC host Chuck Todd on Sunday challenged Mark Bray, a visiting scholar at Dartmouth's Gender Research Institute, on whether it is OK for the left-wing, anti-fascist antifa group to preemptively attack white supremacist protesters.
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"You seem to be a very small minority here who is defending the idea of violence considering that somebody died in Charlottesville," Todd said. "Why do you defend confronting in a violent way?"
"Well, first I would contest the notion that I'm not that small of a minority," Bray responded. "I think that a lot of people recognize that, when pushed, self-defense is a legitimate response to white supremacy and neo-Nazi violence."
But the Southern Poverty Law Center's Richard Cohen disagreed. "I think it's a spectacularly bad idea to give one group of people the right to silence another group of people," he said.
"Fascism cannot be defeated through speech," Bray countered.
In response to the interview, Dartmouth issued a statement indicating the school does not agree with Bray's views.
"Recent statements made by Lecturer in History Mark Bray supporting violent protest do not represent the views of Dartmouth," read the statement from President Philip J. Hanlon.
"As an institution, we condemn anything but civil discourse in the exchange of opinions and ideas," the statement continued. "Dartmouth embraces free speech and open inquiry in all matters, and all on our campus enjoy the freedom to speak, write, listen, and debate in pursuit of better learning and understanding."
"However," Hanlon concluded, "the endorsement of violence in any form is contrary to Dartmouth values."
Bray has written a new book on the antifa movement, titled Antifa: the Anti-Fascist Handbook.