Students and organizations at Baylor University are seeking to cancel conservative writer Matt Walsh’s April 9 speech titled, “The War On Reality: Why The Left Has Set Out To Redefine Life, Gender, And Marriage,” labeling him “homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic, and racist.”
The free campus event will be hosted by Baylor Young Americans for Freedom and will deal with “controversial and provocative insights into culture, politics, and religion.” However, not all Baylor students are pleased with the event, with some calling for its cancellation.
I reached out to Matt Walsh to gauge his thoughts on the backlash prior to the event.
“I think a lot of people, especially in the university system, have been conditioned to deal with opposing ideas by labeling the person who holds the view and silencing him,” Walsh told me. “These are people who have probably never learned how to engage intellectually or think critically. It's especially sad to see this on a college campus because the one of the fundamental goals of higher education should be the fostering of critical thinking skills.”
In describing what insight he hoped to bring to Baylor students, Walsh wrote: “I hope to talk about the effort to redefine life, marriage, and gender, and explain why it has had a deleterious effect on society. It's not going to be a religious sermon. I won't present any arguments that you'd have to be religious to agree with. I hope to engage on an entirely rational and logical level.”
Several students took to social media to express their opposition to Walsh, with tweets like the following:
The fact that Baylor would allow this man to spew his hatred on its campus is unconscionable. As a student of this university and an ally of the LGBTQ+ community, I implore you to get this event removed from campus at the very least. Hate speech has no place on this campus. 2/— bri (@brianna_lucido) March 29, 2019
ughhhhh found out a student group at Baylor invited Matt Walsh to come speak and GROSS pic.twitter.com/pdKVcfbrXg— Jenny King (@jkitsmejenny) March 29, 2019
Some students even vandalized the event’s fliers posted across campus.
Hearing reports that members of @SIFemBears are removing these flyers.— Baylor YAF (@BaylorYAF) March 29, 2019
These are approved by Student Activities. If this immature nonsense doesn’t stop, preventative action will be taken. We’ve made it known that you all are more than welcome at the event. Act like adults. https://t.co/QViCdmItSc
In response, Baylor student Michael Agapos brazenly confessed to the vandalism, tweeting, "I’ll release that shit now. My name is Michael Agapos and I took down those fliers. Ain’t my fault y’all left two whole colors off the pride flag."
I’ll release that shit now. My name is Michael Agapos and I took down those fliers. Ain’t my fault y’all left two whole colors off the pride flag https://t.co/GO3YcOKyCt— Jenkies Boi (@agapos97) March 29, 2019
Furthermore, students have created a petition titled, “Stop Matt Walsh, Conservative Blogger, from Delivering Anti-LGBTQ Speech at Baylor,” explicitly calling on Baylor administrators to cancel the event:
This cannot be allowed to take place. Please remove this from campus events. For the benefit of all LGBTQ+ students, alumni, and future students, this harmful hate speech must be kept off of our beloved campus.
In response to the petition, Baylor YAF tweeted, “There is apparently a petition to stop @MattWalshBlog from delivering his speech on campus. Again, we reiterate that all people are more than welcome at the event. There will be an open Q&A at the end for those who wish to ask a question.”
Mitchell Gunter (@rMitchellGunter) is a freelance journalist. He holds a civil engineering degree from Clemson University, and lives in Greenville, S.C.