Controversial commentator riles up campus

Life, gender, marriage debated


Ky McCombe

Freshman legal studies major Orin Smith (right) smiles candidly at senior communication major Alex Koon (left) as they protest speaker Matt Walsh with other students outside the University Center, Monday evening, Oct.4, 2021.

Carina Lopez, Assistant Campus News Editor

The UW-Whitewater College of Republicans hosted conservative commentator Matt Walsh,  who presented “The War on Reality: Why the Left has set out to redefine life, gender and marriage” to over 290 attendees Monday, Oct. 4. The speaker came the same week that UW-Whitewater also hosted its annual Diversity Forum. 

“In the face of the constant liberal bias on campus, the UW-Whitewater College Republicans are proud to be the conservative voice for students at Whitewater. One of my primary goals is to foster the freedom of speech and diversity of thought here on campus,” said UW-Whitewater College Republicans Chairman John Beauchamp. “I am excited to be partnering with Young America’s Foundation to host one of today’s most prominent conservative figures on campus to promote and encourage that same environment of civil discourse and the sharing of thoughts and ideas on how our great country can be improved upon.”

Walsh made arguments opposing same-sex marriage, saying that heterosexual relationships and same-sex marriages are not the same. A man and a woman can create life, whereas two men or two women cannot. 

The shift of gender roles and gender identity was dissected, explaining that Walsh believes that gender is not a construct, and that there is no spectrum -only sexes of male and female. 

Protestors gathered outside of Hyland Hall during the event chanting “We are here, we are queer,” among other statements against the speaker’s stance. Many wondered why the university would allow such a speaker to come to campus at all. 

“We are protesting Matt Walsh who is a self-proclaimed fascist. It’s in his Twitter bio and he’s tweeted about how he’s proud of being a fascist. He’s talking about how the Left is redefining life, gender and marriage, and we just really want to say that we’re optimizing life, gender and marriage,” said freshman Orin Smith. “We are here to celebrate our identities. We aren’t imposing, we aren’t coming into your space. But we are here and we exist and we’re happy to do that.”

Walsh also questioned the university’s COVID-19 mask regulations. School regulation states that when drinking water, masks can be off until finished. So Walsh provided bottles of water for the audience and suggested drinking “gradually” to stay hydrated. 

“The topic of my talk today is the war on reality, which is really being waged in our culture. That’s an easy transition, I think, of this topic, because many of the COVID policies that we’ve seen across the country represent a war on reality,” said Walsh. “But the war goes beyond that, it’s deeper than that. I believe COVID policies aside, that this war is waged through three primary avenues: life, marriage and gender. By redefining these three things – these three foundations of human civilization – the Left seeks to and in many ways succeeded in undermining reality and truth.”

Each issue was discussed in part. Life and abortion began the conversation. Ten arguments for abortion, including women’s rights, reproductive rights and rape situations, were presented – each with his response as to why they are not valid. 

“The question is not if women should be able to choose generally, but if they should be able to choose to intentionally destroy innocent human life, and if you say that they do have that right, you have to defend that choice on its merit,” said Walsh.  

After the fourth attempt to host the speaker on campus due to COVID-19 restrictions, the organization was finally able to make the event happen last week, but to the dismay of many students who object to his controversial stance. Matt Walsh is a popular conservative writer and speaker whose ideas revolve around controversial topics such as religion, politics, gender and culture. 

Despite multiple requests over the course of the last week, university administration did not provide comment.