Letter to the Editor, Las Cruces Sun News

On Matt Walsh’s Talk at NMSU

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I am writing to register my dismay and disappointment that NMSU, my alma mater, is offering a platform for political commentator Matt Walsh. I am confident that the administration’s decision extends a desire to enlarge the conversation about our historical present. But the invitation extended to Mr. Walsh represents, at best, a willful ignorance. It is, at worst, a tacit acceptance of the kinds of transphobic, regressive, and racially problematic content that Mr. Walsh regularly endorses in the name of “reasonable debate.” His talking points are inflammatory, deliberately dehumanizing entire swaths of your student population. Indeed, outside the campus are communities of people who are marked by differences that—although sources of solidarity, creativity, and coalition for many—Mr. Walsh’s discourse redefines as deficiencies.

These are frightening times for trans and queer students, white and of color. And you have invited this bigot to speak on a campus that claims to encourage, protect, and nurture them. The totality of Mr. Walsh’s politics alone is enough to give anyone pause. For now, I hope you draw your attention to the blatant transphobia and hatemongering that he emboldens among his followers and will be exhorted during his “speech.” Living at the margins means learning how to bear the unbearable. What the administration is inviting to campus is not conversation. Nor is it “Being Bold,” or “Making Futures” to quote the NMSU motto. Because the futures referenced in that Aggie’s motto are those future lives Mr. Walsh would gladly ignore or, worse, snuff out through violent insurrection. We as a community can do better. B Lee-Harrison Aultman, Class of 2005

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