Editorial: Wintrich’s speech that seeks to divide is unwelcome

Students protest Gateway Pundit's Lucian Wintrich during his lecture entitled "It's OK to be White" on Tuesday night. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

Students protest Gateway Pundit's Lucian Wintrich during his lecture entitled "It's OK to be White" on Tuesday night. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

On Tuesday night, the UConn College Republicans brought the controversial White House correspondent for Gateway Pundit Lucian Wintrich to give a lecture titled “It’s OK to be White.” By now, the entire campus should know what happened. Wintrich faced a crowd of protestors made up of UConn students and community members intent on challenging his dividing rhetoric. The event started winding down when groups of protestors left en masse.

The lecture fully ended after Wintrich attacked a woman that had grabbed his speech and was led out of the auditorium by police. He was eventually charged with second-degree breach of peace, a misdemeanor.

Wintrich said that his lecture and the event were supposed to bring people together. His speech, which was posted on the Gateway Pundit website, tells a different story. Throughout the speech, Wintrich belittles the culture of many minorities including Native Americans and those of African descent. He presented a slideshow that made references to Hitler and called the members of the left frauds. Wintrich targeted members of the LGBTQ community and attacked others because of their gender.

While interacting with students he felt the need to attack those because of the way they looked and presented themselves. Wintrich, and the UConn College Republicans by proxy, only held the event in order to provoke a reaction and divide this campus. If they truly sought a constructive conversation, they would not have invited such a blatantly offensive and disrespectful speaker.

This campus and community, however, chose to stand up to bigotry. By and large, protestors were peaceful and used the lecture as an opportunity to voice their thoughts against a system that they believe is unfair.

UConn is a place of higher education where individuals with differing opinions can discuss them in a civil manner. Discourse with the intent to offend and attack others, however, is not welcome. The principles of free speech might guarantee Wintrich’s right to speak but they also guarantee the rights of protestors to emphatically denounce the principles he stands for.

Wintrich came to UConn with the intent to divide and spread discord. The Daily Campus Editorial Board applauds and stands with all of those who worked together and are continuing to work to make sure that this never happens.