Universities across the country are grappling with allowing controversial speakers like him on campus, fearing that their hate under the guise of free speech only inspires more racial animus.
The Gateway Pundit’s White House Correspondent, Lucian Wintrich, was jailed Nov. 28, 2017, for breach of peace and released on $1,000 bail after unsuccessfully giving a speech titled “It’s OK to Be White” at the University of Connecticut. The controversial conservative was arrested after grabbing a woman who stole his notes off the lectern. Another person was arrested for allegedly breaking a window outside the lecture hall.
— Kevin Galliford (@KallMeKG) November 29, 2017\n
At the event, Wintrich wore a tuxedo — or as he called it, “outfit from white history” — to mock minorities who wear traditional ethnic clothing. The crowd of approximately 350 students drowned out his divisive rant with chants of “Go home, Nazis,” “Black lives matter” and “Fuck you.” Protesters made it impossible for Wintrich to deliver his entire speech, which implored people to actively troll progressives.
“Find something the left believes deeply in and that most civilized people would consider being completely batshit insane, whether it’s their desire to tear down America’s history, or whether it’s their belief that it’s not ok to be white, and get them to say it, get them to admit it,” he said in the speech, which was also posted online.
As universities across the country grapple with allowing controversial speakers like Wintrich, Richard Spencer, and Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on campus, many fear that inviting them to spew their hate under the guise of free speech only inspires more racial animus. In fact, posters bearing Wintrich’s “It’s OK to Be White” slogan have recently been found at the University of South Carolina, University of California, Davis, Washington State University and a Maryland high school. The slogan is seen by many as an attack on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and a way to encourage white people to believe they’re the victims of discrimination.
Sadly, these types of tactics might just be working. According to a recent survey, a significant chunk of white millennials thinks whites are victims of racial discrimination at the same rates as minorities even though the evidence doesn’t bear this out. Moreover, since the 2016 election, there has been an uptick in hate crimes, the bulk of which coming against those in marginalized communities.
Late on the night of the arrest, UConn president Susan Herbst released a statement condemning Wintrich as well as protesters.
“We live in a tense and angry time of deep political division,” Herbst said. “Our hope as educators is that creative leadership and intellectual energy can be an antidote to that sickness, especially on university campuses. Between the offensive remarks by the speaker who also appeared to aggressively grab an audience member and the reckless vandalism that followed, that was certainly not the case on our campus tonight. We are better than this.”
Despite Herbst’s strident words, colleges and universities must offer more than strong statements if they want to stem the growing racial divide on campus that only seems to be widening in the Trump era.