A recent Matt Walsh appearance at New Mexico State University upset two New Mexico state senators so much that they are now asking the university to address the “policies” that allowed Walsh to speak on campus.
Democratic State Sens. Carrie Hamblen and William Soules, along with seven other state, county, and municipal government officials, signed the letter last month addressed to the NMSU Board of Regents interim president. In the letter, the officials expressed their “extreme disappointment” that the university allowed Walsh to speak on campus at a Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) event in April.
The letter, first reported by Young America’s Foundation, accused Walsh of “encouraging violence” and “spouting racist and pro-slavery rhetoric.” The officials also accused Walsh of “minimizing accusations against known pedophiles and child abusers” without providing any basis to level the accusation.
“As you prepare for new students coming in the fall, we would welcome a serious conversation about the rationale for allowing this type of event that would knowingly frighten and harm part of the student population, learn who in the administration supported this, and what policies or actions will be taken in the future to prevent further emotional and psychological damage to some of the most vulnerable in your student population,” the letter states.
As noted by Young America’s Foundation, NMSU’s status as a public university means it had no basis to prevent Walsh from speaking on campus after he had been invited by the club that went through all the proper channels to host the event.
“NMSU had a responsibility to shield the trans and queer individuals, many of whom were disregarded when expressing their concerns and fears because of the Walsh event,” the letter adds, citing House Bill 207, which requires the state’s Human Rights Act to apply to all New Mexico government agencies, institutions, cities, counties, and public contractors. The bill also adds definitions for sex, gender, gender identity, disabilities, and sexual orientation to the Human Rights Act.
Interim President Jay Gouge reportedly asked Jewel Navarette, the chairwoman of the NMSU YAF, to meet with him and Hamblen. Navarette said she and her fellow conservative students will continue to stand up for their First Amendment rights.
“We will continue to fight for the right to free speech and expression on our campus,” she said. “These public officials have no right to say what kind of ideas can or cannot be expressed at NMSU.”
The letter was also signed by state Rep. Angelica Rubio; Lac Cruces Council Mayor Pro Tem Kasandra Gandara; Las Cruces City Councilors Becky Corran, Johana Bencomo, and Becki Graham; and Dona Ana County Commissioners Shannon Reynolds and Christopher Schaljo-Hernandez.