A town in the Texas Panhandle is likely one of the last places you would expect the left’s radical LGBT agenda to surface, but because no one is safe from the left’s ideological advances, a conservative community and university is now the epicenter of a fierce battle over on-campus drag queen shows.
Tucked far away from the blue takeovers and policies that plague places like Dallas, Houston, and Austin is Canyon, a 15,221 populated town that acts as a gateway to the renowned Palo Duro State Park. Canyon is one of America’s most conservative towns, evidenced by its voters’ overwhelming embrace of Trump in 2020.
More importantly, Canyon is home to West Texas A&M University, which considers itself the Lone Star State’s “most conservative 21st-century public university.”
Approximately 87 percent of WTAMU’s students are from within the state. In fact, many come from the farmer and cattle rancher communities that make up Texas’ prairies and plains and are responsible for keeping the state under Republican control.
Despite their long-held reputations for being quiet, rural refuges for conservative Texans, the WTAMU and Canyon communities became embroiled in what the corporate media tried to paint as a national scandal this week when university President Walter Wendler announced the cancellation of a student drag queen event on campus.
With the aid of several other student organizations, Spectrum, WTAMU’s primary LGBT student group, planned to host an on-campus drag show at the end of the month. Proceeds from the event would be funneled to The Trevor Project, an activist organization that touts the chemical castration and mutilation of minors.
In a letter to WTAMU administrators and students on Monday, Wendler declared that the show must not go on because “Drag shows are derisive, divisive and demoralizing misogyny, no matter the stated intent” and “a person or group should not attempt to elevate itself or a cause by mocking another person or group.”
“No amount of fancy rhetorical footwork or legal wordsmithing eludes the fact that drag shows denigrate and demean women — noble goals notwithstanding,” Wendler wrote. “A harmless drag show? Not possible. I will not appear to condone the diminishment of any group at the expense of impertinent gestures toward another group for any reason, even when the law of the land appears to require it.
Before encouraging students to “skip the show” and instead “send the dough” to The Trevor Project, Wendler accurately noted that men costuming themselves with women’s clothing is reminiscent of blackface.
“As a university president, I would not support ‘blackface’ performances on our campus, even if told the performance is a form of free speech or intended as humor. It is wrong. I do not support any show, performance or artistic expression which denigrates others — in this case, women — for any reason,” he continued.
Even though the conservatives, who are the majority of WTAMU and its surrounding communities, praised and supported Wendler’s response, protestors flocked to gather outside the WTAMU presidential office, and several alumni pledged to cut off their donations to the university. With help from corporate media coverage and national LGBT activist groups, Spectrum also circulated a petition calling for the drag show’s reinstatement.
On Friday, even though Spectrum still plans to hold the drag show using an off-campus location come March 31st, the president and vice president of WTAMU’s Spectrum chapter are now suing Wendler, WT Student Affairs Vice President Christopher Thomas, Texas A&M University Chancellor John Sharp, and the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents for “openly defying the Constitution.”
“Our little school in Canyon, Texas, we never thought it would be on the map,” Spectrum Vice President Lauren Stovall told The Washington Post.
The people of Canyon and WTAMU probably thought the same thing.
Conservatives may have once been able to count on Republican refuge states, cities, and institutions to protect them from the rampant leftism wreaking havoc on blue cities, government institutions, and schools. That’s no longer the case.
By all measures, Canyon and WTAMU are small, conservative, mostly Christian communities that don’t care to tolerate the left’s ideological advances. Yet, even the most conservative towns and universities are not safe from the clutches of radical leftist ideology.
Aversion to the wokeness that has swept the nation didn’t protect Canyon or WTAMU from leftism sneaking onto their home turf, and it won’t stop it from reaching your beloved institutions either.
Gone are the days when passivity and seclusion were enough to preserve the Christian and conservative values so many in the country hold. To win the culture war, every conservative community, even those who think they are safest, must be ready daily to fight battles against the dangerous ideology that quietly creeps into American lives.