While attending the Milo Yiannopoulos event last Friday night, I was met with apprehension. But questions were swirling in my head: Will I be safe at this event? Is this one man really as bad as everyone says he is?

I knew nothing about the Breitbart editor; only what people have said about him. Most of that has been negative, but this made me want to see what he was about all the more. Many of those I talked to felt the same way. They had no opinion one way or the other, they just wanted to see what the fuss was about.

I hope that most people realize Milo Yiannopoulos is a provocateur. Despite his love for dramatics, people still chose to get very upset over his comments. Protesters attending his talk that chose to interrupt his “racist rhetoric” only resulted in being more offended than when they began. All of the protesters in the event added more fuel to the fire.

Milo courteously asked people to wait till the Q&A to have outbursts and disagreements. No one in the audience listened to him.

During the Q&A, Milo dared someone in the audience to cut him down. No one chose to grab the mic and speak up.

There were a hundred protesters outside who would have loved to speak their mind, but protesters that chose to listen to what he had to say had no response.

Conservatives care deeply about cutting governmental fat, and getting rid of waste. This is virtually what Milo’s speech revolved around. If the country chooses to spend less on resources that go to illegal immigrants, then we would have more money for education and our own citizens. It’s simple economics, and a valid argument.

I grew up in a conservative, hard-working family. My father works 12 hour days outside, and it does break my heart to see so much of his earnings go to taxes, when he could have used the money to support his own family’s needs.

Whether you agree with his message or not, you cannot deny Milo’s right to have a platform. It is our First Amendment right. We gave a platform to protesters so they could speak out against the man.

As Milo said, people should be allowed to do and say what they want, whether it is calling someone out for wearing a hijab, or protesting the man doing it. It’s what makes our country diverse and on the cutting edge of the future.

Some of the things he said were ridiculous, and racist. I do not condone his statements, but his character is based on saying outrageous things, and getting a rise out of people who have the loudest voices. In essence, Milo’s visit allowed both sides of Albuquerque to exercise their First Amendment rights.

We are so busy giving our own opinions and telling people that they are wrong that we forget we need to listen and be compassionate toward others. Love with all of you can, and good will prevail. We all need to put our self-righteous and glorified agenda aside so we can see that everyone in the United States belongs here, even if you are Muslim, Mexican or a gay member of the so-called “alt-right.”

If you have not heard his speech for yourself, but have relied on other people’s comments regarding Milo, I implore you to please be an informed citizen and make your own decision by listening to his speech from beginning to end. 

Nikole McKibben is a news reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at news@dailylobo.com or on Twitter @nmckibben92. The views reflected in this column are her own, and do not represent the Daily Lobo.