He's crass, offensive, provocative, arrogant and has been raising hell across the US and recently in Australia too.
Free speech activist and fierce warrior against political correctness, Milo Yiannopoulos was in Australia for a week at the beginning of December. 'The one man wrecking crew' as he describes himself, toured across the states of Australia stirring up controversy and mayhem wherever he went. Without fail protesters rocked up to each event in every city to protest this so-called proponent of 'hate speech'. Most notorious of all was Melbourne where hundreds of left-wing activists came to protest, leading to violent encounters with Milo supporters.
While in Australia Milo attacked Waleed Aly and other progressive personalities saying they are too cowardly to debate him. He was condemned by the premier of Western Australia and spoke at Parliament House in spite of attempts by the Greens Party to have him banned.
Milo seems to be a walking contradiction. He is a Catholic gay man married to a black man who says Muslims should be deported and says unflattering things about Aboriginal art. He's a rock star journalist who is staunchly pro-life and on many issues is unapologetically right-wing.
The left hate him and centrists and conservatives are divided on their opinion about him. He commanded huge audiences at his shows in Australia bringing together everyone from conservatives like Cory Bernardi to young cultural rebels who hate the politically correct establishment.
Who is Milo?
Milo has rapidly risen to fame over the last several years becoming one of the most prominent and influential figures in the new conservative counter-culture.
I first heard of Milo about 3 years ago when a friend of mine started telling me about a movement of gamers who were standing up to media corruption in the video games industry called Gamergate. Gamers came under unfair attack from feminist journalists and the gamers fought back en masse becoming one of the biggest push backs against the cultural dominance of the left in decades. One of the main journalists who took up the cause of defending the gamers was Milo Yiannopoulos.
I soon after noticed witty and intelligent Milo videos critiquing common feminist talking points popping up on YouTube.
Then in 2016 Milo became infamous as a charismatic outspoken Trump supporter. Milo's reputation as a rabble rouser grew as he toured college campuses across America, creating controversy wherever he went. He was indirectly condemned by Hillary Clinton a few months before the US election and after the election Milo's speaking events had increasing protest and violence from leftist activists.
Having created this kind of reputation it is not surprising that many people in Australia were interested in going to hear what he had to say and find out why he was causing such a stir.
I went to Milo's first show in Australia, in Adelaide. About 1000 people packed out the function centre that hosted him. What struck me was the sense of energy and excitement in the air. I think there was a feeling that there was something unique about what was happening and an awareness that history was being made.
When before in popular culture had a conservative speaker attracted so much interest and enthusiasm from so many different types of people? Everyone from gay liberals, to young people, to older conservative voters.
Milo's role in society
In spite of his often irreverent profanity-laden discourse Milo has emerged as something of an unlikely prophet in a time of much political controversy.
We now have gay marriage in Australia. One of the things that stood out to me was Milo standing up for the religious liberties of Christians in the new situation we find ourselves in where it appears it is something we will have to fight for. Interesting times we live in when some progressive Christian leaders seem to be attacking Christian civil liberties but a married gay man strongly defends them!
Likely in the next month and a half we will see a tide of political controversy over the date of Australia Day. In this arena we have Milo fiercely defending the culture created by European settlement as something to be honoured, protected and celebrated. There will be a campaign to change the date but there is also push back coming from people like Mark Latham and Aboriginal activist Jacinta Price to keep the date on January 26.
There is debate about whether Milo's approach is the best way for conservatives to fight the culture wars. Some people look at Milo and just see the offensive and provocative rhetoric and think there is not much more to him than that. But I think there is no question Milo has played an important role in stoking the fires of contrarian activism this month in Australia.
It is clear that while the left seems to be gaining ground in this country, there is an energy of grassroots conservative push back stirring that is going to fight back hard in the times ahead.
Conor is from Adelaide South Australia. He is a gardener and is involved in ministry. He loves God, music, reading and thinking deeply about philosophy and current events in the world.
Conor is from Adelaide, South Australia. He has a history degree from Tabor College and has a gardening business. Conor has played in Christian heavy metal band Synnove. He is involved in Operation Canaan, a ministry that prays and intercedes for the music scene. He loves God, music, reading, traveling and thinking deeply about philosophy and current events in the world.
Conor Ryan’s previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/conor-ryan.html