Saturday, March 5, 2011

Matt Roloff Speaks At Diversity Week; University of Portland

Matt Roloff was a guest speaker at the University of Portland for 'Diversity week' on Monday night. The University of Portland was one of the campuses that was featured in an episode of Little People, Big World, when Jeremy and Zach were visiting different colleges and universities.

Amanda Blas of The Beacon, has an article about Matt's speech.

At the end of the article it quotes Matt stating that he was just discussing with his lawyers about doing a Christmas Special for television.

Here are some of Matt's quotes from his speech:

- "Watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Watch your words, for they become your actions," Roloff said. "Watch your actions, for they become your character. Watch your character, for they become destiny. But what if we were to change the word ‘watch' to ‘craft'?"

-Roloff spent most his childhood in and out of hospitals. It was during those days that Roloff first experienced diversity, encountering people with various medical conditions.
"I was submersed in diversity," Roloff said. "At the time, I thought it was a bad thing. But looking back, it was a blessing to be surrounded by people so different."

-"I was so different that when I was born, the doctors didn't even want to show me to my mom," Roloff said. "They were so freaked out about my short arms and short legs."

- "I used to come home crying because people would tease me at school that I'm short," Roloff said. "And one day, my dad said, ‘So what? You are short!' And I thought about it and said, ‘You know what? You're right.'"

- "When it comes to diversity, there are two sides to the coin," Roloff said. "You can practice being the victim, or you can practice the other side to be the person who's accepting when people you encounter are different. I decided early on I wasn't going to be a victim."

- Having encountered many people who did not accept him because of his appearance, Roloff gave students some useful advice.
"Submerge yourself and practice celebrating diversity," Roloff said. "I would hope all of you at your age take the opportunity not to wait until later in life, but begin practicing now."

- "If you can wrap your head around a little person being equal to you, you can wrap your head around all kinds of diversity," Roloff said.

Though "Little People, Big World" has come to an end after being featured on TLC for six seasons, there is talk of the show's return.
"Right before this, we were on the phone with our lawyers," Roloff said. "They were talking about us having a Christmas special."

"In 2009, UP was featured in one of the show's fifth season episodes, "School of Hard Knocks," in which Roloff's twin sons, Jeremy and Zach, visit the campus with his wife, Amy. The twins ended up enrolling at Portland Community College, but UP may not be completely out of the picture.
"I noticed you guys have a photography department," Roloff said. "I'll have to let my son Jeremy know to check it out."

You can read the full article on The Beacon's site:


Brandon said...

"Watch your thoughts, for they become your words. Watch your words, for they become your actions," Roloff said. "Watch your actions, for they become your character. Watch your character, for they become destiny."

Some of what Matt's says sounds wise on the surface, but maybe he should work on his own kids, esp. his Golden boy, Jeremy?

Come on, 'Watch your thoughts, watch your words, watch your actions'...coming from the father of the guy that has used just about every offensive word and is amusing himself by throwing cats around with his best friend.

Ashley said...

I think it's misleading to say there is talk of the show's return when all it is is talk of a special at the end of the year. That's not really anything new.

Timothy said...

Brandon, that's true, but the part I was drawn to for the same reason as yours, was Matt's advice to submerge yourself and celebrate diversity.

Could we ask Matt's kids how diverse their friends are? But no. can't ask, because Matt doesn't let them talk freely for fear of them being honest!

How many of Matt's kids friends are not almost identical to themselves? All those black and gay and financially poor friends?

Once again, Matt gives advice that he or his family doesn't practice.

Before the Jeremy fan brigade attacks me, yeah I know I'm forgetting about Jeremy's many close black and gay friends that are mysteriously absent, but exist according to Jeremy...I just don't believe him.

Austin said...

This is an honest question for Spirits or anyone that might know?

Does Matt go to that John Mark "gays need to pray to be cured of their perversion or else they're going to Hell" church with Jeremy?

Matt should answer that question. How can he be taken seriously as a diversity speaker if they have very bigoted and intolerant views on people different from them?

Because I see Matt just saying empty words to get a pay check and pulling a fast one on people that don't know all the facts.

Matt, I am a guy. I am attracted to guys, not girls. As per Jeremy's church, I should not accept myself and my only solution is to pray to God and then I will be saved when God rids me of my difference. Is that your advice to me?

Is your "accept diversity" message the same one you're giving to Jeremy and John Mark?

Or is it only gay people that you single out to not accept themselves and to not be accepted by others?

Allison Markham said...

Timothy, you said about the Roloffs and poor (poor as in not having lots of money) friends. I've seen a lot of those comments come up at different times when I've read this this site.

Is there something I should know? Did the Roloffs say something about only being friends with rich people or something like that?


Timothy said...

Allison, I'm not sure what comment in the past you're referring to but people have made the point that most of the Roloffs friends are rich or very comfortable financially.

Somebody said that once not as a criticism, but as a comment about the Roloff kids and some people argued that it wasn't true.

But it is :) Most of the Roloff kid's friends are given cars or trucks when they are 16. Most of the Roloff kids friends who go to the private Christian school have to be in a good position financially to afford to send their kids there.

Then there's the stories that always pop up. Like the only fans that the Roloffs welcome are rich fans that support their charity and buy or give things to them.

There's a family that of fans that bought an auction item at Amy's charity to have dinner with her and a chef or something. The family apparently has lots of money. They then invited Matt and Jeremy on a yacht trip around the BVIs.

I notice that the fans that the Roloffs pay attention to just have to be rich and buy them things or give them things. You should search the name "Mackenzie" on Spirits site. The sad part of that is they sound like good people. It is said they have a daughter that is mentally challenged and they support organizations that are trying to raise awareness that the word or insult "You're a retard" is hurtful and should end. It's sad because they were fooled by the Roloffs image and Jeremy who commonly used "retard" as a "stupid" insult with his friends all of the time and Matt whose staff he allows to spread the message of "words don't hurt.

But good ole Jer and Matt, make fools of that family by getting free stuff from them because they don't know the truth.

There's another story from the luxury cruise Amy, Jeremy and Zach were on. There's a you tube video with pictures and the story in there. Someone observed Jeremy and Zach as being snobs and the girl that they hung around with on the cruise is a rich girl that was on her 27th cruise. The Mom posted here saying they are not rich, although she didn't dispute the 27 cruises and also said they are personal friends of the Captain of the Oasis of the Seas...Walmart employees often run in the social circle that have friends that are Captains of the biggest cruise ship in the world.

Laura S said...

I don't understand why people think Jeremy's beliefs or actions have anything to do with Matt's ability as a speaker?

*If* Jeremy thinks gay people aren't alright and should be changed, that is Jeremy's belief. As many people have written, Jeremy is almost 21.

Matt is not Jeremy. I don't have the same political beliefs as my parents or as my sister.

Jeremy's beliefs or words should be irrelevant to Matt's strength or worth as a speaker.

Tammy said...

I really like what Matt said. The students that heard him sounded impressed. How do you go about trying to bring Matt to my local college?

Spiritswander said...

Hi Tammy,

If you're interested in booking Matt for an event, you can find the information you need on Matt's speaking website:

You can click on the "Matt on Campus" tab if it's for a college or university.

Rap541 said...

Jeremy is a an adult that Matt supports monetarily. When Matt is paid money to speak on diversity, you have to remember that some of that money goes to Matt's adult, unemployed son who lives at home with Matt and has plenty of free time to attend his non-diverse church and plenty of free time to encourage others to attend his non-diverse church.

Thats before I even touch on the possibility that Matt isn't the most trustworthy person on the face of the earth.

BeckyM said...

Jeremy's beliefs would be his own, if we all didn't know that Matt and Amy support conservative, right wing politics and have chosen to financially support them through fundraisers, relying upon their "brand." (see previous blog post here at Sprits).

Matt and Amy are both too savvy to state upfront what they think about gays, but notice they have not been asked directly anything about their beliefs as it relates to gay rights - only about themselves and their own personal stories. This in itself is very telling.

Just like the Cat-gate, Amy and Matt dodge anything that could get anyone to pin them down. IMO lack of stating upfront that their support of diversity includes gays, blacks, Hispanics, Jews etc... (which they have not done in any interview I have read here) is a statement in itself.

If the soft, PR interviews give people a warm fuzzy feeling, great. But Matts' lack of opinion actually supports the idea that he backs Jeremy's leanings (i.e. "women are to be in the kitchen", using degoratory words specific to minorities, sexual orientation is a sin against God).

Matt IS A man and I hope no one can deny it. So why doesn't he speak up?

Caleb said...

Timothy you talk about the "stories" like its automatically the truth because you read it here or saw on Youtube. It's gossip. How lame.

Allison, I bet the Roloff family has many friends that aren't wealthy and just because you go to private school, doesn't make you rich. I did and we were not well off at all.

Mike P. said...

In coursework at the University of Oregon in the late 70s, I encountered the human rights director for the City of Eugene.

He was a black man, charged with administration of the city's anti-discrimination ordinances, and you'd think that he'd have a good knowledge of the mechanisms and targets of discrimination.

Yet he was so preoccupied with the particular grievances of his own race that he could scarcely admit that Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans also fell under the ordinances; he actively resisted addition of women and the handicapped to the wording; and he was virtually apoplectic when the gay community sought legal protection as Anita Bryant shrilled her poisonous nonsense across the country.

He believed that he'd begun a fine career in Human Rights, yet he possessed neither the wit nor the simple generosity to forget himself and to take the broad view; it was all about himself and "his people," and the chip on his shoulder.

The field of human rights is littered with figures like this man, and I consider Matt and Amt Roloff to be merely the latest arrivals.

The grasping vulgarity of selling themselves as "diversity" speakers, while supporting backstage the most exclusionary religion and local politics, is impossible to swallow; the Roloff couple demean and soil the message that they have converted into their meal ticket.

Roloff's latest words particularly (plagiarized whole from another source), are simply examples of paycheck hypocrisy; who can forget that just a couple months ago, Roloff seriously posed as a victim of his hospital experience, compared his doctors to the Nazi Josef Mengele, their treatments to Mengele's experiments, and himself to the holocaust prey.

What magic a speaking fee can perform!

And that's just the beginning.

One last thing: Anyone who knowns children knows that they are all but exact duplicates of their parents in terms of social attitudes, politics and religious opinion, and that it's not until they are out of the house and challenged by the opinion of others that their duplication fades.

At this point, Jeremy speaks his parents' opinions, not his own; he speaks the beliefs--religious and social--of his parents, who have been careful to ensure by his "schooling" at Faith Bible that nothing they believe is contradicted. What Jeremy says is what Matt and Amy Roloff believe. Don't ever insist otherwise.