White nationalist group seeks MSU appearance

Thursday, 17 Aug, 2017

Fuchs' letter states that Spencer speaking at UF is not an event that is affiliated with the campus or any campus group, instead, Spencer's company, The National Policy Institute, has sought to rent space for Spencer to speak.

UF's decision comes after crowds of white nationalists and white supremacists clashed with counterprotesters last weekend in Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia.

The same day the largest white nationalist protest in years erupted in violence - a protester rammed his vehicle into counter protesters, killing one - the University of Florida announced that the man behind the march wants to speak on campus, and the school might let him.

But the appropriate response to hateful speech and threats of violence is not denying the speakers the right to speak, particularly at a public university.

Fuchs decried Spencer's "racist rhetoric", saying that it did not align with the university's values.

"We're concerned about what might happen at the University of Florida and we're having to grapple with a lot of the same things our community is grappling with: Free speech versus our safe community", said Janine Sikes, the UF spokeswoman.

In a statement, Simon said the university is reviewing the request for space to accommodate a speaker "closely in light of the deplorable violence in Charlottesville, Va., last weekend". He is co-editor of AltRight.com and leader of the National Policy Institute. "I don't know who's advising them on why they think they can do this".

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On Tuesday, Texas A&M University canceled a similar rally scheduled to take place on its campus September 11.

Fuchs said the decision stemmed from the potential for violence, not the words or ideas. They can require Spencer's group to pay up front for the projected security costs.

Spencer was one of several prominent "alt-right" leaders to attend the rally called "Unite the Right". "We are also aware of information online through multiple forums and blogs surrounding the event", the Gainesville Police Department said in a Facebook post.

Rick Scott has been in contact with University of Florida officials regarding Spencer's potential visit.

"UCF stands alongside those who oppose the racism, bigotry, and hate seen in Charlottesville", he said in a statement. "What a mistake." The obligation of law enforcement is to ensure free speech rights of all sides are protected, and there is a better course for UF to take.

"We all do have free speech, but there are parameters on that if it's looking at endangering other people", she said.

James Alex Fields Jr., a young man who was said to idolize Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany in high school, has been charged with killing a woman by slamming a auto into a group of counter-protesters at a white nationalist rally Sunday in Charlottesville.