Clash Coming Over White Supremacist Appearance At UF

Clash Coming Over White Supremacist Appearance At UF co-editor Richard Spencer might speak at the University of Florida in September.

The Gainesville Sun reports Spencer, who was at the center of the violent white nationalist rallies in Charlottesville this past weekend, and his organization, the National Policy Institute, have reserved a space on campus for a speaking event. "We will share informations and support any actions taken to not allow this event to take place", the page says.

UF President Kent Fuchs has responded to students and staff that while he is disgusted by Spencer's message, his hands are tied, and he must allow the event just as any third party renter can reserve space on campus, regardless of message. The groups must cover rental expenses and security costs.

In hopes of avoiding similar violence, UF said it's developing a security plan and working with other colleges across the county who've held similar events. He also denounced the statements and symbols involved with the organization. The University of Florida is a community of learners, educators and scholars. "We encourage open and honest dialogue and we strive to build an inclusive environment".

Fuchs said that while Spencer's views do not align with those of the university, the university has to follow and uphold the First Amendment.

Spencer's "Unite the Right" protest in Charlottesville, Virginia began Friday night with a tiki-torch-lit procession to the confederate monument near the University of Virginia campus, Spencer's alma mater. In an email, Fuchs urged students not to engage with the group to limit its media exposure. On Saturday, counter protesters clashed with the swastika-sporting white nationalists, leading the governor to declare a state of emergency around 11 a.m., an hour before the rally was set to start. That these events occurred on and around the grounds of one of our nation's great universities only adds to our dismay and deepens our profound sympathies.



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