With Charlottesville absolutely taking over the news cycle, it wasn’t enough, apparently. Noted far-alt-right personality, Richard Spencer, is bringing his white nationalist freak show to the campus of Texas A&M.
From the Texas Tribune:
Richard Spencer, an infamous white nationalist who brought major unrest to Texas A&M University once already, will be coming to College Station again, according to the man who brought him to the university the first time. This time, the event will take place on Sept. 11 at a “White Lives Matter Rally” hosted by Preston Wiginton, a Texan with deep ties to white nationalist movements.
Wiginton announced plans for the rally Saturday afternoon, saying he had invited Spencer. On Sunday, Wiginton said Spencer confirmed plans to attend.
At the top of a Saturday press release announcing the event, Wiginton declared “TODAY CHARLOTTESVILLE TOMORROW TEXAS A&M,” referencing the violence in Virginia.
I’m going to assume that release went out before a woman was killed.
Then again, I doubt they care.
As can be expected, a counter-protest was quickly planned, with the name, “BTHO Hate.”
That would be “Beat The Hell Outta Hate,” in borrowing from a Texas A&M football chant, often used to taunt opposing teams.
The organizer of the counter protest said the event would be nonviolent, and was organized to “demonstrate that members of the Aggie community do not support the hateful bigotry espoused by Wiginton and the planned speakers.”
“White supremacists keep coming to our campus thinking we’re going to support them,” said Adam Key, a doctoral student at A&M and the organizer of the counter protest. “Just like the last time they showed up, we want to demonstrate as clearly as we can that their ideas are not welcome here.”
In December, Spencer was allowed to speak at A&M’s Memorial Student Center, with about 400 people in attendance. Not all who showed up were there to hear him speak. He was repeatedly shouted down and interrupted.
Thousands more protested outside, leading the Texas Department of Public Safety to step in and clear the area.
Still, this new event sounds as if it will be a real hoot.
Wiginton, who briefly attended A&M and has organized several white nationalist events at the school, said in his press release that he has invited Spencer back to College Station for the September event. There will be other speakers and a DJ, too, he said. The focus, he said, will be to protest “the liberal agenda of White Guilt and white genocide that is taught at most all universities in America.” There will also protests against specific A&M professors.
“Various groups throughout the country concerned with the political status of whites in America will be attending as well,” he wrote.
The counter-protesters are still cobbling together a plan of action. The college, meanwhile, has its hands tied. As a public college, they’re bound to abide by the First Amendment and allow such speech to take place on their campus.
Said A&M System Regent Tony Buzbee,
“Because we offer these facilities to the public for use, we cannot deny such use due to political ideology or speech content,” Buzbee said. “The First Amendment allows speech like this, even though it is repugnant and wrong.”
And that’s true.
Let’s just hope Charlottesville will still be fresh in the minds of rally-goers, come September.