Texas A&M Students Will Protest So-Called ‘Alt-Right’ Leader Richard Spencer’s Visit

Texas A&M students will protest the self-proclaimed “alt-right” leader Richard Spencer’s visit to their campus today. Spencer will visit the university following the invitation of a college alum who admires some of Spencer’s ideas. Spencer has been accused of white supremacy.

College leadership at Texas A&M say they do not endorse Spencer’s ideas, and he will visit the college against their wishes, but because A&M is a public university, authorities cannot prevent him from coming on to campus, CNN reports.

“To be clear, Texas A&M University — including faculty, staff, students and/or student groups — did not invite this speaker to our campus nor do we endorse his rhetoric in any way,” Texas A&M Senior Vice President Amy Smith said in a statement.

A former A&M student, Preston Wiginton, invited Spencer to speak at the college. Members of the public in College Station, Texas, can book rooms and events at the college. Wiginton told CNN he did not agree with everything Spencer had said but he was sympathetic to the so-called “alt-right.”

Wiginton said that as a white person, he believed the United States had once been a white nation and he did not want to become a minority in his own country. Wiginton said that Donald Trump’s election had validated the so-called “alt-right.”

Alt-Right supporters believe Trump’s victory validates their views [Image by Evan Rucci/AP Images]

“Why would I want to see America become less white?” Wiginton said on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360. “Why would I want to be displaced and marginalized?”

Wiginton does not believe that certain groups can assimilate into American society, pointing particularly to immigrants from Somalia. He said skin color was not the only thing that separated races. Wiginton said there were cultural differences and differences in IQ between races, echoing common themes of the so-called “alt-right.”

Students and staff at Texas A&M plan to protest Spencer’s visit. An alternative event will be held on campus while Spencer is speaking. The university is sponsoring the protest event since college authorities are not able to bar Spencer from campus.

Richard Spencer has said he is surprised by the planned protests against him. Spencer emerged as a national figure and a leader of the so-called “alt-right” over the last few years. He is the head of the National Policy Institute, a group closely associated with the so-called “alt-right” movement. During the presidential election campaign, the so-called “alt-right” rose to greater prominence and the mainstream media started looking into Spencer and his ideas.

College authorities have stressed they did not invite Spencer [Image by Liero/iStock]

Following Trump’s election victory, a group of self-described “alt-right” supporters held a victory party in Washington, D.C. Spencer was the main speaker at the event, and he was criticized for “hateful” rhetoric and supporting white supremacist ideas. Spencer has said many times that white people face become a marginal minority in the U.S.

At the Washington, D.C., meeting of Donald Trump’s alt-right supporters, Spencer was recorded saying “Hail victory! Hail Trump!” as many in the crowd gave a salute with their right hands. This was widely seen mimicking the behavior of Adolf Hitler’s supporters in Nazi Germany. The right-hand salute was the officially sanctioned way to praise Hitler along with the greeting “Heil Hitler!”

Spencer is due to speak at Texas A&M, but the content of his speech is unknown. A&M students and staff have disavowed his visit and his alt-right, white supremacist views. Protesters have pledged to act peacefully and attend the college-sponsored event that will take place at the same time as Spencer’s speech.

Texas A&M is a public university and so it is unable to prevent speakers and guests from visiting and accepting invitations from those who have booked events on the A&M campus. College authorities have stressed that no student society or official university body has invited the so-called “alt-right” leader.

[Featured Image by wellesenterprises/iStock]

Share this article: Texas A&M Students Will Protest So-Called ‘Alt-Right’ Leader Richard Spencer’s Visit
More from Inquisitr