Published: Thu, August 17, 2017
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

UF President denies request for Richard Spencer to speak on campus

UF President denies request for Richard Spencer to speak on campus

One of the most formidable faces to the so-called alt-right movement, Richard Spencer, continues to take his white nationalist ideology on the road despite a recent spate of cancellations.

Auburn University spent almost $30,000 in legal fees in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent Spencer from speaking on its campus in Alabama in April.

Meanwhile, University of Florida president Kent Fuchs released a statement Wednesday morning saying that safety concerns were paramount, especially after rhetoric was displayed on social media declaring Florida to be "the next battlefield". Regardless of how the university decides to move forward, Florida has zero tolerance for violence of any kind.

Of course the president of the state's flagship university is concerned about safety when a white nationalist wants to speak.

Spencer was scheduled to make an appearance at next month's rally.

UF spokeswoman Janine Sikes said, "the tragic demonstration of hate and violence in Charlottesville, has left us all raw and mournful, both for the victims and for American society".

"Instead of allowing hateful speech to tear us down, I urge our campus community to join together, respect one another and promote positive speech, while allowing for differing opinions". The University of Florida is a community of learners, educators and scholars. "So we will not be intimidated, nor stoop to reciprocate hate".

"However", he added, "the First Amendment does not require a public institution to risk imminent violence to students and others".

With the current events that have gripped the nation, today some big news comes down from the University of Florida. The university paid $29,000 in legal fees to settle the lawsuit.

But members of Spencer's organization, the National Policy Institute, say they'll fight for Spencer's right to appear at UF.

"San Francisco takes great pride in being a city of peace which cherishes free speech and the right to public dissent", Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday. "We would have gone home, and we probably wouldn't have come back".

Likewise, University of Florida officials had previously said they were compelled by the First Amendment to rent university space to Spencer's group for an event on September 12, even if they wholeheartedly disagreed with his views.

"Once you hold the availability of government property for speech, you can't pick and choose the speakers you like", LoMonte said in a telephone interview Monday. On the other hand, it also has to protect its students. But on the very same day, at least 1,000 people say they will be there in protest of the white nationalist. At first, many people thought it was just a rumor.

In the meantime, state, local and federal law-enforcement officials are preparing for the potential event, especially in light of the developments in Virginia.

"I don't use the term white nationalist to describe myself", he has said.

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