tiptrot.com October 23, 2017

University of Florida rejects request for white supremacist to speak

17 August 2017, 07:28 | Nichole Osborne

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Richard Spencer at annual CPAC convention

Just days after a weekend filled with racial hatred, violence and murder in Charlottesville, Virginia, The University of Florida may be forced to host Richard Spencer, the president of the National Policy Institute.

UF President Kent Fuchs sent an email to staff this weekend, alerting them that National Policy Institute President Richard Spencer, who made an appearance at the Charlottesville event, could speak at the university next month.

Emerson did not attend UF, but knows many who did after he worked as part of the Obama campaign on campus in 2008. He vowed to take UF to court.

Cameron Padgett, a Spencer supporter who was organizing the campus event in Gainesville, was told of the university's decision by an Associated Press reporter on Wednesday.

While condemning violence and promising to "get rid of anyone that thinks that that's OK", he said he believed there was a "very good chance" that James Fields, who has been charged with the murder of Ms Heyer after allegedly driving his auto into crowds of anti-racism protestors, would be cleared of murder. The University of Florida should reconsider, work with the state to create a responsible security plan and let Spencer decide whether he wants to meet those requirements. She said the document Padgett signed was a preliminary estimate for facility costs, not a rental contract.

In a letter posted to Facebook following the violence in Charlottesville, the University of Florida's president said Spencer is planning an event the college. A federal judge ruled the speech had to go on, based onFirst Amendment grounds.

He agrees, free speech, even racist, hate speech, is protected under the First Amendment, but in this case, the university has the right to turn Spencer away.

UF History student Ebony Love, 21, said the fight is not over and the community must stay vigilant. "The University of Florida remains unwaveringly dedicated to free speech and the spirit of public discourse".

"The likelihood of violence and potential injury - not the words or ideas - has caused us to take this action", Fuchs wrote.

Richard Spencer, a leader of the white nationalist movement, is angling to get an invite to speak at his alma mater, the University of Chicago, according to emails released Saturday.

Robert Shibley, executive director of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, recently told NPR's Camila Domonoske he believes the latest incidents of schools canceling the alt-right events for safety reasons may be hard to defend, given the events were weeks away. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed when a rally participant ran his auto into a group of counter-protesters she was part of. He was photographed at the rally behind a shield bearing the emblem of the white nationalist Vanguard America, though the group denied he was a member.

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