College campuses have a long history of openness to free speech, encouraging diversity of thought and respect for the constitutional right to express it.
After Charlottesville, the price tag for free speech has gotten steep.
White nationalists use colleges to spread racist ideology and draw media attention to their movement. Richard Spencer, the face and mouthpiece of the alt-right movement, is trying to get speaking contracts at five major universities. Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State declined his request, but were sued for violating free speech rights.
The University of Florida tried to block Spencer’s talk but the courts ruled in favor of the speaker. The event cost the university $600,000 for security.
During his talk, Spencer was heckled continually, chants of “go home” drowning out his words. Silent Black Power salutes were held defiantly. “Do you even know what that means?” Spencer ridiculed one student.
Following the speech, three Texas men were arrested and charged with attempted murder.
Click here to read the NY Times article.