Richard Spencer, head of the “alt-right” movement that promotes the movement toward a white-only nation, launched a college tour for 2018 to take his hate-speech to students across the country.
Recently he announced he is rethinking his strategy.
Protesters have worked to keep him from universities, for fear that any association with academia could give his movement legitimacy. Antifa (anti-fascism group), the most vocal and violent protestors of the alt-right movement, has–according to Spencer– made attending his speeches too dangerous by intimidating his supporters and shouting down his lectures.
Thomas J. Main, a professor at Baruch College-CUNY and author of the forthcoming book Rise of the Alt-Right, said the defining characteristic of white nationalists is “anyone who boldly steps forward and says that all people are not created equal.”
Spencer’s group has tried to speak at universities listed below.
University of Florida
This was the venue for Spencer’s first speech on a college campus following the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that was marked by violence and death.
At the University of Florida, three men (associated with the white nationalists) were charged with attempted murder.
In order to host Spencer, the University had to spend more than $500,000 for security.
Michigan State University
Michigan initially declined Spencer’s request for a speech but reversed its position after a lawsuit was filed.
The event, held during spring break, was attended by an estimated 500 anti-fascist protesters, who clashed with alt-right supporters. More than 20 arrests were made.
Spencer’s speech was attended by less than 20 people.
University of Cincinnati
The alt-right group used a pattern to secure university venues: Someone would try to rent a room on campus for Spencer to speak., and, if the university objected, Spencer’s booking agent would file a lawsuit.
In Cincinnati, the lawsuit was ultimately dropped, and the event was not held.
Ohio State University
Ohio State also declined Spencer’s request, a lawsuit was filed, and the lawsuit was dropped.
Penn State University
A request from Spencer was denied due to security concerns, a lawsuit was filed, and a judge denied the suit.
Richard Spencer has also been reportedly banned from 26 European countries for five years, according to a source close to Poland’s foreign ministry.
In 2014, Spencer tried to book a conference entitled “The Future of Europe” in Budapest, Hungary. Hungarian authorities banned the event, and Spencer was arrested when he attempted to hold it anyway.
Two Facebook pages associated with Richard Spencer have been kicked off the platform. The National Policy Institute, which advocates for Spencer’s so-called white “ethnostate,” had a page with 4,000 followers.
Spencer’s online magazine “Altright.com” also had a Facebook page with more than 10,000 followers.
Domain registrar GoDaddy stopped providing domain-registration service to altright.com.
GoDaddy made the decision after the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights sent GoDaddy a letter asking for the site to be shut down.
Click here to read the Washington Post article.