NewsEducationHigher EducationUC News


White nationalist speaker cancels lawsuit, speaking engagement at University of Cincinnati

White nationalist speaker cancels lawsuit, speaking engagement at University of Cincinnati
Posted at 5:20 PM, Apr 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-25 19:01:40-04

CINCINNATI -- A white nationalist whose representatives sued the University of Cincinnati for his right to speak there has canceled both his lawsuit and his speaking engagement, university president Neville G. Pinto announced Wednesday.

"It is a pleasure to share with you the news that representatives of white nationalist leader Richard Spencer have dismissed the lawsuit they had filed against the University of Cincinnati," Pinto wrote in a news release. "As a result, there are currently no plans for Spencer to speak at UC."

Spencer, who has argued the United States "belongs" to white men, attempted to embark on a nationwide speaking tour after his participation in a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and answered university rejections with claims they had violated his First Amendment rights to appear. In many cases -- as at the University of Cincinnati -- he had not been invited by any campus group.

When he requested in October 2017 to speak at the University of Cincinnati, the university offered him a date over Spring Break and asked him to "sign the university's standard rental agreement and pay a security and rental fee," according to Pinto's release.

Although the university board of trustees released a statement denouncing Spencer and saying, "Hate has no place on our campus or in our world," they said they felt a duty to preserve "the marketplace of ideas" by allowing him to address the student body.

However, instead of continuing to pursue his nominal goal and accept the engagement offered to him, Spencer's team filed suit against the university in December 2017. His representatives dismissed it Wednesday, Pinto said.

"In my first message to the community on the uninvited speaker I asked for your patience, support and understanding," Pinto wrote. "I want to take this time to thank you for living our Bearcats values into action with such integrity and respect. Let's continue to build on the greater awareness and resolve that has been the outcome of these events and remain united in our choice of love over hate. The power of inclusion is our strength."

WCPO leaders have spent considerable time discussing how to cover Richard Spencer's visit to UC. To share your views on this topic, contact us through our Feedback Friday feature or email