White supremacist Richard Spencer wants to speak at University of Cincinnati

UC 'assessing safety, logistical considerations'
Posted at 10:32 PM, Sep 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-29 14:01:43-04

CINCINNATI -- Following his rejection by Ohio State University, white supremacist Richard Spencer wants to bring his racist, pro-ethnic cleansing ideology to a speaking engagement at the University of Cincinnati, UC spokesman Gregory Vehr confirmed Thursday night.

The school isn’t sure it’s safe to have him.

Spencer, a headlining speaker and organizer at the Charlottesville, Virginia white supremacist rally that ended with the death of anti-white supremacist protester Heather Heyer, made numerous such requests of colleges across the country in the wake of that event. Texas A&M, the University of Florida and Ohio State all rejected him on grounds of ensuring student safety. 

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"The First Amendment does not require a public institution to risk imminent violence to students and others,” University of Florida president W. Kent Fuchs wrote on Facebook.

The title of that first proposed speaking engagement was “Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M.”

Vehr indicated a similarly security-oriented thought process Thursday, writing UC was “assessing various safety and logistical considerations” in response to Spencer’s request.

He did not disclose whether Spencer had been invited by a campus group.

Spencer sued Michigan State University after school officials denied his request to hold events on campus, according to the Washington Post. Spencer said the denial was a violation of his supporters' constitutional rights; the school said it denied Spencer's request due to "significant concerns about public safety" in consultation with local law enforcement.

"While we remain firm in our commitment to freedom of expression, our first obligation is to the safety and security of our students and our community," Michigan State spokesman Kent Cassella told the Post.

Spencer, 38, is credited with creating the term "alt-right" to describe a sector of ultra-conservatives whose views align almost identically to that of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. A video of Spencer went viral shortly after President Donald Trump was elected -- Spencer is shown leading a chant, "Hail Trump," while leading a crowd in "Sieg Hiel" Nazi salutes.

Spencer runs the the National Policy Institute, a small non-profit "dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States," according to its website. Specifically, the NPI advocates for an "ethno-state" for white Americans.