Ohio State rejects white supremacist speaker Richard Spencer due to safety concerns

Ohio State rejects white supremacist speaker Richard Spencer due to safety concerns
Posted at 10:37 PM, Sep 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-06 22:37:30-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Richard Spencer -- a Neo-Nazi one might recognize for being famously socked in the face, getting ejected from CPAC and fomenting deadly white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia -- won't be making an appearance at Ohio State any time soon, campus newspaper The Lantern reported Wednesday.

According to The Lantern, university spokesman Ben Johnson said Spencer had filed a request for space on campus during the upcoming fall semester and been rejected.

"The request was denied after the university determined that it is not possible to accommodate this request without substantial risk to public safely," Johnson told The Lantern.

Spencer announced earlier this year that he intended to bring his racist personal rhetoric, which has included calls for "peaceful ethnic cleansing" of the United States and making "white privilege great again," to speaking engagements at college campuses across the country, beginning with Texas A&M. The title of the news release announcing this tour -- "Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M" -- referred with apparent glee to the white supremacist march that resulted in the death of counterprotester Heather Heyer.

Texas A&M canceled that event, however; the University of Florida did the same. Both cited the same reasons as Ohio State: In the wake of Charlottesville, the potential for violence was simply too great to allow another similar event on their campuses.

The event at Texas A&M was not even sponsored by a campus club, the university said in a statement; Spencer and his colleagues had not been asked to come but simply decided, in the tradition of white supremacists across history, to stake their claim in a space that had not invited them.

Although University of Florida president W. Kent Fuchs said it was safely concerns and not political motivations that canceled the event, he condemned Spencer's ideology in a Facebook post explaining the decision.

"I find the racist rhetoric of Richard Spencer and white nationalism repugnant and counter to everything the university and this nation stands for," he wrote. "The First Amendment does not require a public institution to risk imminent violence to students and others."