Campus Commentary

Richard Spencer Will Not Be Speaking at UC

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How would you feel if someone who did things like hold up the Nazi saute or encourage non-whites to leave America come speak to you about his ideals? Richard Spencer was going to come speak at UC. This affects all branches and students because of how powerful his message is based on the serious topics he is talking about. When he has gone to other schools he was not greeted kindly. At UC, the speech was supposed to happen over spring break.

To put this situation in a nutshell, Spencer did not end up speaking at our school.

The things he focuses on when he speaks can be looked at in speeches he has given to different schools. In his previous speeches, Spencer has spoken of “communists” and how whites have to fight for their identity against the government.

He was being allowed to speak but has decided not to. Spencer was not invited by anyone with the university, but the board supported the university’s decision to uphold the First Amendment in allowing him to speak on campus. Trustees said they recognize the fundamental role of free speech at a public university.

What do students think? After speaking to 15 students around campus I developed a pie chart representing how some people feel about a speaker like this coming:

 

Protesters greeted white supremacist leader Spencer with loud boos and chants of “Go home Spencer” during his speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville. This speech cost $600,000 there. How much would it have cost to have Spencer speak here? On the news website Cincinnati.com, our own UC President Neville Pinto said Spencer’s request to speak “is provoking fear in our community especially for those who are direct targets of his hate, prejudice and racism.”

Spencer had two people backing him including a student at Georgia state named Cameron Padgett who requested that schools let him speak at places like Ohio University and Auburn University just to name a couple. Padgett has an attorney who represents her who is someone named Kyle Bristow who threatens to sue if schools do not let Spencer speak and she also helps pick schools to be a venue.

 

UC would have been working with state and law enforcement to keep everything peaceful. But at what cost? Is keeping our first amendment, the right to free speech, worth all of the potential money and controversial topics that he is going to be speaking about?

About Drew Ladd

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