On November 23rd, it was reported that alt-right leader and Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer had rented space at the Texas A&M University campus. This news came on the heels of Spencer’s alt-right gathering in New York City just the week before.
Texas A&M spokesperson, Amy B. Smith said that no invitation from the University was extended to Spencer.
“There has been deep concern expressed by our Aggie community about an individual planning to speak at our campus. To be clear, Texas A&M University – including faculty, staff, students and/or student groups – did not invite this speaker to our campus nor do we endorse his rhetoric in any way. In fact, our leadership finds his views as expressed to date in direct conflict with our core values.”
This week, Spencer made good on his promise to appear at the university but he wasn’t met with the outpouring of support that he hoped for. Hundreds of students, faculty and people from all over the state gathered to protest his hate message. The University itself held a counter event called “Aggies United” in the hopes of drowning out the message of hate brought by Richard Spencer and his followers.
CNN spoke to Spencer before his appearance and his message is chilling. Watch:
During Spencer’s speech, which lasted almost 2 hours, students were seen holding up signs in protest.
One white student, Quenton Boothman, stood up right in front of Spencer holding a sign with a picture of Hitler holding a gun to his head that said, “Follow your leader.”
“White supremacy is a dangerous and insanely harmful concept,” Boothman later told CNN. “I hate it in all its forms.”
A man there in support of Spencer tried to stare down Boothman and the black student, Jalen Brown, who stood with him in solidarity, and an outburst broke out in the auditorium that had to be diffused by campus police, but even after a semblance of calm was restored, Spencer continued to try to provoke the crowd. At one point he told them to “have a goddamn identity.”
“Race is the foundation of identity,” he said. “The word racist is a fake word. No one identifies with the word racist.”
If Spencer was hoping for a huge turnout of white supremacists in Texas there to support him, he was disappointed, because as CNN reported above — only about a dozen showed up.
Not everyone in Texas is racist, Richard, and you picked the wrong campus if you were hoping for support. Texas A&M is a diverse community like no other, and those kids will support each other no matter what. It looks like it was a win against hate for the Aggies on Tuesday.
You can watch Spencer’s entire speech and the events that occurred during it, below:
Featured image via screenshot