The front man for the racist “alt-right” movement scored a speaking engagement at the University of Cincinnati.
But, Richard B. Spencer’s date on campus is set for March 14, 2018 — smack in the middle of spring break for the commuter school in southern Ohio.
But, whether the victory will be real or a pyrrhic one remains to be seen. Because the speaking engagement is over spring break, it is unclear how many of the university’s 44,000 students will stay around to hear white nationalists speak at the 400-seat Zimmer Hall on campus.
Spencer is scheduled to speak for an hour then answer questions for an hour after his presentation.
University officials, on the www.uc.edu/freespeech.html page, posted updates on Spencer’s push to speak on campus.
“The rich diversity of our university is our strength, and our power of inclusion is being tested by Richard Spencer’s pending visit to campus,” the university said in a statement. “Please know we stand with our community in condemning hate and dehumanizing practices.”
The University of Cincinnati speaking engagement is Spencer’s latest attempt to put his ideas before a college crowd. He’s backed by Cameron Padgett, a 29-year-old Georgia State University student, who has been attempting to book Spencer at campuses across the country.
Spencer hasn’t been welcomed with open arms on every campus.
Some, colleges, including the University of Florida, reluctantly agreed to Spencer’s request for a venue. The school in Gainesville, where Spencer spoke in October after Padgett negotiated his appearance there, reportedly spent $600,000 on security. Florida Gov. Rick Scott also declared a state of emergency in advance of Spencer’s speech.
Auburn University was ordered to pay Padgett $29,000 after initially denying Spencer a speaking spot on campus.
Those public universities that are resisting Spencer’s sanctioned presence — after incidents of violence at Spencer appearances like Charlottesville, where Heather Heyer was killed by a white supremacist, and Gainesville, where racists fired a gun at anti-Spencer protesters — have faced lawsuits and threats of lawsuits from Padgett and his self-proclaimed “alt-right” lawyer Kyle Bristow.
Bristow is currently negotiating with the University of Michigan and gave the school a December 8 deadline to either let Spencer speak on campus or face a lawsuit.
Padgett and Bristow currently have lawsuits pending in federal court against Penn State and Ohio State universities over their attempts to block him from speaking on campus.
A lawsuit against Michigan State University is currently in mediation.