Skip to main content Accessibility

University of Michigan says no to Richard Spencer before end of academic year

Racist “alt-right” leader Richard Spencer won’t be taking his ill-received speaking tour to the University of Michigan before the summer.

The school announced Friday that no potential dates for Spencer to speak on campus are being considered before school ends on April 28.

What happens next for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Spencer and his backers remains to be seen.

“University officials said the latest communication from a representative of Spencer suggested the possibility of looking at dates later in the year,” University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said in a statement posted online. “In light of that suggestion, the university will offer potential dates after the end of the current semester.”

University President Mark Schlissel has previously said he won’t authorize the rental of a university facility unless a “reasonably safe setting” for such an event could be assured.

On Twitter, Spencer’s lawyer, Kyle Bristow, has repeatedly threatened a lawsuit if Spencer is not allowed to speak. Bristow, who has declined to speak to the Southern Poverty Law Center, has extended a deadline for a decision multiple times.

Cameron Padgett, a 29-year-old Georgia State University graduate student, has been attempting to book Spencer at campuses across the country.

Bristow, a self-proclaimed “alt-right” lawyer, has been threatening to sue schools that turn down the requests.

He’s already sued Auburn University, Ohio State, Penn State and the University of Cincinnati.

Spencer has been an unwelcome presence on many campuses after appearing at the violent rally in Charlottesville, where Heather Heyer was run down and killed by a white supremacist, and Gainesville, where racists fired a gun at protestors.

Padgett settled with Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan. Spencer is scheduled to speak there on March 5, amid promises of counter-protests.

A group called “Stop Spencer at Michigan State University” has posted on Facebook plans to oppose any speech by the alt-right front man and hold counter protest if he’s allowed on campus.

Comments or suggestions? Send them to Have tips about the far right? Please email: Have documents you want to share? Please visit: Follow us on Twitter @Hatewatch.