Although Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency and University of Florida’s president, Kent Fuch, urged students not to attend the speech, he was still permitted to deliver it. Who is Richard Spencer and why was he permitted to speak at the University of Florida?
Richard Spencer, 39, is being hailed by some and hated by others. His messages of white supremacy aren’t sitting well with many individuals, all from different races and from various places. The U.S. has come a long way in bringing together race, religion, and nationality of all, and the efforts continue to promote equality, not superiority like white supremacists do. Yet, Richard Spencer and what he stands for seems to go against equality.
According to USA Today, Spencer coined the term “alternative right” or “alt-right” which defines a “group whose far-right ideology includes racism, populism, and white nationalism.” In 2008, he began using the term and eventually in 2010, he founded alternativeright.com. He then went on to become the leader of the National Policy Institute which is described as “an independent research and educational foundation.”
Although Spencer doesn’t agree that he identifies as a white supremacist, his views and actions say otherwise. He’s trying to make a change in the world, a change that would “save a space for all Europeans from around the world [Source: USA Today]. He states “to be white is to be a striver, a crusader, an explorer, and a conqueror. We don’t exploit other groups.” “They need us and not the other way around.” While Spencer has his share of followers, many are having a hard time seeing his point of view as times have changed and people are viewed as just that, people; Not a color, race, or country.
Why has Spencer been so vocal and out promoting this way of life he believes others should follow?
Perhaps the election of President Donald Trump contributed to this “leader” coming out and voicing his concerns and opinions?
Back in August, Spencer spoke in Charlottesville which led to a deadly clash involving neo-Nazi’s and white supremacists against counter-protesters. That speech resulted in personal injuries and wrongful deaths and in no way was an effort to make America great again. Now, Spencer is back in action and spoke today at UF. Although he wasn’t wanted, nor invited, the university was obligated by law to allow him to speak at the event being held. It was estimated that the school spent about $500,000 in security and the National Policy Institute spent about $10,000 to rent the facility as well as on their security.
Although classes were still in session for the speech, those that were located in close proximity to it weren’t. The University’s President, Kent Fuchs “urged students to not attend the event and denounced Spencer’s white nationalism” according to Reuters. The city of Gainesville is likely experiencing mass protesting from both supporters and the opposing side of what Spencer thinks is right. Perhaps Spencer believes that because other races can come out and voice their concerns over the oppression their race has had to face and is currently dealing with, that he has the right to boost his own. Unfortunately, Spencer’s efforts to divide whites from other races only makes it harder to bring together communities of people who are alike, yet differ in skin color