While most of the country is still finding the idea of a Trump presidency hard to accept, Richard Spencer was emboldened by the result. Like other racists who have attained increased popularity due to President-elect Trump’s victory, Spencer sees it as an opportunity to spread his white nationalist message.
Judging by the reaction from the students and faculty of Texas A&M, Spencer should have chosen a different venue.
Invited by a Former Student
Following a televised interview with CNN, outspoken racist, Richard Spencer, was invited to speak at Texas A&M. It’s relevant to note that the University did not sanction the speech and that Spencer was invited by a former student.
While his speech did happen, it was immediately met with hundreds of protests from the college’s students and faculty. Among the signs raised by protesters were “Texans Against Facism” and “Aggies Against the Alt-right.”
Protesters in the Same Room
Although hundreds of protesters are seen in the surrounding area of the school, it’s notable that the protests were not limited to outside. Some protesters were actually in the same room as Spencer as he was spouting his racist rhetoric.
As one would expect, this led to conflict between the two groups, and at one point they even lined up as if to engage in a brawl. Luckily, police were on the scene to keep the peace between Spencer’s supporters and protesters.
Honoring the First Amendment
Upon realizing that Richard Spencer was expected to give a white nationalist speech on the campus of Texas A&M, the administration commented on his conflicting views, yet decided that the speech should be allowed.
University President, Michael Young, explained that although Spencer’s views are “reprehensible and warped”, he still believes in his right to express them.
Rather than banning Spencer, the University took the opportunity to turn a negative into a positive with an event of their own.
Texas A&M Counters with an Event to Promote Singularity
In an event dubbed Aggies United, speeches were given by influential members of the Texas A&M family. The speeches focused on the importance of equality and diversity. Among the speakers was popular Texas A&M quarterback, Trevor Knight. Former Texas A&M player and Miami Dolphin, Ryan Tannehill, also gave a speech via video.
Although Aggies United was a counter-move to the white nationalist speech by Spencer, it was exponentially greater in magnitude and had far more people in attendance. While Spencer’s room was filled with mostly protesters and just a dozen or so supporters, thousands of students showed up to support the speeches on diversity at Kyle Field.
Featured Image Via NY Daily