Richard Spencer, the white supremacist who has stirred controversy with his speeches on college campuses across the country, had a speaking event planned around a White Lives Matter protest at Texas A&M on September 11th. Texas A&M has cancelled that event.
Citing concerns of safety and class disruption, Texas A&M released a statement referencing the events that took place in Charlottesville, VA. Preston Wiginton, a former A&M student who planned this event and had previously planned a speaking event for Spencer at A&M, was neither invited nor sponsored by a campus organization to hold the event. He apparently alerted campus and the media of the engagement with the tagline “Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M.”
Texas A&M noted their ties to upholding the First Amendment and freedom of speech in the announcement, but said “…in this case, circumstances and information relating to the event have changed and the risks of threat to life and safety compel us to cancel the event.” They also sent thoughts and prayers to those affected by the Charlottesville tragedy.
With white nationalism noticeably on the rise, institutions like Texas A&M will now be held more accountable for the events they allow on campus. Wiginton is expected to sue Texas A&M over the cancellation, though with Charlottesville in the nation’s recent memory, that lawsuit may not go very far.
Read Texas A&M’s full statement here.
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