A controversial speaker will be making an appearance at Texas A&M in December. Richard Spencer is President of the "National Policy Institute" and creator of the "Alt-Right" movement.
Video taken at an event in D.C. that Spencer was speaking showed some members of the white nationalist group doing the Nazi party salute while celebrating Donald Trump's victory.
Come December 6, Spencer will be speaking at a private event on the Texas A&M campus, which has many very upset.
“Richard Spencer only lifted up a glass of water, he did not do a roman salute, it was the audience who kind of flubbed that up,” said Preston Wiginton, a private political activist and the person who organized the event.
Wiginton said Spencer is just one of many controversial speakers he has brought to the campus.
“I’ve had Nick Griffin come and speak about the Muslim and his view of the invasion of Europe. I’ve had Aleksandr Dugin speak via Skype, Aleksandr Dugin is often considered Putin's right hand man and the forefront of geo politics,” he said.
When asked why he brings controversial speakers, he said years ago he enrolled at the university but only stayed for a year, “I was just astounded of how one sided the education was, how it was almost a leftist indoctrination and if you took any stance against it, any question against it you were denounced as racist, Nazi, xenophobe,” he said.
Wiginton said he arranged for Spencer to speak prior to the events in Washington D.C. but the idea of Spencer coming to Texas A&M has sparked outrage. A group of students are holding a silent protest the day he's scheduled to be there and an online petition is circling titled "Denounce Richard Spencer's engagement to speak at Texas A&M.” Nearly 5,000 people had signed the petition as of Wednesday night. Some of them commenting, “Too many Aggies died fighting actual Nazis. We don't need this hatemonger tainting our campus and their memory, freedom of speech or not. Racism and bigotry should never be tolerated." Some alumni wrote, "If he speaks don't ever call me again for a donation."
Wiginton said the whole idea wasn't to upset people, “I think that the Trump election has shown something in a political sense about what displacement in America has created and that displacement through mass immigration has created displacement of white Americans.” But to bring light to topics most people don't talk about today. “I hope to accomplish that a dialogue begins because when there is conversation usually solutions are solved, if there's not conversations, then people just build hate towards each other and that ends in conflict or war "
Texas A&M released a statement regarding Spencer’s visit saying:
"There has been deep concern expressed by our Aggie community about an individual planning to speak at our campus. To be clear, Texas A&M University - including faculty, staff, students and/or student groups - did not invite this speaker to our campus nor do we endorse his rhetoric in any way. In fact, our leadership finds his views as expressed to date in direct conflict with our core values.
"Private citizens are permitted to reserve space available to the public as we are a public university as is the case here. Public groups must cover all rental expenses so that state resources are not burdened. This rental is classified as a "Class 5: non-Texas A&M University-related" use of public space in the school's events guidelines typically reserved for community events, wedding receptions and local high school events."