Citing campus security concerns, Texas A&M has canceled a September 11 "white lives matter" event that was to feature white supremacist activist Richard Spencer.
Scheduled by Preston Wiginton, a white nationalist supporter and former A&M student, the day-long protest was meant to take place in front of the Rudder Plaza on the College Station campus as a show of support for the neo-Nazis who marched in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend.
“The event will be to protest the liberal anti-white agenda which includes white guilt which leads to white genocide,” Wiginton told the A&M student paper, The Battalion, on August 12. “And the other purpose of the event will be to sponsor white identity and white pride in which white lives do matter. This is not an anti-brown event or anti-black event this is an anti-liberal event.”
But a Texas A&M press release issued Monday stated that "Linking the tragedy of Charlottesville with the Texas A&M event creates a major security risk on our campus. Additionally, the daylong event would provide disruption to our class schedules and to student, faculty and staff movement (both bus system and pedestrian)."
Who knows — it could have led to a disruption like when, in 1980, two brothers in Ray-Bans and black suits drove an old police car into a group of Illinois Nazis.
The school also cited a policy change barring non-student groups from reserving campus space without sponsorship from a student organization:
"Texas A&M changed its policy after December’s protests so that no outside individual or group could reserve campus facilities without the sponsorship of a university-sanctioned group. None of the 1200-plus campus organizations invited Preston Wiginton nor did they agree to sponsor his events in December 2016 or on September 11 of this year. With no university facilities afforded him, he chose instead to plan his event outdoors for September 11 at Rudder Plaza, in the middle of campus, during a school day, with a notification to the media under the headline 'Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M.'"
The press release also stated that "the thoughts and prayers of Aggies here on campus and around the world are with those individuals affected by the tragedy in Charlottesville."
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
But people who are upset to hear they can't participate in a massive racist rally need not worry: You can still check out Spencer's August 14 press conference, where he discussed his experience at the Charlottesville protest.
At one point, Spencer said:
"I have never felt like the government or the police were against me, and I usually don't feel that way. I have a very good relationship with the police officers in Old Town Alexandria, for instance.... I always believe if I do something wrong, I'll be punished by the police, sure.... But if I'm in the right, they are going to protect me. And there has never been a situation in my life until Saturday [the day of the rally]."
Imagine that — feeling like the police aren't on your side. It must be a terribly helpless and frustrating feeling. We feel terrible that, for a couple hours of one day of his 39 years on this planet, Spencer had to feel like a second-class citizen. Hopefully, he recovered with a glass of warm milk, some cookies, and a well-thumbed copy of Mein Kampf.