In this 2016 photo, white nationalist Richard Spencer poses between interviews in College Station, Texas. A University of Cincinnati spokesman said Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, that the school was assessing “safety and logistical considerations” in considering Spencer’s request to speak there, WCPO-TV reports, after Ohio State University and other colleges rejected similar requests. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

White supremacist Richard Spencer wants to speak at UC

The school isn’t sure it’s safe to have him.

Spencer, a headlining speaker and organizer at the Charlottesville, Va., white supremacist rally that ended with the death of anti-white supremacist protester Heather Heyer, made numerous such requests of colleges across the country in the wake of that event. Texas A&M, the University of Florida and Ohio State all rejected him on grounds of ensuring student safety.

MORE: Franklin Twp. to display, re-dedicate Confederate marker

“The First Amendment does not require a public institution to risk imminent violence to students and others,” University of Florida president W. Kent Fuchs wrote on Facebook.

The title of that first proposed speaking engagement was “Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M.”

Vehr indicated a similarly security-oriented thought process, writing UC was “assessing various safety and logistical considerations” in response to Spencer’s request.

He did not disclose whether Spencer had been invited by a campus group.

MORE: Why Ohio State denied white supremacist’s request to speak on campus

Spencer sued Michigan State University after school officials denied his request to hold events on campus, according to the Washington Post. Spencer said the denial was a violation of his supporters’ constitutional rights; the school said it denied Spencer’s request due to “significant concerns about public safety” in consultation with local law enforcement.

“While we remain firm in our commitment to freedom of expression, our first obligation is to the safety and security of our students and our community,” Michigan State spokesman Kent Cassella told the Post.

Spencer, 38, is credited with creating the term “alt-right” to describe a sector of ultra-conservatives whose views align almost identically to that of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. A video of Spencer went viral shortly after President Donald Trump was elected — Spencer is shown leading a chant, “Hail Trump,” while leading a crowd in “Sieg Hiel” Nazi salutes.

Spencer runs the the National Policy Institute, a small non-profit “dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States,” according to its website. Specifically, the NPI advocates for an “ethno-state” for white Americans.

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.