Angry Crowd Shouts Down Richard Spencer, Chase Away White Nationalists
Protests at Alabama’s Auburn University turned violent as supporters and opponents of a prominent white supremacist clashed on Tuesday, leaving one person bloodied and three people arrested, AL.com reports.
Spencer found little love at this university
Concerns over “alt-right” leader Richard Spencer’s divisive white supremacist rhetoric led the university to cancel his speech Friday, but on Tuesday, a federal court ruled that the university must let him speak as scheduled.
“We strongly deplore his views, which run counter to those of this institution,” the university said in a statement. “While his event isn’t affiliated with the university, Auburn supports the constitutional right to free speech. We encourage the campus community to respond to speech they find objectionable with their own views in civil discourse and to do so with respect and inclusion.”
Spencer found this a good time to brag.
“We won a major victory for the alt-right,” he said during his speech, which was frequently interrupted by shouts.
He rattled on with the usual white supremacist idiocy that demonstrates why people were concerned about him in the first place.
“The alt-right is about being a white person, being a European in the 21st century,” Spencer told the crowd. “There’d be no history without us,” he said later. “The alt-right is really about putting Humpty-Dumpty back together again.”
Yes, he’s a guy who wants to give a serious talk but uses fairy-tales to do so.
And this comes at a time when violent riots, spurred by the potential appearance of divisive speakers like Spencer have sometimes resulted in costly damage to universities. Such was the case when the University of California Berkeley canceled an appearance by Milo Yiannopolous, where protesters caused more than $100,000 worth of damage.
And at Tuesday’s event, crowds of protesters and counter-protesters swelled in front of the auditorium where Spencer was scheduled to speak, Raw Story reports. One conservative who went by the name “Chad” wore a helmet in case “the other side” began throwing rocks. The crowd was flanked by dozens of police officers with their police dogs, CNN notes. Some students organized a concert before Spencer’s talk, saying this was a peaceful response to his hate speech.
Shouts rang through the packed auditorium as Spencer bragged about the virtues of being white and exhorted whites to fight for their rights. Audience members called him names and shouted at him to get to the point.
And occasionally his supporters could be heard chanting “Let him speak” when he was interrupted. That’s probably about as imaginative as they can get.
Spencer denounced diversity, claiming it is “a way of bringing an end to a nation and a culture,” defined by white people. Seems he forgot about that whole dust-up we had with native Americans. They were the original pioneers in the U.S., but were decimated by conflicts and disease.
But that’s okay, Spencer claims in an earlier speech. White people won fair and square he insists. Because, folks, that’s the kind of guy he is. And that’s how he thinks.
“Whether it is nice to say that or not, we won, and we got to define what America means,” he said in the earlier speech. “America, at the end of the day, belongs to white men.”
And as he droned on, the audience thinned out dramatically.
Outside Foy Hall, where Spencer talked, students said there were arguments and scores of flags and protest placards to be found, but fortunately, other than the brawl, there was no violence during the speech.
But that turned around quickly once the Spencer-lovers began exiting the auditorium, with students and protesters dogging their heels. The angry crowd swelled behind them, pushing his fans off campus and across downtown.
It was beautiful to see. It almost makes you want to see that video of Spencer getting punched in the face again.
You can watch the goings-on in the video below.
Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images