White Nationalist, Richard Spencer, Gives Speech on the University of Florida Campus
Today is the day, Thursday, October 19th, 207, when White Nationalist Richard Spencer will be speaking at the University of Florida after his group, the National Policy Institute, an overtly white nationalist organization, paid $10,000 to rent the facility and pay for personal security.
The Facebook Event titled, “No Nazis at UF” indicates that 3,000 people may be planning to take part in a counter protest to the Spencer Speech. It is unclear how many people will attend the speech that actually support the white nationalist.
Spencer is scheduled to speak today, at 2:30PM ET. We will update the results of that speech, as well as the counter-protests, after the speech is over. We will update this article at that time.
The State-Run media is painting the event as a challenge to the notion of free speech and defining when speech goes too far and loses its first amendment protections.
University of Florida President W. Kent Fuchs, speaking to CNN, said that the event is going to change the complexion of the campus.
“It’s not going to feel like a research university for 50,000 students, and the whole purpose of that is to keep people safe.”
Fuchs added that he was advising students to shun Spencer and to also speak against Spencer’s “message of hate and racism.”
Fuchs said, “UF has been clear and consistent in its denunciation of all hate speech and racism, and in particular the racist speech and white nationalist values of Mr. Spencer. I personally find the doctrine of white supremacy abhorrent and denounce all forms of racism and hate.”
Fuchs pointed out that the school would be on the hook for $600,000 due to the extra security precautions that had to be taken because of Spencer’s speech. He said of the cost, which taxpayers would have to fund, “I really don’t believe that’s fair that the taxpayer is now subsidizing through these kind of events for the security and having to subsidize his hate speech.”
Here are a couple of the reactions from the students on campus that CNN chose to highlight.
From Fara Moskowitz, “There’s a lot of fear, there’s a lot of anxiety. There’s a lot of just unknown what’s going to happen.”
Wes Li, 20-year old, “It’s very tense and upsetting. A lot of people aren’t going to be around campus because they’re worried.”
The narrative is being pushed, the way CNN covered the story, in the way the Florida President talked about the speech, and in the two examples CNN chose to highlight as responses to students. This narrative, in large part, is being aided and abetted by anarchists, Antifa, anarchists who fundamentally reject the state but whose tactics seem to be emboldening the very state they purport to hate.
It was the Antifa cry of “punch a Nazi” that gave legitimacy and fuel to the narrative that existed before the current rise of Antifa, the notion of Hate Speech, the idea that speech that is deemed offensive, speech that is deemed hateful is not protected speech and should not be allowed.
Antifa themselves are not really participating in the debate about whether it is or is it not protected speech. That question lies outside of their worldview altogether. In their worldview, the whole notion of public space is a non-starter. They are almost treating public space as a sort of march, a land between two kingdoms that no kingdom claims.
As such, within their parameters, someone is free to say what they want, but they’re not free from the consequence of their actions. Intellectually, I understand the points they make. No one wants to see the rise of White Nationalism, in any form, save for the small minority of actual white nationalists that exist in this country today.
When you exist within the reality of the coercive enterprise, the state, the First Amendment as a protection of speech in a public space does indeed create a safe haven for groups like White Nationalists to organize and gain legitimacy.
If you believe as Antifa does, that White Nationalism has a real chance of actually seizing power if it is not stopped early, you can understand why they would feel compelled to go into those marches and confront the white nationalists with violence, to destroy every attempt they make to organize.
First of all, I do not agree with Antifa that white nationalism has a real chance of seizing power now or in the near future. I do agree with Antifa that white nationalists having the power to gather in public spaces and spew their hatred and vitriol does empower them, does help them grow their numbers and this, definitely, is troubling to me.
But now, you have Antifa, and the threat of that violent repercussion to a white nationalist rally, creating a false legitimacy of the state limiting free speech on the basis of hate speech. After all, if you raise the cost of security, a cost raised not so much by Spencer as by the threat of violence by Antifa and other counter protesters (but not most), you give the state an emotional appeal to the masses to convince them to agree to new laws, maybe even a new amendment, that will give the state the power to determine if your speech is hateful, if your speech is offensive or not.
Make no mistake, Antifa will find itself on the brute force end of these laws, this new amendment, and their hope of moving toward statelessness, rather than being advanced by punching Nazis, will be hindered.
To put it more plainly to Antifa, and I know some of them, and some of the people who support the punch a Nazi philosophy, your tactic of punching Nazis will build a stronger state.
Whatever happens today, Richard Spencer will come out still being portrayed as the villain he is, a man whose ideas are anathema to anyone who values even the remotest notions of liberty. But, thanks to the threats of violence by Antifa and other counter protest groups, those who would wish to roll back what little liberties are left in America will be given vast storehouses of ammunition with which to fire at those of us who still cling bitterly, even hopefully to liberty.