Tuesday, August 15, 2017

I agree -- No Nazis at the University of Florida! W/Update

Neo-Nazis support President Trump.

President Trump supports the neo-Nazis.

We know that now. Whatever you choose to call them -- neo-Nazis, alt-right, white supremacists -- they are intolerant bastards who attacked and killed and injured people in a university town, Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. They do not deserve a soapbox at any of our universities. Yes, that also is intolerant. But they are taking a page from the Brown Shirts Playbook and want to raise havoc wherever they can. They look at campuses as fertile ground for their racist bilge. Campuses are liberal bastions, politically correct bastions where people bend over backyard to accommodate The Other. But what happens when speakers arrive on campus with messages of hate against The Other. And those speakers operate with the imprimatur of the president of the U.S.? We have never faced this before. That's why we must stop the alt-right and their leader who is a stand-in for Trump. Let's start with stopping Richard Spencer.

Here's some info on a proposed Sept. 12 Spencer appearance at my alma mater (class of '76), the University of Florida. It comes from The Chronicle off Higher Education, which has been featuring some great articles about how campuses are trying to deal with this issue. Texas A&M recently cancelled a speech by Spencer. Now it's UF's turn. This was in today's Chronicle:
In a statement on Saturday announcing that Mr. Spencer's group was seeking to rent space at the University of Florida, W. Kent Fuchs, the university’s president, suggested that his institution might have no choice but to grant the request, so long as the group covered the associated expenses and security costs. He called Mr. Spencer’s potential appearance there "deeply disturbing" and contrary to the university’s values, but said "we must follow the law, upholding the First Amendment not to discriminate based on content." 
Mr. Fuchs urged the campus community not to engage with Mr. Spencer’s organization and "give more media attention for their message of intolerance and hate." Soon after he issued his statement revealing that the group had sought to rent space there, however, a Facebook page titled "No Nazis at UF" sprang up to summon people to the campus for counter-protests. 
Check out the No Nazis at UF page. Comment. Write Pres. Fuchs. Tell him that "Make America Hate Again" is not part of the Gator Spirit. 

UPDATE 8/17/17: UF Pres. Fuchs has cancelled the event. See press release here.

3 comments:

Edith Cook said...

Right you are, Michael. Texas A & M also cancelled a white-nationalist event. That we have the right to free speech doesn't mean we have the right to spew hatred and incite attacks on people who disagree.

RobertP said...

Mike, Glad to see our school did the right thing.

Michael Shay said...

I know so little about Gainesville in 2017. I am wondering what the reception for "Unite the Right" would have been. It still may happen off-campus. These times are strange. And scary.