The University of Florida’s president, Kent Fuchs, urged the campus community not to “follow the game plan” of white supremacists, as white nationalist Richard Spencer was about to speak on campus on Thursday, October 19.
Fuchs spoke on a live Facebook video about how the campus should respond to those attending Spencer’s speech. He detailed how the “white supremacists, the racists” have a game plan to make themselves look like victims on the right side of law.
He urged the campus community to show values of inclusion and love while overcoming and silencing their message.
Fuchs and the university have come under fire from the campus community for the decision to allow Spencer to speak on campus. Speaking to reporters ahead of his speech, Spencer said he was glad Fuchs “stood behind him” to allow him to speak on campus. Fuchs, though, rejected Spencer’s statement, saying he stands with those who “reject and condemn Spencer’s vile and despicable message.”
University officials earlier rejected an application by Spencer to speak on campus in September, citing security risks in light of events in Charlottesville, according to the university’s website. But the second application was approved because the university is a public institution.
The university also stated on its website that no one at the university invited Spencer to speak, and that it was a private event. Credit: University of Florida via Storyful