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White nationalist threatens to sue Ohio college if barred from speaking

White nationalist Richard Spencer plans to sue UC if barred from speaking  (WKRC)

A leader of the alt-right movement said Friday that he will sue the University of Cincinnati if the school tries to bar him from speaking on campus.

Richard Spencer is a white nationalist whose views are controversial. He calls himself an "identitarian" and denies that his views are racist.

"My people come first. The existence and thriving of my people is non-negotiable," Spencer said in an interview Friday night. "In terms of where white people are right now, we are clearly under threat in the sense that we are losing our demographic majorities in our own countries."

Spencer believes a moratorium should be placed on immigration. He was a featured speaker at the white supremacist rally last month in Charlottesville that became violent during clashes between white supremacists and Antifa protesters. Spencer said his great goal is the creation of an "ethno-state" that would serve as a home base for whites. He said members of other ethnic groups could visit but couldn't become citizens. Spencer called the holocaust "horrific" and said an ethno-state could be achieved without a violent genocide.

Georgia college student, Cameron Padgett, has asked UC to allow Spencer to speak on campus.

"Cameron has a right to host Richard Spencer at public universities in publicly available rooms," said Kyle Bristow, an attorney representing Padgett. Bristow said efforts to shut down Spencer and other right-wing speakers amount to a "heckler's veto."

UC spokesperson Greg Vehr said in a statement Friday "A request has been made. We have not entered into a contract. We are assessing various safety and logistical considerations at this time."


But some UC students said Friday they would not welcome Spencer. The UC College Republicans put out a statement condemning him.

"We absolutely disagree with him. We're absolutely for inclusiveness and just completely disagree with his racist beliefs," said UC College Republicans president Johnny Derringer.

Local 12 News approached 15 students on campus Friday. Not one of them had heard of Spencer.

"Now that I know who he is I know him as a white nationalist and not a fan," said Freshman Lauren Williams.

Virag Vasko, who's originally from Hungary, said Spencer has a First Amendment right to speak on campus but she doesn't believe his message would be welcomed because the campus population is so diverse.

"It will probably cause an outrage among the students because every time that people come and try to change their beliefs we all just kind of come together and everyone's against it," Vasko said.

Freshman Destiny Cuthbertson said she opposes Spencer speaking on campus.

"There's black people that go to this college and we're trying to change how people view us black people because too much stuff happened at UC so I don't think he should come," Cuthbertson said.

Spencer also wants to speak at Ohio State University. The school initially told him he could not speak there because of safety concerns. Spencer sued Auburn University in federal court earlier this year after the school tried to bar him from speaking on campus. Spencer won and his speaking engagement went on as planned.

Padgett has asked to rent space at UC in late October.

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