Texas A&M University isn’t exactly known for being a Mecca of civil rights. They don’t use any form of affirmative action, and although minority enrollment is increasing, it still pretty low–22.9 percent compared to Texas State’s 48 percent.
While the school has had several incidents of racist behavior that has embarrassed them in the past, despite their history, even they don’t want white nationalist Richard Spencer spreading his propaganda on their campus.
On Tuesday, hundreds gathered in two groups, one largely silent and the other more boisterous, and protested Spencer’s speech at the Aggies’ campus. The message seemed clear: not even our least inclusive universities and groups agree that non-inclusion, or racial superiority, should ever be given credence. Though the protests were largely peaceful, at one point the louder, more active group pushed their way into the event hall. There were two arrests made of non-students (though the charges are unclear as of this writing).
Watch local news coverage of the protest, here:
“At the end of the day, America belongs to white men.” –Richard Spencer, from the Texas A&M University.
It’s not hard to understand why the students at Texas A&M didn’t want Spencer on campus. He is, after all, the “alt-right’s” spokesman and friend of Donald Trump’s chief strategist Steve Bannon. He also infamously called out “heil Trump, heil our people, heil victory,” during a D.C. gathering of white supremacists celebrating Trump’s win. His victory cry led to the crowd erupting in Nazi-style salutes. He later claimed the salute was from a “sense of irony and exuberance.” Though he is quick to say that his views aren’t racist, they are exactly that. According to Spencer, “only white people can support what we call ‘Western Civilization.'”
Spencer has been looking for sympathetic places to spread his message of hate and white male superiority, and that’s ostensibly why he went to Texas A&M. To be clear, the university did not invite him to speak, nor sanction his appearance which was hosted by a private citizen who rented the space. He believed that based on the school’s history he would be welcome there, but he was sadly mistaken. According to Dallas New, in addition to the hundreds of protesters at the school, about 2,000 more gathered at nearby Kyle field to hear messages of diversity and inclusiveness. The Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp delivered these powerful words:
“If you’re a purveyor of hate and divisiveness and you want to spew that kind of racism, this is the last campus on earth that you want to come to,” Sharp said. “There is no place, and there is no university where love and respect for each other and loyalty and commitment to each other is stronger than Texas A&M University.”
Indeed and there is no place in America for it either. These white supremacists may feel powerful now because Trump was elected on a platform of hate, but we will band together and do everything we can to stop it from being normalized.