White nationalist Richard Spencer gave a controversial speech Tuesday night at Texas A&M University, an event that attracted considerably more protesters than supporters.
Spencer, who heads a white nationalist think tank called the National Policy Institute, is credited by the Southern Poverty Law Center with having coined the term “alt-right,” which refers to “a set of far-right ideologies, groups, and individuals whose core belief is that ‘white identity’ is under attack by multicultural forces.”
Spencer was caught on video last month speaking at a white nationalist conference in Washington, D.C. Shouting, in Nazi fashion, “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory,” he garnered cheers and Nazi salutes from attendees.
About 400 people, only a few dozen of whom were there to support Spencer, attended the event at Texas A&M, where Spencer promoted the alt-right philosophy. “At the end of the day, America belongs to white men,” he said. “Race is the foundation of identity. The word ‘racist’ is a fake word. No one identifies with the word racist.”
Furthermore, during a press conference prior to the event, Spencer was quoted as saying that feminism “has seduced many women into thinking that, ‘Oh, men are wrong. I need to be myself. I need to have a career.’ They wake up, they’re 45, they’re living with cats, and they’re extremely unhappy.”
Tuesday night, thousands of protesters gathered on campus outside the Memorial Student Center — where the event was held — shouting “No love for Nazis.” Although protests were peaceful, two non-students were reportedly arrested.
Prior to the event, Texas A&M officials released a statement stating that Spencer’s views are in “direct conflict” with the university’s core values.
White nationalist Preston Wiginton, who attended Texas A&M as an undergraduate student while in his 40s, organized the event. During an interview Monday with CNN, Wiginton said he invited Spencer to speak on campus in order to spread the message that white people face marginalization.