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Richard Spencer At MSU: Full Story & Must-See Details

Richard B. Spencer, MSU


A speech at Michigan State University coming from speaker Richard Spencer instigated violent protests outside the school, including anti-fascist activists, students and community members, causing police to block access to the venue. Eventually, the scene caused police to block the venue.

What happened?

Multiple people were detained by police shortly before Spencer was scheduled to start his speech around 4:30 PM. Some of the members of the crowd were seen punching and pushing each other, with at least one of Spencer’s supporters being tackled by police as he ran through the crowd.

Some of the protesters were seen wearing masks or covering their faces with scarves; some of the chants made included “no KKK” and “(expletive) Nazi” interjections. Others showcased colorful protest signs.

Before the speech was given, various security concerns were made, including screening attendees and giving out tickets from a secure location. Of these measures, Spencer gave the following statement in a video posted on Twitter:

“In an ideal world we wouldn’t have to do this, you could show up five minutes ahead of time, but we’re dealing with serious security concerns.”

What are people saying?

According to The Detroit News, organizer Pete Johnson defended Spencer with the following statement:

“They don’t want free speech; they want to create a genocidal movement. What they’re trying to do today is organize, and what we’re doing is trying to make sure they don’t have a place to organize. If they don’t have a place to organize, they can’t build their movement.”

“We fully oppose the violence of the Nazis in addition to the structural violence of racism broadly, which pervades our society.”

Katie Kuhn, one of the protesters, gave the following statement:

“I’m very concerned by the amount of hate and fear that’s happening, that’s being spread by the government and white supremacist groups. It’s our duty to stand up for justice and peace, to come together.”

Jacob Osojnak, a graduate who joined the protest, also gave the following statement:

“I just wanted to let everyone know that hate has no place at Michigan State,” he said. “I’m a proud alum of the university and wanted to show support by demonstrating for what I think is right.”

Who is Richard B. Spencer?

Richard B. Spencer is considered an American white supremacist, although he rejects the label, instead, thinking of himself as a member of the identitarian movement. The Southern Poverty Law Center gave the following statement about Spencer:

“Richard Spencer’s clean-cut appearance conceals a radical white separatist whose goal is the establishment of a white ethno-state in North America. His writings and speeches portray this as a reasonable defense of Caucasians and Eurocentric culture. In Spencer’s myopic worldview, white people have been ‘dispossessed’ by a combination of rising minority birth rates, immigration, and government policies he abhors.”

“Fighting that alleged dispossession is the focus of the, until recently, tax-exempt organization he heads, the National Policy Institute (NPI). According to NPI’s mission statement, it aims “to elevate the consciousness of whites, ensure our biological and cultural continuity, and protect our civil rights. The institute … will study the consequences of the ongoing influx that non-Western populations pose to our national identity.” NPI lost its tax-deductible status with the IRS for failing to file returns with the Internal Revenue Service after 2012.”

An ideological third positionist, he has been critical of capitalism, the pro-life movement, and Christianity, also opposing same-sex marriage and believing women should not be allowed to make foreign policy.

The school initially refused to rent space to Spencer for the speech, citing public safety concerns, eventually reaching a court settlement in January after being sued for access.

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