Auburn University has canceled a talk by Richard Spencer, a white supremacist, scheduled for next week on the Alabama campus. In a written statement, the university cited “credible evidence” that the event would “jeopardize the safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors.”
Mr. Spencer had arranged to pay the public university $700 plus the cost of security to speak there, reports AL.com. Many people on the campus objected to the event. Mr. Spencer didn’t comment to the news website, but he did tell the student newspaper, The Plainsman, that he would deliver his speech regardless.
“Auburn University is naive and has totally misunderstood who I am if they think that I am going to politely back out of this. I will be there 100 percent,” Mr. Spencer told the student publication.
Mr. Spencer also told the student paper that he would make his talk a “massive event,” and that it would be a “huge challenge to see whether we have free speech in the United States or whether we don’t.”
Mr. Spencer is a leading figure in the racist alt-right fringe movement, and his campus visits have been hotly debated. He has said that he sees college campuses as recruiting grounds, and that he hopes to visit “all the major ones.”
“The Richard Spencer danger tour could be a hit and a lot of fun,” he told The Chronicle in November.