Richard Spencer, the white nationalist leader who is no stranger to controversy, says he still plans to speak at Auburn University after the school canceled a speech the white supremacist was scheduled to give on campus tonight, citing safety concerns.
Spencer told the Auburn Plainsman that he has filed a motion in court seeking an injunction to force the University to allow him to speak and said the university would “rue the day” it crossed him and promised to “give a speech on their campus” despite the cancellation.
“An injunction has been filed,” Spencer told the student newspaper. “We feel the law is on our side. I think it’s very clear. The Supreme Court has been unequivocal in terms of supporting people in situations like ours.”
Though Auburn has officially nixed Spencer’s speech at James E. Foy Hall, there is some concern among groups hoping to protest his presence at Auburn that the school may not be able to bar him from spouting nonviolent rhetoric in the school’s “free-speech zone.”
Spencer is president of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank, as well as Washington Summit Publishers. Spencer has stated that he rejects the label of white supremacist, and prefers to describe himself as an identitarian. He advocates for a white homeland for a “dispossessed white race” and calls for “peaceful ethnic cleansing” to halt the “deconstruction” of European culture.
Spencer, who was famous on the Internet for getting punched in the face at Donald Trump’s inauguration, is credited with coming up with the term “alt-right” as a way of mainstreaming and intellectualizing white nationalism.