Richard Spencer’s "alt-right" speech sparked protests on Tuesday after hundreds of people were angered by the views that were echoed by the white nationalist at the University of Texas A&M.
The College Station, Texas, university said Spencer’s views are “in direct conflict with our core values,” NBC News noted.
Spencer drew attention after a video surfaced from a white nationalist conference in Washington, D.C., where he was seen shouting “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!” while some in the crowd gave Nazi salutes.
The university said it did not invite Spencer to its campus to speak, NBC News noted. A former student rented space on the campus, inviting Spencer to express his views publicly.
Law enforcement officers used riot shields to push protesters from areas inside the Memorial Student Center, where Spencer was speaking.
Two people, who weren’t students at the university, were arrested following the protests, NBC News noted.
Some 400 people — a mix of supporters and protesters — filled the student center ballroom during Spencer’s speech, according to The Associated Press. Hundreds more gathered at an event at nearby Kyle Field highlighting diversity and unity.
Spencer spoke for about two hours, CNN noted.
“At the end of the day, America belongs to white men,” he said.
Some who attended were listening to Spencer’s sentiments while others taunted him.
There was at least one physical altercation when a woman got on the microphone and repeatedly asked Spencer if he was a racist, NBC News noted.
Alum Preston Wiginton, who extended the invitation to Spencer, said in a Monday interview on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” that Spencer made some “valid points.”
“I think (the United States) was at one time (a white nation),” Wiginton told CNN. “I think the reaction to Trump being elected, and the reaction with the alt-right being popular, is a reaction to it declining as a white nation.”
Wiginton said he invited Spencer to the university because he wanted people to be informed that white people face marginalization.
“Why would I want to see America become less white?” he said. “Why would I want to be displaced and marginalized?”
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