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Texas A&M Cancels “White Lives Matter” Rally Reservation

Texas A&M Cancels “White Lives Matter” Rally Reservation

And that’s exactly what we’re gonna do to them Aggies!

Monday night, Texas A&M University released a statement saying the university had canceled a campus event reservation held by Preston Wiginton. Wiginton helped organize white nationalist leader Richard Spencer’s campus visit late last year and promised Spencer would attend the upcoming rally scheduled for September 11.

This Richard Spencer:

The WaEx reported Monday:

“The event will be to protest the liberal anti-white agenda which includes white guilt which leads to white genocide,” Wiginton told The Battalion, Texas A&M’s student newspaper. “And the other purpose of the event will be to sponsor white identity and white pride in which white lives do matter. This is not an anti-brown event or anti-black event, this is an anti-liberal event.”

Amy Smith, Texas A&M’s executive vice president for marketing and communications, said Wiginton’s ideas were the antithesis of those held by the school, which previously hosted Spencer in December 2016.

“His views and those of the group he represents are counter to the core values of Texas A&M,” Smith told The Battalion. “While he has the right of free speech, so too do we have the right to refute those views and get on with the daily business of a world class university.”

Counter-protests are already being organized online to take place near Rudder Plaza on the school’s campus.

But Texas A&M University is having no part of it. Citing potential for student harm, disruption to the normal class day, and the fact that Wiginton hadn’t been invited or sponsored by any campus student organization, the university canceled the event reservation:

After consultation with law enforcement and considerable study, Texas A&M is cancelling the event scheduled by Preston Wiginton at Rudder Plaza on campus on September 11 because of concerns about the safety of its students, faculty, staff, and the public.

Texas A&M changed its policy after December’s protests so that no outside individual or group could reserve campus facilities without the sponsorship of a university-sanctioned group. None of the 1200-plus campus organizations invited Preston Wiginton nor did they agree to sponsor his events in December 2016 or on September 11 of this year. With no university facilities afforded him, he chose instead to plan his event outdoors for September 11 at Rudder Plaza, in the middle of campus, during a school day, with a notification to the media under the headline “Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M.”

Linking the tragedy of Charlottesville with the Texas A&M event creates a major security risk on our campus. Additionally, the daylong event would provide disruption to our class schedules and to student, faculty and staff movement (both bus system and pedestrian).

Texas A&M’s support of the First Amendment and the freedom of speech cannot be questioned. On December 6, 2016 the university and law enforcement allowed the same speaker the opportunity to share his views, taking all of the necessary precautions to ensure a peaceful event. However, in this case, circumstances and information relating to the event have changed and the risks of threat to life and safety compel us to cancel the event.

Finally, the thoughts and prayers of Aggies here on campus and around the world are with those individuals affected by the tragedy in Charlottesville.

Just another reason I’m proud to be an Aggie.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye

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Comments

The only thing that changed is we know that Antifa and BLM will assualt anyone at a White Lives Matters event and police will do nothing to protect Free Speech in America!

The facists have won!

    Speaking of the events in the past several months….The entire nation has been taken on a LEO ride along to a call in the trailer park where two idiots off their meds are beating the hell out of each other daily over anything and everything.

    This isn’t really representative of anything but the stupidest degenerates in an otherwise civil society.

buckeyeminuteman | August 15, 2017 at 8:11 am

Hosting a White Lives Matter rally and protesting the white guilt currently being poured across America is certainly within your 1st Amendment right of free speech and to assemble. Now, throw in a white nationalist speaker, and I can’t take you or anything you say seriously anymore. And just know…there will be blood. Is it really worth it just to prove a point?

… and what would Kimberlee be writing if it were an antifa or blm group that was cancelled at an M&AT campus!?!

    Ragspierre in reply to jmt9455. | August 15, 2017 at 8:47 am

    How ’bout, “YAAAAAY!”.

    There are things that don’t belong on campus. Such as events (not expressions in class or in common areas) that disrupt the whole campus and put students in danger.

    NObody suggests that these nutbars cannot express themselves freely in some venue. But TAMU has the right and obligation to NOT provide that venue.

      rdmdawg in reply to Ragspierre. | August 15, 2017 at 9:45 am

      Ah yes, about that ‘dangerous speech’. Our first amendment surely wasn’t talking about that.

        Ragspierre in reply to rdmdawg. | August 15, 2017 at 10:17 am

        Surely it WAS. And surely I’m not. I’m talking about WHERE and WHO has a license to express ideas and WHO has an obligation to say, “Nope, not here”.

        This is about VENUE. NOT content.

      smalltownoklahoman in reply to Ragspierre. | August 15, 2017 at 10:20 am

      Absolutely right. I don’t think TA&M is deliberately trying to suppress anyone’s free speech here, or at least it’s not a primary motivation. I think they are simply trying to avoid having the kind of violence and destruction that has plagued some of these events lately from occurring on their campus. That is well within their rights to protect their staff and students as well as their property.

So much for free speech.

Ridiculous. Just ridiculous. Free speech means free speech for everyone, not just those with whom one agrees. Giving your beloved government institution the power to censor anyone’s speech grants them the power to regulate everyone’s speech.

Let them speak and IGNORE them. Give them the opportunity to make their point, however much you may disagree, and IGNORE them. Don’t listen, don’t engage, don’t publicize, don’t argue, don’t fight. Simply IGNORE them.

    Ragspierre in reply to Anonamom. | August 15, 2017 at 8:55 am

    What’s rediculous is that you think this is “censorship”, when all it is is saying, “Not here, buckwheat. This isn’t your house”.

    Free speech NEVER implies any obligation to provide a venue carte blanche.

Heckler’s veto. The left is violent and will riot. We do not want to hold them accountable b/c if we do, they will riot. So anything that that offends must be forbidden… so they don’t riot.

We reserve the right to move the goalposts on what is offensive or what part of American history we find relevant or uncomfortable. Nice slippery slope there.

Texas A&M is a public university, I just read about it a little, and it seems like a really nice place, so many traditions, so much history. The whole issue about free speech is that it is protected on public property, but I think that even a public university is not considered a truly public place(?), and they do have the right to control access to their campus. They had a black lives matter demonstration last September, that was ok, but times have changed, rapidly. It does seem like the bad guys are winning, and free speech is going the way of the carrier pigeon. It is right, but apparently not one that is valued enough to warrant protection.

    Ragspierre in reply to amwick. | August 15, 2017 at 9:27 am

    TAMU is a state university. There’s no such thing as a “public” university.

    There’s all kinds of property that belongs to states and their subdivisions…and are kinda “public”…that you don’t have a license to invade. Think of courts here. Or police stations or fire stations. Try exercising your First Amendment rights carte blanche in any of those venues.

    Did the TAMU BLM event conform to the TAMU requirements? Did it result in any violence? Would you have supported NOT allowing it if it DID pose a real threat of violence and you were the head duck at TAMU? If you did, would you be censoring the BLM students or others with them?

      Anonamom in reply to Ragspierre. | August 15, 2017 at 9:50 pm

      For someone who claims to be a lawyer, you know very little about the First Amendment. Here, spend sometime on the linked website and see if it helps: https://www.thefire.org/

      Let us know if you need help with the big words.

        Ragspierre in reply to Anonamom. | August 16, 2017 at 8:29 am

        I’m sorry you are in a snit.

        Maybe you should militate to get TAMU to accept that event. Keep us posted on forcing that via your view of the First Amendment.

So, Amy Smith, why is it necessary for colleges to have “views” that everyone must adhere to, and what do they have to do with the Academic Pursuit of the Truth, the mission of all colleges ever since God invented them in the stone ages?

    Ragspierre in reply to rdmdawg. | August 15, 2017 at 9:49 am

    TAMU is a university, having many colleges. Universities have always had “views”, and Smith didn’t say everyone had to adhere to them. There are undoubtedly some in the student body who do not. And they can say so. I don’t think god or the stone-age had much to do with universities, but feel free to support that argument all you can.

Kemberlee Kaye, If a university-sanctioned group had invited Preston Wiginton and he be allowed to speak on campus, I hope you would still be proud to be an Aggie.

“His views and those of the group he represents are counter to the core values of Texas A&M”

So Texas A&M is an anti-white institution? Is that the “core value” which sees Wigintin’s shtick as its antithesis?

Has a spokesperson for this school explicitly stated this before?

Potential customers, at the very least, should know such things.

In any event, calling this blatant censorship (and ignoring the school’s arguable right to engage in that stuff) a exercise of the “right to refute those views” puts quite a strain on the English language. “Censorship” isn’t “refutation”; not even close.

Rags, it would depend on where the violence was coming from. In a situation where all the requirements have been met and the violence is likely to come from the organized rally? Cancel it and keep them from campus. Where the violence is likely to come from the protestors of the rally? Where if the rally could march through campus ignored by everyone and nothing would happen? You bet I’d support them marching no matter how stupid and retrograde I think they and their cause are. In this situation, if they’d gotten all their little Nazi ducks in a goose stepping row and met the requirements, then yes, I’d support their right to march, no matter how distasteful I find it. Otherwise all anyone would need to banish a viewpoint they don’t like from campus or any other public sphere would be to show up once with bats and the university would do it for them from now on.

    Ragspierre in reply to Crabtree. | August 15, 2017 at 11:07 am

    OK, a lot of what you said is right.

    I’ll take exception to this, however…

    “Otherwise all anyone would need to banish a viewpoint they don’t like from campus or any other public sphere would be to show up once with bats and the university would do it for them from now on.”

    There’s nothing whatsoever to support that statement here. Nobody is “banishing a viewpoint” by refusing a venue for an event. Every student is free to express their viewpoints still. Nobody has moved to censor them.

    As a matter of fact, part of this whole exercise is assuring the counter-protesters are not beaten silly by the student body or campus police.

    Remember: laws are largely to protect criminals from the rest of us!

Public universities are a unique “public” venue. They are not the equivalent of the town square, where anyone may enter, leave or remain, freely. They have an obligation to minimize the disruption of their student’s learning experience, for which the students have paid good money.

In this case, it appears that A&M acknowledges that holding such an event would lead to disruption, possibly massive. So, the school decided to cancel it. This was made easier by the reported fact that no recognized student group had sponsored the event, as required by the university’s regulations.

They’ll be coming for any monuments or memorials to Sam Houston, so if you selectively support free speech, people will look the other way when those statues are removed.

True in this case, since they didn’t have a student group sponsoring them. I’m going to put this in completely apolitical groups for convenience sake. Let’s say a bunch of Star Wars fans decided they wanted to express their love of the movies and, sponsored by a student group, they signed up for a march and rally, something the university allows anyone who meets certain criteria to do. The Star Wars fans have met all those criteria and are getting ready for their rally. A group of Whovians, who absolute hate Jar Jar Binks and anything associated with him, decide they can’t abide this event even happening on their campus, so they show up with sharpened sonic screwdrivers and get in a huge fight with the Star Wars fans, who respond by beating the Whovians over the head with replica lightsabers.

A few months later at another university, a group of Star Wars fans decide they want a rally, too. Fearing the Whovian menace, the university revoked their march permit even though they met all the criteria. The Star Wars fans point out that Trekkies and Stargate fans were allowed to march, and even groups closely related to the Whovians like Torchwood fans are allowed. Maybe even the Whovians themselves. They’re told that there wasn’t any violence at those marches but there was at theirs so they aren’t going to risk that happening again. But everyone else is allowed to march.

Are those Star Wars fans really being allowed to express their viewpoint? At what point would that no longer be the case?

    Ragspierre in reply to Crabtree. | August 15, 2017 at 11:43 am

    “Are those Star Wars fans really being allowed to express their viewpoint?”

    Sure. Nobody is stopping them.

    “At what point would that no longer be the case?”

    When it’s no longer the case. That’s not as snarky as it may sound. Your hypo does not postulate that they have NO venue for expression of their views. We know that people DO.

    Again, denying a particular venue is not denying expression.

“Richard Spencer is a lying racist, but you should totally believe what he says about Trump!”

— Olivia Nuzzi

I dont think it’s snarky, actually. A LOT of this kind of issue essentially boils down to “I’ll know it when I see it” and we’re basically having a good faith disagreement on where the line is drawn.

For me, the university saying “you, and you alone” aren’t allowed to do this because there might be violence is, if not completely banishing, sharply limiting their ability to express it. If not here, then what if every time the Star Wars fans had a group meeting on campus the protesters showed up and a fight broke out, so the university says you can’t have these organized meetings because they cause trouble? That they can’t stand on preachers corner reading aloud from Splinter of the Mind’s Eye? If all they are allowed to do is privately express their viewpoint while those who they diasagree with are allowed these platforms, then I’d argue that their viewpoint is being effectively banished.

    Ragspierre in reply to Crabtree. | August 15, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    And I’d agree. But that isn’t this reality.

    Also, at TAMU, unless a lot has changed over the years, the campus police would not allow people to start fights. It’s a pretty conservative place.

No, it’s not. In reality these idiots didn’t meet the basic requirements to march on campus, heh. For Nazis these guys really suck at paperwork and following directions. I started my first comment with the conceit that the following argument was a “what if” hypothetical where all the requirements had been met, but as I re-read that comment I realize I may not have made that clear.

Oh, on that we definitely agree.

All Lives Matter.

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