Richard Spencer made a controversial appearance at Texas A&M Tuesday night. The leader of the so-called “alt-right,” [but let’s just say it all together: WHITE SUPREMACY] spoke to a mixed crowd of about 400 people. Some were there as proud white nationalists; others valiantly came in to disrupt the speech.
A&M President Michael K. Young made it clear from the beginning that Spencer’s appearance was due to his renting of a room considered public space on the campus. He was adamant that the university did not extend an invitation, nor did it condone the viewpoints of the white nationalist speaker. In a brilliant show of unity, however, President Young called for a Unity Rally, held at Kyle Field during the same time, where students, staff, faculty, and community members could come together in a strong show of solidarity. Many came out to encourage their fellow students, however, many more went straight to the student center to vocalize their anger over the white supremacist message being spewed by Spencer inside. Hundreds of students were joined by local activists who came to lend their voices and their support.
“I am proud to be an Aggie. Tonight proved that we are more than a campus. We are a community, and we are a family. We have united against fascism, bigotry, violence and hatred, regardless of age, races, religion, and political belief. Tonight was bigger than Richard Spencer. Tonight was about unity. I have never felt less alone,” Esmeralda Hernandez, a freshman at Texas A&M told us exclusively after attending Tuesday night’s Unity Rally.
While police armed with rifles surrounded the Memorial Student Center, it does not appear anyone was hurt, though there are numerous reports that several protestors were arrested.