This one is tough.
I’m all about free speech, even the loathsome speech, but then, there’s little people like Richard Spencer, the alt-reich hate monger who you know is going to say something to set somebody off.
That’s a risk Kyle Bristow, the organizer of Spencer’s speaking tour is willing to take.
Bristow has filed a lawsuit against Michigan State University, on behalf of a student from Georgia State University, Cameron Padgett. Padgett was attempting to find space to rent, in order to have Spencer speak, but was denied.
The lawsuit is alleging that the university is violating Padgett’s First Amendment right to freedom of speech. He is demanding a trial by jury and $75,000 in damages, according to court documents.
University officials said last month that they were denying a request for Spencer to speak in a campus building in the wake of the violence that broke out at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va.
Considering the violence we’ve seen on college campuses over the last couple of years, and how out of hands things are now, you have to be able to understand the trepidation of the school administration.
“After consultation with law enforcement officials, Michigan State University has decided to deny the National Policy Institute’s request to rent space on campus to accommodate a speaker,” the university said in a statement then. “This decision was made due to significant concerns about public safety in the wake of the tragic violence in Charlottesville last weekend.
Spencer was at the rally. You can only imagine what his presence would stir up. If it’s anything like what he normally stirs up, it wouldn’t be good.
On the other hand, how is that his problem?
There is a duty of law enforcement to keep protesters from pushing things towards violence. Peaceful protests are one thing, but when it becomes destroying property, setting things on fire, or attempting to assault others, it has gone too far.
As it is, we may never know. Since Charlottesville, venue after venue has dropped his engagements.
Before Michigan State, it was Texas A&M, and the University of Florida.