U of M students walk out in protest over Richard Spencer - WNEM TV 5

U of M students walk out in protest over Richard Spencer

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Source: CNN Source: CNN
Source: CNN Source: CNN

The possibility of a white supremacist speaking at the University of Michigan has students protesting.

Hundreds of students walked out of class late Wednesday morning in protest of the university's negotiations with Richard Spencer.

"I think that it's cowardly for the administration to negotiate speaking or allowing Richard Spencer to speak here,” Ashley Easley said.

Last week, University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel said the school opened discussions with Spencer on his request to speak on campus, but said there was no certainty it would occur.

The university posted Schlissel's comments to the community online Tuesday night in which he says Spencer's appearance won't go forward "if we cannot assure a reasonably safe setting for the event."

"It's really terrifying to our community who is not part of our majority and it's just horrifying to a lot of our students and it's not what we stand for and it's not what I stand for,” John Faubert said.

Schlissel says as a public university, the law and its "commitment to free speech forbid us from declining a speaker based on the presumed content of speech."

Spencer participated in a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that led to deadly violence in August.

"The blood will be on his hands and I think that what you can see here that they are saying that yes we can guarantee safety if he comes. What about Charlottesville? It is something that is so recent it was so horrible I cannot believe the university is choosing to ignore the events that have happened and saying well this is a different situation,” Hoai An Pham said.

"Why are we allowing someone who has this ideal these ideals that are obviously against people of color to come here,” Easley said.

A date for Spencer's appearance has not been set.

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