UNC chancellor denies white nationalist Richard Spencer’s request to speak at campus


UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt has declined a request from the National Policy Institute to rent a space for white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus, citing safety concerns.

“Our basis for this decision is the safety and security of the campus community—we are not willing to risk anyone’s safety in light of these known risks,” Folt said in a statement.

“I am deeply saddened and disturbed that the violent and virulent rhetoric being espoused by extremist groups has jeopardized the ability of campuses to promote robust dialogue and debate about important issues while ensuring public safety.”

Folt announced the decision on Wednesday after consulting with university, local and state law enforcement that assessed the risk of Spencer speaking at the university, according to the statement.

Spencer gained notoriety during President Donald Trump’s campaign and coined the term “alt-right.” He has become a figurehead for the white supremacy movement in the U.S.

A video surfaced in November of Spencer greeting attendees of a National Policy Institute conference saying “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory” returned with cheers and Nazi salutes.

Spencer was scheduled to speak at Texas’ A&M campus on Sept. 11, but the university canceled the event.

Spencer is expected to speak at the University of Florida on Sept. 12, despite the university’s decision to deny his request to speak.

This is a breaking news report. It will be updated.

Molina: 919-829-4538. On Twitter: @Cmolina_