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White nationalist Spencer wants to speak at UM

Kim Kozlowski
The Detroit News

Richard Spencer, the controversial white nationalist, has asked the University of Michigan to speak on campus, officials confirmed Tuesday.

A representative of Spencer’s National Policy Institute indicated there was flexibility with the date, UM spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said in a statement.

“The university will carefully consider this request, paying close attention to the safety and security of our community,” Fitzgerald said. “No decisions have been made.

Spencer’s request comes after Michigan State University denied his request to speak, and after UM hosted controversial author Charles Murray.

Spencer’s appearances at other campuses have been accompanied by protests, including a speech in October at the University of Florida.

“It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you’re on, everyone has a right to speak,” Spencer said in opening his speech at the Florida campus.

“Go home, Spencer,” the crowd chanted before he even started speaking.

“Are you going to keep this up all night?” Spencer said. “I’ll ask again: You have sent your message. Why don’t we have a conversation? Do you not want to have a conversation? Do you not want to talk?”

Police said three men were arrested after a shot was fired at a group of people following Spencer’s appearance in Gainesville. Police said the three were in a vehicle after Spencer’s speech Oct. 19 and began making Nazi salutes and shouting Hitler chants at a group of people at a bus stop.