Richard Spencer, a white nationalist and a leading voice of the so-called alt-right movement, is scheduled to speak on the campus of Texas A&M University next month, according to reports issued Wednesday.
However university officials stated on Wednesday that they had not invited him to speak there, did not fund the event and disassociated themselves from his views. However they added that “private citizens are permitted to reserve space available to the public as we are a public university.”
Spencer, who heads a think tank called the National Policy Institute, has defined the alt-right – short for “alternative right” – as a set of ideologies with a core belief in white identity and a racially homogeneous society. Critics of the movement says its rhetoric is racist and advocates white supremacy.
The profile of the alt-right movement has been elevated ever since President-elect Donald Trump named former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon his chief strategist. Bannon has described Breitbart, a conservative news outlet, as “the platform for the alt-right.”
Spencer gained notoriety this week after a video from a national alt-right conference showed supporters raising their arms in an apparent Nazi salute after Spencer told the crowd, “Hail Trump, hail our people, hail victory.”