Richard Spencer, a leader of the white nationalist "alt-right" who made headlines for quoting Nazi propaganda and saluting Donald Trump with "Hail Victory," gave a speech at Texas A&M on Tuesday night, which brought out a handful of racists, more than 1,000 protesters, and police on horseback and in riot gear.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Spencer, himself a Texas native, spoke to a crowd of 400 people (most of whom clearly disagreed with Spencer) and spouted his usual racist, misogynistic bigotry, along with praise for president-elect Donald Trump, whom he called "a kind of alt-right hero." During the speech, Spencer told white people: "You're part of a bigger extended family, and that race has a story to tell. It's a people and a blood and a place on the map."
While Spencer talked, one person, dressed as a clown, walked around the stage while holding a sign that said, "He's the real bozo." Spencer, as he did multiple times during his speech, fired back with insults. "She's dancing, maybe she'll lose some weight," Spencer said about the clown, drawing more boos from the crowd.
At another point, Spencer said, "America, at the end of the day, belongs to white men," which yet again brought boos from the audience.
A scuffle broke out during the speech as well, but was quickly broken up:
At the event, a local wifi connection was named "N***** GENOCIDE."
Spencer was invited to College Station by a former A&M student who reserved space for an event on campus; the university did not invite him. While the university supported Spencer's freedom of speech, they organized an "Aggies United" counter-event, hosted by university president Michael Young at their football stadium, Kyle Field—which drew a larger crowd of around 2,000.
The Aggies United event included, among others, award-winning actor and best-selling author Hill Harper, journalist and A&M grad Roland Martin, Holocaust survivor Max Glauben, and V. Bozeman, a Grammy-nominated singer, actress, and model.
According to the Dallas Morning News, Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp told the crowd, "If you’re a purveyor of hate and divisiveness and you want to spew that kind of racism, this is the last campus on earth that you want to come to." Sharp went on, "There is no place, and there is no university where love and respect for each other and loyalty and commitment to each other is stronger than Texas A&M University."
Some of the protesters themselves showed a little school spirit as well, breaking out in fight songs.
Religious leaders came to protest as well, such as Rabbi Matt Rosenberg, who brought a sign that said, "Ctrl-Alt-Right-Delete."
According to The Daily Texan news editor Forrest Milburn, some racists interacted with the protesters, saying things like "white women are the prettiest" and "genocide is okay."
Others gave Nazi salutes and yelled "Heil Trump," sparking more boos from the protesters.
At one point, a scuffle broke out:
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside of the building where Spencer was speaking, but were pushed back by police with batons and riot shields, as well as police on horseback:
Other students simply focused on studying for finals:
Hours after Spencer had finished speaking, the protesters finally dispersed. Two people, who were not A&M students, were arrested, according to police.