RICHARD SPENCER'S 2017 CAMPUS TOUR OF HATE is coming to the Great Lakes. Spencer is, of course, known as one of the founding figures of the alt-right; he's also gained no shortage of media notoriety for leading a crowd in “Hail Trump!” chants while flashing Nazi salutes, for preaching “peaceful ethnic cleansing” and the establishment of a “white Ethno-State on the North American continent,” and for eating an atomic knuckle sandwich during an interview. Spencer has slimed his way into the mainstream through various channels, exploiting any chance he gets for publicity (good or bad), but time and again, his battleground of choice has been American colleges and universities.
This strategy was on ugly display last summer, as he led a torch-wielding mob of fellow white nationalists, neo-Nazis, KKK members, etc., through the University of Virginiacampus for the Unite the Right rally. Bubbling with white rage, Nazi salutes, and chants of “Blood and Soil” and “Jews Will Not Replace Us,” that dismal August invasion culminated with one attendee, James Alex Fields, committing an act of terrorism by driving his car into a crowd of counter-protestors, injuring nineteen and murdering thirty-two-year-old Heather Heyer. Spencer and his minions used the same playbook in Gainesville, where, despite the University of Florida shelling out nearly $600,000 for security and Governor Rick Scott declaring a state of emergency, Spencer's campus talk was followed by still more mayhem: three of his supporters broke out into Nazi salutes, fired a handgun at protestors, and subsequently faced charges of attempted murder.