‘This is a white country’: Richard Spencer addresses reporters in hostile press conference ahead of UF speech

White nationalist Richard Spencer answers reporter questions at a news conference prior to his speech at the University of Florida campus.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) – In a hostile press conference ahead of his 2:30 p.m. speech at the University of Florida, white nationalist Richard Spencer answered reporters’ questions about everything from “peaceful” ethnic cleansing to whether he scares children.

Spencer began the press conference, slamming a report that claims his camp is only handing out tickets to fellow white nationalists, saying tickets will be available to “anyone who in good faith wants to hear me.” He took aim at one reporter, saying “You made a substantial error in reporting. Were you wrong?  Just answered your question, were you wrong?  Make a correction.  I’ve never said that.”

He then criticized those who identify him as a white supremacist, saying he is absolutely not a white supremacist. “I’m not a racist in the sense I hate people, I want to scream at them,” Spencer said separating himself from what he calls “cartoonish” racism. But he maintained that “race is real, race matters, it’s the foundation of identity.”

Spencer went on to make an argument for state sovereignty, at one point stating, “historically speaking, absolutely, this is a white country.”  He added that “other people, who don’t look like me, who are non-Europeans, they already have their own sovereign states— what is the issue?  Am I talking to preschoolers?”

One reporter noted that the university is planning on spending $500,000 on extra security for the event.  “We cannot say we all love free speech, then someone says something controversial, then oh, that’s too expensive,” Spencer said.  “A lot of security is necessary.  We are dealing with a violent terrorist group known as ANTIFA.  I do not believe I’m overstating my case by calling him that. We’re going to have to spend money in order to combat these bad people.”

When asked by News Channel 8’s Steve Andrews about being banned in 27 European countries, Spencer acknowledged the irony and launched an attack on German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other European leaders, saying “we’re going to have to liberate Europe from Angela Merkel” and others he feels are destroying the continent with mass immigration.

Being that Spencer was, in fact, the man at the center of the violent  “Unite the Right” rally that resulted in the death of a 32-year-old woman in August, one reporter asked Spencer whether he scared people, particularly children.  “I seriously doubt that I scare children.  I don’t think children are going to listen to a lecture of mine and be frightened or terrified.  That’s your assumption that I engage in violence in Charlottesville.  ANTIFA engaged in violence.  Do I scare people?  I’m sure the alt-right does scare people, because there are people who have something to lose w/ current way of doing things.”

More information about Spencer’s visit:

  • The university is planning on spending $500,000 on extra security for the event at the Philips Center.
  • Attorney General Pam Bondi is urging students at the University of Florida not to attend Richard Spencer’s event.
  • UF fraternities are putting up signs of love, not hate, and asking students to use hashtag #TogetherUF on social media.
  • City leaders mapped out roads that will close, primarily SW 34th Street but more could be added.
  • Campus classes will proceed except for some closures/cancelations related to proximity to the event including Fifield Hall, Entomology, Microbiology and the IFAS complex of buildings south of Hull Road.
  • Gov. Rick Scott’s state of emergency order allows local law enforcement to partner with other agencies for security.
  • Spencer says the emergency declaration is “flattering” but “most likely overkill.”
  •  He’s also concerned that it could be used to keep him from speaking, saying a similar declaration in Charlottesville was “basically a means for suppressing the rally.”
  • UF will update its information line 1-866-UF FACTS (1-866-833-2287) as new information is available.
  • The University of Florida has a page for FAQ here.

For more information: hr.ufl.edu/information-update-for-richard-spencer-event

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