MSU denies white nationalist group’s request to speak on campus

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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – We’re less than a week removed from a car being used as a weapon in Charlottesville, Virginia and yesterday we learned that a white nationalist group that took part in the demonstrations that turned deadly there asked to speak at Michigan State University.

Tonight they got their answer.

The group is called the “National Policy Institute” and they ask MSU to rent space on campus next month to host one of their speakers and today the university turned them down.

The “National Policy Institute” is an “alt-right” organization that the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a “hate group.”

They’re led by Richard Spencer and this isn’t the first time his group has been denied from speaking at a college recently.

Earlier this week, the University of Florida said no as did Texas A&M.

Spencer was supposed to be the keynote speaker at the “unite the right” rally that turned deadly in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend.

Michigan State University says what happened there is the reason they turned down the group’s request.

A statement posted on MSU’s website says the university consulted with law enforcement officials before making their decision.MSU says quote:

“While we remain firm in our commitment to freedom of expression, our first obligation is to the safety and security of our students and our community.”

Some people at MSU made their opinions known today.

They painted over “the rock” on the university’s campus with messages against hate, including the words “go home Spencer.”

Earlier tonight, we spoke with an MSU student and a Spartan graduate for their reaction to the university’s decision.

Here’s what they had to say.

“I’m completely supportive of that, racism and bigotry has no heart here at MSU, I really like the community at MSU and it’s something I feel at home here so I would be really against anyone like him or anyone from his beliefs and his belief system to not speak at MSU,” said MSU Graduate Nick Denhof.

“I understand their standpoint from the safety and security for the students and I really applaud the university for that but overall it doesn’t really pull a reaction out of me because this is kind of the culture that we created in the United States right now so…it’s like turning on the news and watching the weather report and say ok what happened next, who’s rioting now,” MSU Student Nicholas Barnes stated.

We asked if you thought MSU should allow a white supremacist organization to speak on campus in our 6 News this morning poll.

68% of you said no, 26% said yes and 6% said they weren’t sure.

One more thing to note, according to a newspaper in Louisiana the “National Policy Institute” was also turned down by Louisiana State University tonight after the group requested to speak on campus there.

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