Stop white supremacists from terrorizing Cincinnati!

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We, the undersigned, find it highly disturbing that the University of Cincinnati is considering hosting an address by Richard Spencer, who--at his mildest--advocates for the elimination of many community members from the United States, and who is a leader of a movement that poses grave threat to millions.

While we recognize Mr. Spencer’s First Amendment right to express even repugnant ideas, we do not recognize a right to promote an intellectually and morally empty position in an address whose sole purpose is to harass, intimidate, and threaten those who Mr. Spencer does not consider fully American, or even fully human.

Further, we see no legitimate academic value to the presentation of what amount to threats and epithets, thinly disguised in pseudo-academic jargon. We see what Mr. Spencer stands for as an affront to morals, democratic principles and academic standards. We do not see University of Cincinnati support of such an address as in any way consistent with the mission of any legitimate academic institution, particularly an institution which receives public funding, and is tasked with serving a diverse community and a diverse state.

Even if some academic case could be made for an address by Mr. Spencer, a debate over the right of many members of the Cincinnati community to be full participants in this community or to even exist is not an academic one for those of us forced repeatedly to defend our right to simply be safe and be treated as human.

Hosting Mr. Spencer can do nothing to promote either legitimate political discourse or any legitimate academic pursuit. Indeed, hosting Mr. Spencer can only send the message that the University of Cincinnati considers Mr. Spencer’s half-baked invective as having standing equal to arguments and works borne of genuine academic rigor.

Hosting Mr. Spencer would send the further message that the University of Cincinnati is not welcoming of any of the many groups Mr. Spencer dehumanizes and threatens, that the University is not welcoming to those who are supportive of such groups, that the University of Cincinnati does not wish to be a good neighbor to the diverse neighborhood and city in which it is situated, does not respect the right of members of historically oppressed and marginalized groups to function unmolested as we attempt to participate fully in our community, and is not concerned for even our basic safety.

We demand that the University of Cincinnati not degrade itself and not degrade, endanger and disregard this community and its highest ideals by providing a platform for the menace that Mr. Spencer represents. We advise that many of us are committed to taking all necessary measures to defend ourselves, and that, if Mr. Spencer is permitted to deliver an address at the University of Cincinnati, many of us will feel compelled to do everything we can to avoid all further interaction with the University and to withdraw all moral, political and financial support to the University and affiliated entities.



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