However, he has a right to speak at Ohio State.
Hate speech is protected by the First Amendment. He should also pay the full tab for the security costs. The University of Florida recently hosted Spencer and security costs for the event ended up being about $600,000. The First Amendment should guarantee free speech, not subsidize it.
The alt-right complaining about being locked out, but not wanting to pay its way in is like Thing 1 and Thing 2 in “The Cat in the Hat” demanding to be let back in the house while saying they won’t pay for anything they break.
The Supreme Court ruled the government “cannot assess a security fee on a speaker to control the reaction of potential hostile onlookers.” Part of the deciding logic in that case centered on the arbitrary nature of how security fees were imposed. Now that Florida paid those fees and still had Nazis shoot at protestors, those arbitrary fees have become real costs.
Put Spencer’s speech on West Campus, too. How about the basketball courts at the ARC. If you want to shout “Hail Trump!” at a white nationalist rally, you can, but you’re going to have to pay to park.
Maybe Ohio State can mitigate the risks of the speech by closing the event to the outside public and requiring BuckID upon entry. This will ensure that any 50-year old man with a ponytail and a “Don’t Tread on Me” bumper sticker does not start a riot.
Richard Spencer has too much of a “dangerous rebel” vibe about him; like the Fonz from “Happy Days”, but instead of capturing the hearts of teens in the 80s, Spencer captures the hearts of online trolls and Nazis in the 2010s.
In reality, Spencer is a boring speaker. His speeches are long-winded and lack specificity. He talks in large circles about an anti-capitalist state and a better tomorrow. The only time he really inflames his base is when he responds to hecklers.
As a speaker, he excels at crowd work so, if he comes, don’t give him that pleasure. In fact, don’t go at all. Putting it on West Campus makes it easier not to go, and not going to things is one of the experiences of college.
The only real entertainment at a Spencer rally is his warm-up speakers. They are angry and misinformed; like they read one chapter of “Mein Kampf” and then SparkNoted the rest.
The guy who opened for Spencer at Auburn shouted that the left-wing protestors outside “wanted nothing but international finance and war!” International finance isn’t that bad. It allows Tim Horton’s to do taxes in the U.S. and Canada. Currency exchange is a thing.
Spencer was an average high-school student and has been overcompensating ever since. His followers are terrified that an immigrant or *gasp* a woman might take their jobs because they are better than them.
Spencer thrives on making others unhappy. In a speech at Auburn, he railed against football saying, “When a player crosses the touchdown line, you have accomplished nothing.”
Spencer is a guy who shouts “It was just a dog!” at the end of Marley & Me. Spencer is a party pooper; a party pooper who also hates Jews.
But who are we to deny his followers happiness?
They feed off your unhappiness and discourse, so think twice before counter-protesting. If you do feel the need to show up, consider your angle. Maybe apologize that they had to watch a video about diversity once at work. That must have really hurt.
These folks are walking senses of inadequacy; they just hate Jews too.
Ricky Mulvey and Seth Shanley are members of the Buckeye Standup Comedy Club and joke-loving columnists for The Lantern. Mulvey is a fourth-year in finance and Shanley is a second-year in journalism.