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White Supremacist Richard Spencer to speak at UF 10-19 -- a Letter to Our Congregation

The University has published a detailed Q&A of information about how and why Spencer will be speaking, the current plans for security at UF, and other information. I encourage anyone who is curious or has questions to click HERE. [Click "Read more..." to continue]

 

In a message today (Tuesday, October 10) to UF employees UF President Fuchs urged his recipients to do two things in response to this event and Spencer's white nationalist message of racism, antisemitism, homophobia and hate:

I urge our community to do two things:

First, do not provide Mr. Spencer and his followers the spotlight they are seeking. They are intending to attract crowds and provoke a reaction in order to draw the media. I urge everyone to stay away from Mr. Spencer and his followers and the Phillips Center where he will speak and the media will be assembled on October 19. By shunning him and his followers we will block his attempt for further visibility.

Second, although I urge you to avoid the Spencer event, I ask that you not let Mr. Spencer’s message of hate and racism go unchallenged. Speak up for your values and the values of our university. Make it clear that messages of hate on our campus are contrary to those values. Mr. Spencer’s message is disproportionately hurtful to members of our Gator community who are targets of hate and violence simply because of their skin color, religion, culture, sexual orientation or beliefs. Those of us in the majority must speak up for those in the minority and make our voice of love and support heard.

Although I know members of our community hold differing views on the appropriate response to this coming event, I support President Fuchs' recommendations. My sermon this coming Sunday, October 15, will address some of these points. However we choose to respond, each of us needs to consider our personal feelings and ethical positions as we confront this juxtaposition of the demands of freedom of speech and the power and ongoing consequences of hate. May this message, and President Fuchs' words, assist you as you frame your thoughts.

Rev. Maureen
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Rev. Dr. Maureen Killoran, AIM, PTS
Developmental Minister
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, Florida

 
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