Texas A&M

Texas A&M

*Texas A&M had initially approved an organization’s application for a “White Lives Matter” rally on campus scheduled for Sept. 11, but then Charlottesville happened.

The university had initially acknowledged the organizer’s right to free speech, but was able to cancel the event because its organizer, Preston Wiginton, “directly linked his plans for A&M to the weekend violence in Charlottesville near the University of Virginia with a press release that read, ‘Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M.’”

His choice of words gave A&M the out it needed. The university stated: “Linking the tragedy of Charlottesville with the Texas A&M event creates a major security risk on our campus. Additionally, the daylong event would provide disruption to our class schedules and to student, faculty and staff movement (both bus system and pedestrian).”

Preston Winginton

Preston Wiginton

One woman was killed when a white nationalist rammed his car into a crowd of counter-protesters at the violent “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. Two state troopers were also killed in a helicopter crash while working the event.

Wiginton’s “White Lives Matter” protest would have also featured white nationalist speaker Richard Spencer. A peaceful counter protest was already being planned on campus.

Wiginton, who briefly attended A&M and has organized other white nationalist events, told HuffPost he had planned the rally because “young white people are just sick and tired of the liberal agenda of pushing white guilt down their throat.”

After A&M’s announcement Monday, Wiginton said he felt as though university administrators and state legislators, who had called for A&M to cancel the “rally, were saying, “White lives don’t matter.”

“They violated our First Amendment rights. Whites are now in the 1960s. Do we have to sit in the back of the bus?”