Group holds dialogue on Richard Spencer concerns with MSU official
A group demonstrating against white nationalist Richard Spencer's visit to MSU, Change Agent Consortium, met with the director of MSU’s Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives for a discussion on March 2.
The group met with Paulette Granberry Russell, director of MSU’s Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives. Granberry Russell took down the group’s questions for official university responses, vowing to respond within seven days with answers or a request for more time.
Spencer is scheduled to speak at MSU on Monday.
Change Agent Consortium is a national coalition of faith, labor, civil rights organizations and active citizens, according to the group's Facebook page.
David Bullock, a Highland Park pastor and national spokesperson for the Change Agent Consortium, led the group to the Hannah Administration Building to demonstrate against Spencer’s appearance.
“Today, we’re coming to talk to leadership to make sure that (Interim President John) Engler doesn’t have a blind spot, that (MSU trustee) Joel Ferguson doesn’t have a blind (spot),” Bullock said. “They obviously had blind spots on the doctor. Hopefully, they won’t have a blind spot on Spencer.”
Bullock began the meeting with Granberry Russell by addressing the group, calling the event a special opportunity for their community.
The group began by stating its concerns with Spencer’s planned speech while inquiring on MSU’s decision to allow Spencer on campus.
“Originally, MSU denied the request to rent space,” Granberry Russell said.
Following the dialogue, the group marched through the Hannah Administration Building and rallied in front of the steps and chanted, “No justice, no peace” and, “Mute Spencer now.”
Bullock spoke to the media following the brief rally. He said the group is concerned about Spencer’s message, as well as potential violence and recruitment of students into white nationalism on Monday.
“They’re trying to rebrand white nationalism and make it respectable, reputable, civil, because if they can do that, they can participate in the discourse, they can participate in the culture,” Bullock said.
Marcellius Moore, who attended the discussion, said he would not attend Spencer's speech Monday.
“Right now, I see no reason for me to attend. What can he tell me that I haven’t heard or read already?” Moore said.
Following the rally, Bullock told the group they would be willing to sue MSU if they found the answers to be inadequate.
He said the discussion was fruitful, but he wishes MSU attempted to tie Spencer up in a legal battle on principle, to send a message, rather than allow him on campus, even in a limited way.
“We gave up on the America that was for white people only, there is no need to turn back to that,” Bullock said.