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White supremacy

CRAIG STANLEY / NBC NEWS

The New America Foundation tells us that between 2008 and 2016, far-right attacks outnumbered Islamic terrorism by almost two to one in this country. And they were deadlier.

That got us thinking about Michigan and its history with right wing extremism. To dive into that history, Stateside spoke with JoEllen Vinyard, a professor of history at Eastern Michigan University and the author of Right in Michigan's Grassroots: From the KKK to the Michigan Militia.

Tracy Samilton

The University of Michigan is negotiating with white supremacist Richard Spencer on his demand to speak on campus.

U of M President Mark Schlissel says Spencer's views are abhorrent. Spencer thinks whites should pursue what he calls a "peaceful ethnic cleansing" to remove minorities from the U.S.

"However, as a public university, the law and our commitment to free speech forbid us from declining a speaker based on the presumed content of speech," Schlissel told a jeering and angry crowd of students at a hastily-called regents meeting Tuesday night.

The Michigan Union covered in blooming ivy
Wikimedia Commons

White supremacist Richard Spencer submitted a request Friday to speak at the University of Michigan as part of an ongoing attempt to challenge the free speech policies of public universities.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Self-proclaimed anti-fascist groups are expected to launch protests against President Trump on November 4th in Michigan and elsewhere.

Anti-fascist groups have risen in public awareness as far-right and white supremacist groups have become more vocal.   When the two sides meet, there has been violence.

Not surprisingly, when social media started circulating talk of antifa groups planning protests, alt-right groups and extreme right commentators started talking about the possible start of a ‘civil war’.

Michigan State University sign
MSU

Cameron Padgett wants at least $75,000 in damages, and a court order forcing Michigan State University to let white supremacist Richard Spencer speak on campus.

“It’s been kind of a struggle,” says Padgett, a 23-year-old student at Georgia State University, who’s also been arranging campus lectures for Spencer at schools like Auburn University and the University of Florida. Those attempts have not gone smoothly. “Everyone says they’re for free speech, but when it comes down to it, this country’s moving away from that.”

In July, Padgett says he tried to rent an MSU conference room for Spencer to give a talk about his "alt-right" philosophy, which “advances European racial interests … and [criticizes] free trade agreements, radical feminism, sexual deviancy, and the ideology of multiculturalism,” according to the lawsuit.

Bob Mical / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0


America has now seen back-to-back weekends with white supremacist marches. First in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one counter-protester was killed, then last Saturday in Boston, where a small "Free Speech Rally" was dwarfed by more than 10,000 counter-protesters.

After Charlottesville, President Donald Trump declared there was blame “on many sides," then later doubled down, declaring there were “fine people” on both sides.

Craig Stanley / NBC News

White supremacist groups gathered in Charlottesville over the weekend, sparking violence and national outrage. Participants carried torches, guns, and Confederate and Nazi symbols, as white supremacists are wont to do, but some were also seen carrying shields adorned with… the Detroit Red Wings logo.

People at a peace vigil at State Capitol
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Peace vigils were held across the state Sunday in solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attack in Charlottesville.

More than two hundred people stood at the state capitol in Lansing. There were also vigils in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids.

Cop Car parked sideways in a driveway
Tyler Scott

The Mayor of Maumee, Ohio is hoping James A. Fields doesn’t give his town a bad name.

Fields is the man accused of driving his car into a crowd of people who were protesting a rally organized by white nationalists and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday.

Maumee Mayor Rich Carr says he didn’t like seeing what he called “all the hatred” in Charlottesville over the weekend; but it only got worse when it turned out Fields lived nearby.

kevinwburkett / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

In May of 1936, when Detroit resident Charles Poole climbed into a car with Dayton Dean and Ervin Lee, he thought he was going to a meeting that might land him a position at an axle factory and a spot on the factory’s baseball team.

Unemployment in Michigan was high and Poole did not have a full-time job. Any opportunity for work was worth pursuing.

What Poole did not know was that Dean and Lee were members of an organization called the Black Legion. After driving to an unpopulated area outside of Dearborn, they took Poole out of the car and shot him.

The Michigan Union on the U of M's campus.
Andrew Horne / Wikimedia Commons

The University of Michigan removed several racist flyers posted on campus today.

One flier explained “Why White Women Shouldn’t Date Black Men.” Others told white people to stop “apologizing” and “living in fear” and “be white.”

Southern Poverty Law Center

The State Bar of Michigan is apologizing for honoring a short story with "racist" symbolism.

The bar association has offered Michigan lawyers a chance to flex their literary skills with a biennial short story contest for the past eight years.