A white nationalist group is accused of trying to cover up posters for Black History Month with ones referencing Adolf Hitler.
According to the University of Tennessee’s president, the Traditionalist Workers Party had advertised an event at the Knoxville campus that was not permitted to happen on campus.
"The ugly reality is, extremist groups are actively organizing, targeting colleges and universities in an attempt to be heard and to grow their ranks," UT system President Joe DiPietro said in a statement. "And now, two of our own campuses—the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga—are being targeted."
DiPietro also said on Thursday (February 8) that his campus is no place for hate, racism and violence. He believes the university respects and upholds free speech rights, which can include ignorant and repulsive speech, but he will not defend it.
"Now, let me be clear: Every campus and enterprise of the statewide University of Tennessee system respects and upholds the constitutionally protected First Amendment right to free speech,” he also said in the statement.
The Traditionalist Workers Party has been recognized by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. The group says they had planned to have their founder, Matthew Heimbach, speak at the Knoxville campus on February 17.
HU Staff: Kecia Gayle @kecia.kae— Paradym Music Group (@ParadymMusicGrp) February 11, 2018
No place for hate: The University of Tennessee’s president said vandals at the Chattanooga campus have tried to display racism by covering up posters for black history month with ones referencing Adolf Hitler.
Heimbach was also one of the organizers of the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that turned deadly when a white nationalist terrorist plowed a car into a group of counter-protesters, killing a woman.
Photo: Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
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