Gainesville residents respond to UF's decision not to allow Richard Spencer to speak
The University of Florida's decision to reject Richard Spencer's speech was met with a sigh of relief from many in Gainesville who told CBS4's Brooke Rayford they don’t want to see the violence spread here.
But some worry the decision violates the First Amendment right to free speech – no matter how vile that speech may be.
"As a libertarian I might disagree with what you say, but Ill defend til the death your right to say it," Gainesville resident Chris Rose said.
One comment after another, locals spoke out on the university's decision.
"I think it was the right decision to make," says Sharon Burney with the University of Florida's African-American studies department. "I'm happy to know that they made this decision. I'm a little disheartened that it took such a cumulative effort of indivuals to pressure administration intro making the right decision."
Rose says he in no way condones any aspect of bigotry or racism but recognizes the first amendment issue at hand. He feel the university has been open in the past for a variety of different causes and that precedent needs to be held for Mr. Spencer, as well.
Some felt the university should take a stronger stance and the message must be clear.
Burney says, "You don't want to worry about tip-toeing around white supremacy. "You have to be clear and firm in your responses to white supremacy because it's life or death for us (Blacks). When you say while we don't condemn there words, the words lead to the actions."
Rose sees it differently.
"I would also say hate speech does not cause violence. Actions cause violence. You might tell me whatever you want to, but what I choose to do, I am responsible for that. Individual accountability."