A white supremacist rally that turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia Aug. 12 spurred several Texas officials to release statements condemning the violence that took place that killed one and injured 19 other counter protesters after a driver drove his vehicle into the crowd.
By Monday, Aug. 14, another white nationalist rally had been planned to take place on the Texas A&M campus on Sept. 11, and Richard Spencer, an infamous “alt-right” leader, would be its featured speaker. Texas A&M officials announced with a statement later Monday that they had canceled the event due to safety concerns.
"Texas A&M's support of the First Amendment and the freedom of speech cannot be questioned," the university said in a statement Monday afternoon. "However, in this case circumstances and information relating to the event have changed and the risks of threat to life and safety compel us to cancel the event."
Several Texas officials spoke out condemning the racism and hate surrounding the events in Charlottesville. Texas Senator Charles Schwertner (R-Georgetown) responded to the proposed Texas A&M white supremacist rally with an official statement.
“The racist and bigoted hate speech promoted by (white supremacist) groups do not reflect the values of Texas A&M University or the people of Texas and it should be loudly and consistently condemned by all responsible voices of our society,” Schwertner said.
Congressman John Rice Carter (R-Round Rock) said the “offensive behavior” in Charlottesville was an “attack on American values.”
“Racism and violence have no place in America, and do not reflect the underlying foundation of our great nation,” he said in a statement on his Facebook page. “Let's stand united to route out bigotry and hatred of all forms, calling it out when we see it and showing we will not stand for it.”
State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (D-Austin) issued the following statement regarding the events in Charlottesville:
“My thoughts are with the victims of the carnage in Charlottesville whose only crime was standing up to the helmet-clad neo-Nazis throwing fists and hurling racial slurs,” he said. “Those in positions of power have a responsibility to use their voice to condemn racism and uproot the seeds of violence because hate speech leads to hate crimes. There is no middle ground on tolerance. Silence is unacceptable.”
Cedar Park Rep. Tony Dale (R) retweeted the American Legion Monday, Aug. 14 whose tweet said “Anyone who waves a Nazi flag is anti-American.”
Both U.S. Texas senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz condemned the “hate-filled” violence in Charlottesville.
“No place for the bigotry & hate-filled violence in #Charlottesville,” Cornyn tweeted Saturday. “These actions should be condemned in the strongest possible terms.”
Cruz called for the department of Justice to investigate and prosecute “this grotesque act of domestic terrorism.”
“These bigots want to tear our country apart, but they will fail. America is far better than this,” Cruz said in a statement. “Our Nation was built on fundamental truths, none more central than the proposition "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."